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Supercuts sued for ban on Spanish
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | August 12, 2005 | NATASHA KORECKI

Posted on 08/12/2005 6:25:58 AM PDT by jaydubya2

Some Chicago businesses post "Se Habla Espanol" signs to boast about their Spanish-speaking employees.

But two hair stylists said in a federal lawsuit Thursday that their former bosses at Supercuts posted a different sign:

"Speaking a language other than English is not only disrespectful, it's also prohibited."

Stylists say the notice was put up in 2003, directed at employees as Supercuts managers allegedly barred them from speaking Spanish anywhere at work -- including in the break room or other places outside the earshot of customers.

Supercuts says there is no such ban.

"We absolutely, vehemently deny the allegations and believe the evidence will show otherwise," attorney Davi Hirsch said Thursday.

EEOC on the case

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which joined in the lawsuit, argues that such a ban is a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that prohibits employment discrimination based on national origin.

The EEOC, along with private attorney Kamran Memon, brought the lawsuit against Primps LLC and Management Advantage Group LLC, which own more than 20 Supercuts salons in the city and suburbs.

One of the stylists, Rosa Gonzalez, 54, of Chicago, said her bosses shot her dirty looks or would reprimand her if she spoke Spanish to co-workers while on break, or at other times, even when customers weren't around.

The ban was lifted, she said, only if a customer didn't know any English.

"I think it's not fair," said Gonzalez, who came to the United States 27 years ago from Guanajuato, Mexico. "Business[es] need to understand that we are free to speak our language."

No such rule, company says

Memon said Gonzalez and another stylist who filed the lawsuit, Blanca Sauceda, were reprimanded sometimes several times a week for speaking in Spanish on breaks. The two worked for the company at various locations for more than 10 years.

They ultimately quit at their Michigan Avenue location after they felt uncomfortable at work.

Memon said the two wouldn't challenge a policy that limits Spanish being spoken in front of English-speaking customers. But Memon said Gonzalez and Sauceda were told it was "ignorant" and "disrespectful" to speak Spanish at work.

EEOC trial attorney Ann Henry said the suit was brought after managers allegedly enforced a blanket ban at "more than one location."

But Hirsch, who represents the 20 Supercuts owned by Management Advantage Group, said no such ban exists and that the suggestion of one is ludicrous because Supercuts' work force is heavily Hispanic.

Hirsch said there is a written policy limiting language other than English.

"The goal of the policy was to speak essentially whatever language you chose in the lunchroom or on breaks, when you're not servicing customers," Hirsch said.

Hirsch questioned why the employees didn't raise concerns until after they left the company.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: eeoc; englishplease; lawsuit; scamlaw
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To: jaydubya2

It is well past the time that an official language -- English -- be declared for the United States.


151 posted on 08/12/2005 9:52:59 AM PDT by mhking (The world needs a wake up call gentlemen...we're gonna phone it in.)
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To: proudofthesouth
Yes my Hubby is Puerto Rican and bilingual but agrees that in this country..its ENGLISH!
152 posted on 08/12/2005 9:53:24 AM PDT by pitinkie (revenge will be sweet)
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To: pitinkie

I am bilingual, but I'm here to tell you that when I do want or need to speak Spanish, it's HARD. Takes a little extra brain power because my mind is wired in English, which is my first language.
When I've gone to Mexico on vacation, I resort to English when I'm just too lazy to speak Spanish or had a few too many margaritas.
So, based on my own experience, I think those who speak Spanish here and refuse to speak/learn English and use it as their first language are like me in Mexico at times--lazy.


153 posted on 08/12/2005 9:57:17 AM PDT by hispanarepublicana (There will be no bad talk or loud talk in this place. CB Stubblefield.)
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To: magnieye
Get over it. We are different and there is nothing wrong with that.

You're right. We are different and there is nothing wrong with that.

What is wrong is the intent of how you use your language. No mater what language is.

It's all about manners and consideration of our local customs. There is too much rudeness and unprofessionalism, when dealing with the public as it is.

Words when used in the right context can make or break a business.

The "I'm entitled to do whatever I want, despite courtesy to others", attitude has run far too rampant in this country.

Btw, you are new to FR. Welcome. And get over it.

154 posted on 08/12/2005 10:17:17 AM PDT by kstewskis ("I don't know what I know, but I know that it's big..." Jerry Fletcher)
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To: Tulane; squirt-gun
Whether first generation immigrants have a hard time assimilating, they for sure may have a very hard time learning to speak English, even if they already read it and write it.

The problem is rather universal among humans. Most of us learn one language well. Some can learn to speak two or more readily, but they are a distinct minority. Some of us are gifted in being able to dicipher what folks with poor English language skills are saying.

The Hispanic people moving up from Latin America face a double-barreled problem. First off, they didn't receive a good education in Spanish. Secondly, their English vocabulary will, in just a few years experience, become far larger than their Spanish vocabulary. In numerous communities this is driving their creation of a creole language we call Spanglish.

That's why I love Reggaeton music from Puerto Rico ~ good beat, quite danceable, and yet, I can understand what they're saying because they use my words!

155 posted on 08/12/2005 10:18:55 AM PDT by muawiyah (/ hey coach do I gotta' put in that "/sarcasm " thing again?)
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To: ozarkgirl
the other girl said about one sentence in perfect English and the rest of the time, only spoke to the other girl in Korean while the rest of us included the polite, young lady in our conversations.

I'll certainly agree with you that the girl in that situation was being rude.

Maybe we're on the same page. I thought that you meant it was rude for people in public to communicate with one antother in foreign languages (even if everyone involved in the conversation spoke the foreigh language).

156 posted on 08/12/2005 10:18:56 AM PDT by Modernman ("A conservative government is an organized hypocrisy." -Disraeli)
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To: hispanarepublicana

I know what you mean...when I travel I always speak English unless I have to speak Spanish (or Russian). That's why I think that First Wave Immigrants assimilate much less quickly than their children do---the children have brains hard-wired (I like your term) in English and Spanish, while the parents grew up speaking only Spanish.


157 posted on 08/12/2005 10:20:02 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: muawiyah

I like that music, too. I wonder, do you feel this whole mess about being "overrun" by a population that "won't" assimilate is a little rediculous? I do. Maybe this is because I remember my grandparents and how they longed for the old country...I remember hearing how much better things were over there...then when I finally went (and I did love it) within two weeks I was ready to come home (and eat a freaking cheeseburger).


158 posted on 08/12/2005 10:23:57 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: Stu Cohen
50 Million years ago the only language that was spoken in the US was Ameoba. I'm not speaking Ameoba.

LOL!

Now, that was funny...

159 posted on 08/12/2005 10:27:13 AM PDT by kstewskis ("I don't know what I know, but I know that it's big..." Jerry Fletcher)
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To: kstewskis

Thank you for the welcome to the board. I have lurked for a while and finally signed up. Didn't mean to cause such a ruckus on my first post.

I agree with you that using my ability to speak Spanish in front of others for the intent of talking about them is rude and should not be tolerated.

More often than not, if I know I am in mixed company, I will speak English in order not to offend the non-Spanish speaker. Often times I do that at the expense of a person who only speaks Spanish. Their loss if they do not speak English.

My point is that we should look at our diversity as a blessing not something to be frowned upon. I agree with others here that after a few generations pass, most Latins will speak exclusively English, though they may retain some of their Latin customs.

I just hope that those who have an alteriror motive (e.g. biggotry) don't get the upper hand just because the wave of immigrants coming in today happen to speak Spanish. Phrases such as "close the borders" and "send them back" should never be in any Americans' vocabulary.


160 posted on 08/12/2005 10:39:59 AM PDT by magnieye (American and Cuban....and proud of both....)
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To: hispanarepublicana

Sounds reasonable..my hubby uses spanish alot in the ER


161 posted on 08/12/2005 10:41:51 AM PDT by pitinkie (revenge will be sweet)
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To: Tulane
My last immigrant ancestor arrived in 1811 ~ we've been spending years and years and years finding out where any of them came from ~ we had absolutely no experience growing up where there was any sort of family immigrant tradition to listen to, or know about other than the tale of an ancestor who stowed away in a featherbed.

I live in an immigrant neighborhood these days ~ even have fellows here who carried rifles against the Russians as children/teenagers in the Afghan war.

Helps me understand some of the Revolutionary War soldiers in the line ~ they were young too ~ 13- 16 ~ young!

They can humble a man ~ as they did Washington at Valley Forge. I have learned a lot about our Founders by listening to current immigrants.

162 posted on 08/12/2005 10:42:43 AM PDT by muawiyah (/ hey coach do I gotta' put in that "/sarcasm " thing again?)
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To: magnieye
My point is that we should look at our diversity as a blessing not something to be frowned upon. I agree with others here that after a few generations pass, most Latins will speak exclusively English, though they may retain some of their Latin customs.

Point well taken. And I'm certain your courtesy goes a long way in wherever you go.

Again, welcome, and I hope you post more often!

163 posted on 08/12/2005 10:46:27 AM PDT by kstewskis ("I don't know what I know, but I know that it's big..." Jerry Fletcher)
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To: muawiyah

You know, I love your post, especially this part:

"They can humble a man ~ as they did Washington at Valley Forge. I have learned a lot about our Founders by listening to current immigrants."

I remember on September 12, 2001, I (like the rest of the country) spent the entire day watching the news. For lunch, I ran across the street to a sandwhich shop to get a quick bite...I chose the restaurant because they have a TV, and I knew everyone would be watching it...

The woman who makes the sandwiches is a hispanic immigrant (probably illegal). She brings her daughter (about 12) to work to translate for her...don't know what I was doing when I was 12, but it sure as hell wasn't going to work with my mom...The kid is about as American as a little kid can get...

Anyway, the woman was crying...I asked the little girl what was wrong...her answer "Momma doesn't understand why anyone would want to hurt this country...it is so kind to everyone."

So, I always think of her when these "immigrants don't assimilate" threads pop up. I know the truth...


164 posted on 08/12/2005 10:49:35 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: Tulane

I know a grown woman who has lived here for 27 years, and cannot speak conversational English at all.

And she finds that she doesn't need to.

She is the mother of a friend.

Many of my neighbors have been my neighbors for years, and still they don't speak a word of English.

It's very difficult communicating with them.

In places like Miami (the former) and LA (the latter), learning English is completely superfluous, and there are tons of people who do not assimilte. I don't know the exact percentage, but it is significant.


165 posted on 08/12/2005 10:56:36 AM PDT by Stu Cohen (Press '1' for English)
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To: chris1

Pre Menstrual Princess Blues
Pre Menstrual Princess Blues
Pre Menstrual Princess Blues!!

S.O.D. Rulez...

Hey Charlie, give me a shot!


166 posted on 08/12/2005 10:58:53 AM PDT by adaven (www.conservative-talk.com)
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To: Stu Cohen

So what???...what do you think little Italy was like circa 1935? Here is a hint, if you spoke English, nobody would understand you.

You must not be reading the other posts...Someone who is from Mexico can live here for 27 years and not learn much English because they will always think of Mexico as their homeland...BIG DEAL...their kids and grandchildren will not feel this way...I guaran-damn-tee it. Most immigrant children (who have been here for any extended period of time) speak English, and that is a fact.


167 posted on 08/12/2005 11:02:18 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: ozarkgirl

I'm not trying to be rude to you, but, in a social setting where what the girl is saying does not involve you it shouldn't matter what language she speaks. In fact, it might be rude for you to want to know what she is talking to her friend about. Saying "No telling what she was saying about us" is very egotistical. It's not always about you, you know?


168 posted on 08/12/2005 11:04:48 AM PDT by T.Smith
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To: magnieye
I just thought of a tangent, but somewhat similar note, as to why many are up in arms about the language issue. Some may or not agree with me.

I don't know if you are Catholic, but when Vatican II insisted on the New Order Mass being conducted in the vernacular instead of Latin, it somewhat disconnected and alienated much of the "Universal" church.

If someone from a visiting country came to Church, it was difficult for them to "worship" in the same way, as their fellow church-goers. In the Latin Mass, I could worship with German, Latino, Italian, Japanese...with anyone...because of the common language.

Many Catholics today still resent the change of that basic element (among other things...see the religion thread someday for that, LOL).

But the point is, if one can't communicate with each other, or understand each other, isolation and/or alienation arises. And as you can see, it can only get uglier from there.

Gotta run, have a great day.

169 posted on 08/12/2005 11:05:20 AM PDT by kstewskis ("I don't know what I know, but I know that it's big..." Jerry Fletcher)
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To: thchronic

Bleearg.


170 posted on 08/12/2005 11:09:35 AM PDT by T.Smith
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To: Tulane
So what???...what do you think little Italy was like circa 1935?

Better question: Why would I care? This isn't Italy circa 1935.

Someone who is from Mexico can live here for 27 years and not learn much English because they will always think of Mexico as their homeland...BIG DEAL...

Why don't they stay in their homeland if they are so fond of the culture?

their kids and grandchildren will not feel this way...I guaran-damn-tee it. Most immigrant children (who have been here for any extended period of time) speak English, and that is a fact.

Oh goodness. If I had a dollar for every gangsta-mobile dirving by a 22 year old I've seen with a Mexican flag hanging off the window ....

171 posted on 08/12/2005 11:12:34 AM PDT by Stu Cohen (Press '1' for English)
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To: Stu Cohen

"Oh goodness. If I had a dollar for every gangsta-mobile dirving by a 22 year old I've seen with a Mexican flag hanging off the window ...."

That, my friend, is borderline racist. I doubt you would say that to someone who has an Irish or Italian flag flying in the back of their truck (and I see those all the time where I live). Secondly, what on earth does a flag hanging out the back of a window have to do with whether the driver can speak English?

Face it, the demographics of this country are changing. If you don't like it, maybe YOU should move to Austrailia.


172 posted on 08/12/2005 11:20:00 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: proudofthesouth

I'd hope every competitor in my business field posts this sign so I can retire before I'm 30.


173 posted on 08/12/2005 11:22:33 AM PDT by youthgonewild
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To: youthgonewild

That's exactly what I was thinking.


174 posted on 08/12/2005 11:26:30 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: Tulane
Face it, the demographics of this country are changing. If you don't like it, maybe YOU should move to Austrailia.

I've got news for you. The vast majority of Americans don't like it, and want our immigration laws enforced.

175 posted on 08/12/2005 11:31:55 AM PDT by teawithmisswilliams (Question Diversity)
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To: teawithmisswilliams

I want them enforced to...guess what chance we have of that happening?

Given the current fact that hispanics have more children anyway, it is only a matter of time...I am quite comfortable with this...it seems some others are not.


176 posted on 08/12/2005 11:33:40 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: Tulane
I want them enforced to...

Then you shouldn't cry "racism" and tell people who object to floods of illegals from Mexico to "move to Australia"...

177 posted on 08/12/2005 11:36:59 AM PDT by teawithmisswilliams (Question Diversity)
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To: Tulane
That, my friend, is borderline racist.

Yawn. I'm a person who doesn't care if he is called "racist". Everybody is racist. What's your point?

I doubt you would say that to someone who has an Irish or Italian flag flying in the back of their truck (and I see those all the time where I live).

If they were here illegally and refused to learn English I most certainly would.

Secondly, what on earth does a flag hanging out the back of a window have to do with whether the driver can speak English?

You said that the younger culture didn't feel that Mexico was their motherland. If that was true, why would they fly a Mexican flag in the U.S.?

Although to their credit, after 9/11, I saw several of them who had attached a little U.S. flag under the giant Mexican flag.

I guess that's "sort of" assimilating.

178 posted on 08/12/2005 11:38:54 AM PDT by Stu Cohen (Press '1' for English)
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To: Stu Cohen

Ooohh, oooh look at me, I don't care if I'm called a racist!

Lol...what a simpleton.

I think it's funny you don't like the flags...some guy driving down the street, blasting his music on his way to work...and you on the corner steemed. I bet it burns you up...hah, hah, hah!

And to clarify, the younger culture that was born here will assimilate and learn English...if they are still proud of their heritage...why would you care?! Hah, hah, hah!!!


179 posted on 08/12/2005 11:43:42 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: teawithmisswilliams

Where did I say anything in that post about illegals...you should learn how to read...


180 posted on 08/12/2005 11:45:03 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: Tulane

I sure hope you are right.


181 posted on 08/12/2005 11:47:44 AM PDT by chris1 ("Make the other guy die for his country" - George S. Patton, Jr.)
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To: Tulane
Ooohh, oooh look at me, I don't care if I'm called a racist!

You either? Wow, we have something in common.

Lol...what a simpleton.

That made no sense.

I think it's funny you don't like the flags...some guy driving down the street, blasting his music on his way to work...and you on the corner steemed. I bet it burns you up...hah, hah, hah!

Nope, but it's notable.

And to clarify, the younger culture that was born here will assimilate and learn English...if they are still proud of their heritage...why would you care?! Hah, hah, hah!!!

Does anyone else find you as hilarious as you find yourself?

182 posted on 08/12/2005 11:48:48 AM PDT by Stu Cohen (Press '1' for English)
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To: Stu Cohen

Stu, you're so cool!


183 posted on 08/12/2005 11:49:40 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: Tulane
Stu, you're so cool!

Thank you.

184 posted on 08/12/2005 11:50:13 AM PDT by Stu Cohen (Press '1' for English)
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To: thchronic

I actually listened to that song in the car today.

"I'm passing clots the size of basketballs"
"Oh you are hungry are you - how bout bloody mary?"


185 posted on 08/12/2005 11:51:06 AM PDT by chris1 ("Make the other guy die for his country" - George S. Patton, Jr.)
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To: Stu Cohen

"Stu"...hmm...I wonder what that is short for?


186 posted on 08/12/2005 11:52:37 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: magnieye

English is the language of business worldwide.
Get over it.
That's the way it is.
People who speak another language and learn English have an advantage.
People who speak English and learn another language... not so much.
Except if they are in import/export or other international business. Which I assume you are.
But as another poster pointed out... all speaking the same language unites us.
Being bilingual is great. But if you're going to live in the USA - one of them should be English.


187 posted on 08/12/2005 11:53:23 AM PDT by Shazolene
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To: magnieye
If it is, we will have to re-educate portions of the South. Since what they speak most of the time with each other cannot even be considered English.

Thanks for that racist, bigoted comment.
188 posted on 08/12/2005 11:54:44 AM PDT by beezdotcom (I'm usually either right or wrong...)
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To: Shazolene

I think we all agree learning English should be a prerequisite for people...

That stated, I think people are overreacting a bit to first generation immigrants inability/lack of desire to learn English as a sign that the particular culture will never assimilate...that view ignores reality and what has happened with every other culture that has come here.


189 posted on 08/12/2005 11:55:59 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: Tulane
"Stu"...hmm...I wonder what that is short for?

Why do you wonder?

190 posted on 08/12/2005 11:56:11 AM PDT by Stu Cohen (Press '1' for English)
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To: Stu Cohen

Does "pid" go on the other end of it?


191 posted on 08/12/2005 11:57:35 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: Tulane
Does "pid" go on the other end of it?

Is that the best you could come up with?

192 posted on 08/12/2005 11:58:40 AM PDT by Stu Cohen (Press '1' for English)
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To: Stu Cohen

I note you failed to answer the question...interesting.


193 posted on 08/12/2005 12:00:08 PM PDT by Tulane
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To: Tulane
I note you failed to answer the question...interesting.

The answer is no. "pid" does not go at the end of it.

194 posted on 08/12/2005 12:00:57 PM PDT by Stu Cohen (Press '1' for English)
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To: Stu Cohen

I see. For the record then, what about "pidmotherfecker?"


195 posted on 08/12/2005 12:03:12 PM PDT by Tulane
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To: jaydubya2

I find the signs in miami which have "se habla ingles" to be more offensive.

Particularly in a state which has a constitutional amendment making English officially the language of the state.


196 posted on 08/12/2005 12:03:23 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: Tulane
I see. For the record then, what about "pidmotherfecker?"

No.

197 posted on 08/12/2005 12:04:39 PM PDT by Stu Cohen (Press '1' for English)
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To: longtermmemmory

Why is that offensive? They are welcoming English speakers, are they not?


198 posted on 08/12/2005 12:05:16 PM PDT by Tulane
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To: Stu Cohen

An so we are clear, what about "pidbastard?"


199 posted on 08/12/2005 12:06:07 PM PDT by Tulane
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To: Tulane
An so we are clear, what about "pidbastard?"

Just go back to "racist" and I'll pretend to care. It will save you the trouble of coming up with something clever.

200 posted on 08/12/2005 12:07:23 PM PDT by Stu Cohen (Press '1' for English)
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