Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Hotel Owner to Workers: No Spanish!
AP ^ | Monday 10/26/09 | MELANIE DABOVICH

Posted on 10/26/2009 1:20:09 PM PDT by DogByte6RER

Hotel Owner to Workers: No Spanish!

By MELANIE DABOVICH, AP

TAOS, N.M. (Oct. 26) -- Larry Whitten marched into this northern New Mexico town in late July on a mission: resurrect a failing hotel.

The tough-talking former Marine immediately laid down some new rules. Among them, he forbade the Hispanic workers at the run-down, Southwestern adobe-style hotel from speaking Spanish in his presence (he thought they'd be talking about him), and ordered some to Anglicize their names.

No more Martin (Mahr-TEEN). It was plain-old Martin. No more Marcos. Now it would be Mark.

Whitten's management style had worked for him as he's turned around other distressed hotels he bought in recent years across the country.

The 63-year-old Texan, however, wasn't prepared for what followed.

His rules and his firing of several Hispanic employees angered his employees and many in this liberal enclave of 5,000 residents at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, where the most alternative of lifestyles can find a home and where Spanish language, culture and traditions have a long and revered history.

"I came into this landmine of Anglos versus Spanish versus Mexicans versus Indians versus everybody up here. I'm just doing what I've always done," he says.

Former workers, their relatives and some town residents picketed across the street from the hotel.

"I do feel he's a racist, but he's a racist out of ignorance. He doesn't know that what he's doing is wrong," says protester Juanito Burns Jr., who identified himself as prime minister of an activist group called Los Brown Berets de Nuevo Mexico.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.aol.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: New Mexico
KEYWORDS: aliens; culturewar; diversity; hotel; immigrantlist; immigratation; latinosmadagain; multicult; newmexico; taos
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-56 next last
The Whitten Inn (formerly The Paragon Inn) looks like a nice place to stay:

http://taosguide.com/businesses/view/164

http://www.paragoninntaos.com/

1 posted on 10/26/2009 1:20:10 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER
"I do feel he's a racist, but he's a racist out of ignorance. He doesn't know that what he's doing is wrong," says protester Juanito Burns Jr., who identified himself as prime minister of an activist group called Los Brown Berets de Nuevo Mexico.

Wonder how many non-hispanics in that group!

2 posted on 10/26/2009 1:22:02 PM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

A YouTube video link of the protesters...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxQNjK8B5B4


3 posted on 10/26/2009 1:22:11 PM PDT by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: DogByte6RER

bump for later


5 posted on 10/26/2009 1:27:51 PM PDT by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: guerito1

I do see an issue about anglicizing names in New Mexico though. Some conservative friends of mine in that state will go by their American parents given names that are in fact Spanish, like Pedro or Marcos. The no Spanish in front of him, and the guests I assume, though is right on.


6 posted on 10/26/2009 1:31:01 PM PDT by aft_lizard (Barack Obama is Hugo Chavez's poodle.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER

So what if the workers is named Jesus?


7 posted on 10/26/2009 1:31:52 PM PDT by NC28203
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER

I just love these people who belong to groups called the “brown” this or that, calling other people “racist.”


8 posted on 10/26/2009 1:33:28 PM PDT by Nea Wood (Silly liberal . . . paychecks are for workers!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER
The problem is now endemic in business. As more recent immigrants decide to reverse the process - namely its for the English speakers to learn Spanish, Polish, or what not.
I see actual regression as the hapless fools start the ‘Tony Randall’ method of foreign pronunciation. Rather than use the English pronunciation of the foreign word I am daily faced with listening to someone on the other end of the telephone gutturally spitting out some southern Mexican dialect.
9 posted on 10/26/2009 1:37:06 PM PDT by Hans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER

I can’t say I agree 100% with the gentleman’s tactics.

That said, isn’t that the point of freedom?

He’s free to run his hotel as he sees fit.

His employees are free to abide by his rules or seek employment elsewhere.

The townspeople are free to not stay there if they choose not to.

Once upon a time, before the rise of the perpetual victim and his cheerleading squad, this issue would have been resolved by reward with more business, or punishment with less.


10 posted on 10/26/2009 1:37:14 PM PDT by chrisser (Tweet not, lest ye a twit be.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER

Any analysis of why this hotel failed when neighboring hotels with, presumably, their own Mar-teens didn’t? Whatever else was wrong, maybe this spot, which touts a long standing old fashioned Hispanic charm from yesteryear, wasn’t the best place to try to turn a hotel into a piece of white bread. I hope Whitten figures out how to make lemonade out of this lemon. Maybe bringing in a co-owner who is bilingual to be with him, tell him what is being said, and teach him the language would make sense. Not every single solitary occurrence of Hispanic culture in the US is a pestilence, as long as they are willing to cooperate with English speakers.


11 posted on 10/26/2009 1:40:26 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (ACORN: Absolute Criminal Organization of Reprobate Nuisances)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: guerito1

Your company will now cater largely to Islamic clientele. You don’t mind losing your English name and taking the name Mohammed, do you? I mean, if you don’t like your company’s management style, you’re just a hyper sensitive clown, right?


12 posted on 10/26/2009 1:42:52 PM PDT by dmz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER
Martin Gutierrez, another fired employee, says he felt disrespected when he was told to use the unaccented Martin as his name. He says he told Whitten that Spanish was spoken in New Mexico before English. "He told me he didn't care what I thought because this was his business," Gutierrez says.

Yes and Indian was spoken thousands of years before you came along. What's your point?

13 posted on 10/26/2009 1:43:23 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Deficit spending, trade deficits, unsecure mortages, worthless paper... ... not a problem. Oh yeah?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: chrisser

I can totally see the ‘no speaking spanish’ with the customers. However, changing Marcos to Mark? That’s just silly. Marteen? Does he have a problem with french speakers too?


14 posted on 10/26/2009 1:43:59 PM PDT by BenKenobi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: chrisser

He’s certainly free to try to run the hotel that way, but if the cats just won’t herd his way and he gets enough public grief then he may just have to cut his losses.

Taos (as well as many another charming spot in New Mexico, which some people famously do not believe is part of the USA) was Hispanic way before it was cool to be Hispanic. It is arguably an exception to the P.C. rule of reconquista.


15 posted on 10/26/2009 1:45:20 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (ACORN: Absolute Criminal Organization of Reprobate Nuisances)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: chrisser

Exactly right.


16 posted on 10/26/2009 1:46:51 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Deficit spending, trade deficits, unsecure mortages, worthless paper... ... not a problem. Oh yeah?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER
looks like a nice place to stay:

Brown Berets and low riders? Sure...lol..

I do feel he's a racist, protester Juanito Burns Jr., who identified himself as prime minister of an activist group called Los Brown Berets de Nuevo Mexico.

The hotel sits along narrow, two-lane Paseo del Pueblo, where souped-up lowriders cruise past centuries-old adobe buildings.

17 posted on 10/26/2009 1:48:01 PM PDT by dragnet2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER
It's not like he's requiring them to learn Mandarin. It's English. In America. Making people change their name is stupid and over the top, and will only hurt his business.
18 posted on 10/26/2009 1:50:13 PM PDT by Republic of Texas (Socialism Always Fails)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HiTech RedNeck

If people wish to go to all those other hotels, they still can. If they wish for something a bit different, then they can come to this guy’s hotel.

Isn’t that how the market place works?

“A piece of White Breat...” Good grief fella, are you going to adopt La Raza’s vernacular now?

This is the United States. On our local news, the Hispanics have gone to speaking Hispanic names and phrases in as foreign a sounding way as is humanly possible. They are replacing our culture with their own in the public arena.

It really doesn’t add much to the presentation. It’s more distracting than anything. Like it or not, this is the U.S., and Westernized ways of pronouncing Spanish is not evil. It’s normal.

On Mexican soil, they butcher English words too. They should pronounce those words by their own cultural standards. So should we. Martin is the customary way to pronounce Marteen in an English speaking culture. Our culture here in the U.S. is English driven.


19 posted on 10/26/2009 1:55:21 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Deficit spending, trade deficits, unsecure mortages, worthless paper... ... not a problem. Oh yeah?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Republic of Texas

It is my experience that when someone is speaking in a another languge within earshot, they are talking about you. You should have seen a former coworker’s face when he realized that my Italian is very close to his Spanish. He then switched to Haitian Creole. It never occured to the idiot that my name is the same in many languages.


20 posted on 10/26/2009 1:57:12 PM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Republic of Texas

It could be a plus point here, in a town that prides itself upon its new world Spanish history, to keep Spanish names with a reasonable number of syllables. On the other hand you can see the point if it was a fellow from India with a name like Rajmarananathan or a Central American Indian with a name like Xacataltaqa. It would be easier for callers if their phone names were, say, Roger or Jack.


21 posted on 10/26/2009 2:00:46 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (ACORN: Absolute Criminal Organization of Reprobate Nuisances)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne

Taos sells the Hispanic New World ambience. I’ve actually BEEN there. You’re free to try to sell, say, ping-pong in a baseball town, but don’t complain if you flop.


22 posted on 10/26/2009 2:03:32 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (ACORN: Absolute Criminal Organization of Reprobate Nuisances)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER

If it’s true about his “fear” of them speaking about him (in Spanish), I’ve got news for him, you BET they’ll be talking about him, it’s called human nature!

I was raised speaking Spanish, I’d sure like a shot at managing that hotel. They could use their proper names, they could speak Spanish but the rule would be not in front of guests (I don’t care in front of me, big deal) because there is the age-old assumption that they are “talking about you” (likely about the weather and their kids more than anything, like everybody else). Common courtesy stuff.

Don’t know what the problem with the hotel is, maybe guests were not feeling comfortable there beause of a rising racial territorial thing that I’m seeing everywhere. Too much pride getting in the way of good business practices.

I would play off of their good manners (it they have any, surely they do), reward employees that are friendly, efficient and use their good ideas to give them some “ownership”, darn Larry, sort of a hard edge there buddy, soften up a bit, smile, observe, bring them into the business.


23 posted on 10/26/2009 2:04:38 PM PDT by brushcop (SFC Sallie, CPL Long, LTHarris, SSG Brown, PVT Simmons KIA OIF lll&V, they died for you, honor them)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER
This story quotes all these people from Hispanic community groups as saying the Spanish speaking employees of the failing hotel were all treated unfairly because they were Spanish speaking. If this guy had been successful at turning around failing hotels in the past he couldn’t be so stupid as to deliberately antagonize his staff over minor things. It is far more persuasive to say you were fired because you were Spanish speaking and the owner is a racist then to say you were fired for stealing, insubordination or being incompetent. These workers made the hotel a big money loser. I know people in the hotel business, employee theft is a big problem.
This guy does not want to create controversy, no businessman does. That’s why they are so easy to push around. They always want to avoid trouble.
Activist groups like the brown berets need controversy to survive, they try to create controversy. The MSM loves controversy. This is what is probably going on.
24 posted on 10/26/2009 2:07:33 PM PDT by detective
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER

Spanish is the language of the conquistadors. Any “Hispanic” with any sense of pride should only speak Quechua or another native language. Especially at job interviews.


25 posted on 10/26/2009 2:10:41 PM PDT by Random Access
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: chrisser

Yep. They can speak whatever jibberish they want off the clock. He is not telling them how to live their lives.... only what he expects of them at work.


26 posted on 10/26/2009 2:16:25 PM PDT by envisio
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: detective

For a Marine it would be difficult to compromise on running the place like an army (or should I say a battleship?) down to every last detail including what they call each hand.

It is a shame if the fooferaw over this has obscured more substantial difficulties like theft and wasting work time.


27 posted on 10/26/2009 2:20:14 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (ACORN: Absolute Criminal Organization of Reprobate Nuisances)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: 2banana
LOL, bet it doesn't take long to count them!!
28 posted on 10/26/2009 2:20:30 PM PDT by org.whodat (Vote: Chuck De Vore in 2012.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER

Requiring speaking English is one thing, but requiring people to change their names is ridiculous.


29 posted on 10/26/2009 2:25:46 PM PDT by Unam Sanctam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER
"I do feel he's a racist, but he's a racist out of ignorance. He doesn't know that what he's doing is wrong," says protester Juanito Burns Jr., who identified himself as prime minister of an activist group called Los Brown Berets de Nuevo Mexico.

Sounds like John Burns Jr fancies himself as the prime minister of the PC Thought Police.

30 posted on 10/26/2009 2:27:28 PM PDT by Azzurri
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HiTech RedNeck

This language issue is elementary, our Country’s “Official” language is the same as the language that it was born under via the Declaration of Independance, Constitution and Billof Rights.

People speaking routinely in any other language are simply rude, tourists or have no legal reason for being here. Duh.


31 posted on 10/26/2009 2:28:38 PM PDT by Your6
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: HiTech RedNeck

Is his hotel flopping? I mean the reports are that activist groups are flocking on his hotel like a hornet’s nest, to be sure. Still, it sounds like most of his employees stayed on. They weren’t so infuriated as to denigrate him across the board.

Perhaps they realized his method might pay off and they would still have jobs long into the future.

This sounds for all the world like an attempt to black-ball the guy who tried something different.

At this point the question is, will his hotel flop on it’s own, or will it flop because the usual suspect Hispanic activist groups assassinated the owner’s and there-by the hotel’s reputation.

Perhaps he should just promise $10 million or so to these complainer groups so they’ll go away, like Jessie Jackson always does after payouts.


32 posted on 10/26/2009 2:28:46 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Deficit spending, trade deficits, unsecure mortages, worthless paper... ... not a problem. Oh yeah?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: NC28203

That’s easy, they’ll just call him Barack...wait, that might be too ethnic still


33 posted on 10/26/2009 2:32:04 PM PDT by GauchoUSA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER

He should demonstrate his thanks to the good folks of Taos by padlocking the joint.


34 posted on 10/26/2009 2:32:12 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Ram "Health Care Reform" down our throats in '09, and we'll ram it up your @ss in '10.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER

Like others have said before me on this thread, requiring the workers to speak English does not bother me. Requiring the workers to use Anglicized names is over the top (not to mention insulting to the staff, I’m sure). For example, I know a couple of members of the cleaning staff where I work, and I certainly don’t call José “Joe” or Francisco “Frank.”


35 posted on 10/26/2009 2:41:27 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Barack Hussein Obama: the country's greatest firearms salesman!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Unam Sanctam

so he asked folks with difficult names, who deal with the public to use a version of their names people can pronounce and understand. so? it’s HIS business.


36 posted on 10/26/2009 2:44:22 PM PDT by tioga
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne

I don’t know if “most” did or didn’t stay there.

It’s certainly complicated by the presence of the protesters. Whitten does not appear bent on hearing them out any time soon. If they do demand payola for silence like Jesse Jackson does, we know they didn’t really care about the character of the town but about the grease on their palms.

There are other things like the suffering economy that also complicate the situation. Maybe Taos simply has too many hotels now.


37 posted on 10/26/2009 2:44:45 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (ACORN: Absolute Criminal Organization of Reprobate Nuisances)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER

He’s not racist for requiring workers to Americanize their names. His only crime is that he’s a small player.

When I call up Dell customer support and get an obvious fake name from someone in India, is Dell racist for having made the offshore workers adopt American names?

International hotel chains are even worse. To make international travelers more comfortable (or just easier to call their waiter by name), they make foreign employees who deal with the public adopt fake Western names. Isn’t it more racist for an imperialistic Western multinational to go to, say, Beijing and tell employees that they can’t even use their own names in their own country?


38 posted on 10/26/2009 2:47:09 PM PDT by Rybashka
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER
Hotel Owner to Workers: No Spanish!

Just say no!

39 posted on 10/26/2009 2:48:53 PM PDT by Altura Ct.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: envisio

Yep. They can speak whatever jibberish they want off the clock. He is not telling them how to live their lives.... only what he expects of them at work.


This is a good point....I think many have missed. He is requiring them to speak English while on duty....not off duty.

You can bet, even with the liberal, Spanish-background community of Taos....that most of their clientele speak only English...not Spanish. Reality is that most areas where Spanish is spoken are the least advanced economically


40 posted on 10/26/2009 2:50:46 PM PDT by UCFRoadWarrior (The Return of America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: UCFRoadWarrior

Is it liberal or conservative to keep a town looking and sounding a lot like it did in centuries past in order to bring in sightseers?

(Though to be consistent, the protesters should be riding horses, not Harleys)


41 posted on 10/26/2009 3:01:29 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (ACORN: Absolute Criminal Organization of Reprobate Nuisances)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne
On our local news, the Hispanics have gone to speaking Hispanic names and phrases in as foreign a sounding way as is humanly possible.

Drives me nuts. Just address them in the same ridiculous accent they themselves use.

A local AM station here hired a new traffic chica named Nicole Huerta, which she pronounced "Neecoweta". If I ever meet her, that's what I'm using.

42 posted on 10/26/2009 3:08:23 PM PDT by Spirochete (Texas is an anagram for Taxes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Spirochete

When I was a young kid, I was a service station attendant for a short period of time. My friend and I still laugh about this to this day, but drivers would pull up saying, “filegula”. It was a shortened Hispanic way to say, “Fill it with regular.”

I know what you mean about run-on names. It’s funny. Neecoweta... Heh heh heh...


43 posted on 10/26/2009 3:15:07 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Deficit spending, trade deficits, unsecure mortages, worthless paper... ... not a problem. Oh yeah?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: NC28203

“So what if the workers is named Jesus?”

Chaw.


44 posted on 10/26/2009 3:23:43 PM PDT by Cyman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Your6

Exactly. Notice that all of the ex-employees actually COULD speak English. He is totally right in assuming they are up to no good speaking Spanish in front of him...especially when they were so hostile from the beginning.


45 posted on 10/26/2009 3:33:52 PM PDT by Jerry Attrick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Spirochete

I remember back when Nicaragua was communist all the newscasters would pronounce it Nee-rah-wah, yet they would call Paris Paris, not Pah-ree, Italy as Italy not Ee-tall-yah.

It was so hypocritical.

Ed


46 posted on 10/26/2009 5:02:14 PM PDT by Sir_Ed
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: DogByte6RER
I can only fault this guy on one thing: failure to learn Spanish, and keeping it a secret.

Communications with customers is paramount in a service establishment.

If he opened a Chinese restaurant, and expected his customers to be mostly Chinese, he has the absolute right to demand that his employees speak Chinese on the job.

I notice that the invaders are claiming "disrespect."
Another third world hellhole strategy...

47 posted on 10/26/2009 5:15:14 PM PDT by Publius6961 (…he's not America, he's an employee who hasn't risen to minimal expectations.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NC28203
So what if the workers is named Jesus?

Most latins named Jesus who choose to anglicize their names go for "Jess."

48 posted on 10/26/2009 5:16:43 PM PDT by Publius6961 (…he's not America, he's an employee who hasn't risen to minimal expectations.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: dmz
Give me a break.
What a juvenile argument!
49 posted on 10/26/2009 5:17:56 PM PDT by Publius6961 (…he's not America, he's an employee who hasn't risen to minimal expectations.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: HiTech RedNeck
Taos sells the Hispanic New World ambience. I’ve actually BEEN there.

Many of us have been there. So what?

The ambience is the town, not the hotel where you choose to be comfortable. Arguing that the locals are upset is so lame. I have never in my entire life stayed at a hotel in the town or city where I live. I don't see many locals as customers.

50 posted on 10/26/2009 5:21:51 PM PDT by Publius6961 (…he's not America, he's an employee who hasn't risen to minimal expectations.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-56 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson