Office Depot: Let the Paper-Clip Boycott Begin!
I became aware of Office Depot's English-only policy regarding its employees not only through New Times ("Remember: The Customer Is Always American," December 7), but also through confirmation by some of that firm's employees who also happen to be patients of mine.
I personally consider English-only rules offensive to both my Hispanic community and heritage; they're also an insult to the diversity of a South Florida community that enriches everybody's lives. Perhaps Office Depot can learn from our small, humble neurology group in this matter. Not only are all languages spoken freely at our offices, but furthermore, all employees are considered for all positions on the basis of their qualifications and abilities without regard to race, color, gender, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status, political affiliation, or disability.
I encourage the management at Office Depot to reconsider its position regarding an English-only policy. Until the company does so, I have instructed our office manager not to do business with Office Depot.
Enrique J. Carrazana, M.D.
Office Depot: A Policy Worthy of Praise
New Times should publish the address of the president of Office Depot so I could write him a big letter of appreciation for his English-only policy.
Last week I was in Kmart in the Coral Gables area and asked the clerk where a certain department was. The reply was, "Sorry, I don't speak English."
I was amazed that someone like him would have been placed in a position where he would have customer contact. Granted, he was in a predominantly Spanish-speaking area, but what kind of crap is that? I walked out of the store without buying anything.
This is not meant to be an anti-immigrant diatribe (I am an immigrant myself), but if people from Africa, Vietnam, India, and France can take the time to learn English, why can't Cubans and other speakers of Spanish do the same? If one is trying but is not fluent, that is fine. But it is sad to not even try just because you have enough power that you have made Miami essentially a Latin city.
Am American going to Cuba and expecting to encounter English speakers everywhere he went would be considered arrogant. Why is the reverse not also true?
Editor's note: Office Depot's chief executive officer is David Fuente. His mailing address is 2200 Old Germantown Rd., Delray, FL 33445.
Office Depot: Take Your Money and Your Spanish and Get the Hell Outta Here
I never thought I would be writing to your outstanding newspaper, but this one is a must. I am furious, angry, upset, and pissed off at the author of the letter titled "You Know That Phrase...Money Talks" ("Letters," December 21) regarding Office Depot's language policy. How dare this nameless person be so ungrateful and disrespectful of the gringos who allowed him and his family to come and live in this land.
This has been the greatest country this world has ever known, no thanks to him and his kind. They came up here just a few years ago to reap the benefits of this great society. The result of this immigration has been devastating. Crime, taxes, unemployment, lack of housing, Spanglish -- I could go on and on. Unspeakable acts committed by a large number of these lowlifes have turned this place into a war zone.
As far as people who brought their own money, let me say just this: We did not need it, we could have lived without it, they should have stayed in their own countries with their money and tried to change their systems. Instead they moved here and in a short period of time tried to change a system that has worked just fine over the past 200 years.
I suggest that this nameless creature take his belongings, his family, and as many of his friends as possible back to whatever hole he and the rest of them crawled out of. Believe me, this country will not miss him or his kind, and will still remain a great nation.
Office Depot: The Right Makes White
Sandra Baksys's letter to the editor expressing approval of Office Depot's English-only policy reads like the ravings of a true paranoid and xenophobe ("Letters," December 14). What is behind all this nonsense about English-only laws, English-first policies, and anti-immigrant legislation?
On the one hand, it is a bunch of paranoid idiots who jump to prejudiced (not to mention downright racist) conclusions that people speaking another language must be talking about English speakers. But more seriously it results from a cleverly concealed scapegoating of people who haven't assimilated into the "American way."
We have been told that nonnative groups are responsible for overcrowded schools, crime, and economic recession. Now we are told that they hurt the feelings of English-speaking customers. A few years ago such scapegoating was the sole province of the right wing's lunatic fringe. Today, however, attacks on immigrants and nonnative English speakers can be found everywhere A even in the pages of New Times.
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Is it any wonder a miserly state government that has been slashing spending for social services and education is let off the hook while immigrants and nonnative English speakers are blamed for problems they did not create? Is it any wonder that racist trash like the KKK would feel confident enough to hold a meeting here in November because, in their view, Miami is becoming a Third World country? With letters like Baksys's, it's no wonder at all.
But the problem goes much deeper. It rests in a society in which the far right has become accepted as the mainstream. Vicious diatribes against minorities are now hidden under respectable concerns for the rights of English-only speakers who, as Baksys puts it, "bend over backward to accommodate dozens of transplanted nationalities and their linguistic preferences." Worse yet, laws and policies against linguistic minorities further legitimize scapegoating and racism.
This new trend in South Florida has already gone too far. It is time that anti-racists of all colors, nationalities, and languages fight back against the tide. Resisting laws and policies against immigrants and nonnative English speakers is one way of doing so.