I have no particular love for our southern neighbors. As far as I'm concerned Mexico is a Third World toilet that is backing up and overflowing the border. Speaking of the border, we should fence the sucker and mine the perimeters. That isn't just a lot of hype, it's what I believe. Finally, we should start rounding up the illegals and send 'em back where they came from (that applies to non Hispanics also). Let's start with the violent felons, they'll keep the authorities busy for a few years. By that time "Juan & Maria" will have smelled the coffee and either got themselves legal or headed back home. Hasta luego and sionara sweetheart!
But some things are wrong no matter who they're directed at. This falls under that heading. Found this at Drudge. FWIW I think the hotel owner is an idiot;
Hotel owner tells Hispanic workers to change names
By MELANIE DABOVICH
TAOS, N.M. (AP) - 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. (No more brains either, evidently.)
Whitten's management style had worked for him as he's turned around other distressed hotels he bought in recent years across the country. (Yep, so did the "management style" of Attila the Hun. But it isn't taught in to many business schools.)
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. (Ever notice how bleeding heart libs ALWAYS make that point?)
"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. (Sounds like he stepped on said landmine, actually more like a flying knee drop on the sucker.)
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. (Well, stupid is as stupid does. No argument there.)
The Virginia-born Whitten had spent 40 years in the hotel business, turning around more than 20 hotels in Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and South Carolina, before moving with his wife to Taos from Abilene, Texas. He had visited Taos before, and liked its beauty. When Whitten saw that the Paragon Inn was up for sale, he jumped at it.
The hotel sits along narrow, two-lane Paseo del Pueblo, where souped-up lowriders radiate a just-waxed gleam in the soft sunshine as they cruise past centuries-old adobe buildings. One recent afternoon, a woman slowly rode her fat-tire bicycle along a cracked sidewalk, oversized purple butterfly wings on her back and a breeze blowing her long, blonde dreadlocks.
The community includes Taos Pueblo, an American Indian dwelling inhabited for over 1,000 years, and an adobe Catholic church made famous in a Georgia O'Keeffe painting.
After he arrived, Whitten met with the employees. He says he immediately noticed that they were hostile to his management style and worried they might start talking about him in Spanish.(Can you say "insecure and paranoid"? Does speaking English insure they won't badmouth him or just that they won't do it in his hearing?)
"Because of that, I asked the people in my presence to speak only English because I do not understand Spanish," Whitten says. "I've been working 24 years in Texas and we have a lot of Spanish people there. I've never had to ask anyone to speak only English in front of me because I've never had a reason to."
Some employees were fired, Whitten says, because they were hostile and insubordinate. He says they called him "a white (N-word)." (Shoulda documented it. But "hostile and insubordinate" is justifiable grounds for firing by themselves. Trying to gussy it up with an unsubstantiated accusation won't help. If they actually said that and he can't prove it, he should just let it ride.)
Fired hotel manager Kathy Archuleta says the workers initially tried to adjust to his style. "We had already gone through four or five owners before him, so we knew what to expect," Archuleta says. "I told (the workers) we needed to give him a chance."
Then Whitten told some employees he was changing their Spanish first names. (This is asinine) Whitten says it's a routine practice at his hotels to change first names of employees who work the front desk phones or deal directly with guests if their names are difficult to understand or pronounce.
"It has nothing to do with racism. I'm not doing it for any reason other than for the satisfaction of my guests, because people calling from all over America don't know the Spanish accents or the Spanish culture or Spanish anything," Whitten says. (Wait a second. While what he says might be true, how likely is it that a hotel in a town of 5,000, sitting on a two-lane road, is going to get a large amount of clientele from out of town?)
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. (Sounds like both of them were proving their stupidity here.)
"I don't have to change my name and language or heritage," he says. "I'm professional the way I am." (True enough.)
After the firings, the New Mexico chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, a national civil rights group, sent Whitten a letter, raising concerns about treatment of Hispanic workers. Whitten says he sent them a letter and posted messages on the hotel marquee, alleging that the group referred to him with a racial slur. LULAC denied the charge. (Again, he should be able to show some sort of objective proof if he makes these charges.)
The messages and comments he made in interviews with local media, including referring to townsfolk as "mountain people" and "potheads who escaped society," further enflamed tensions. (Not really trying to fit in, is he? Not a smart move for a businessman.)
Taos Mayor Darren Cordova says Whitten wasn't doing anything illegal.(Just stupid.) But he says Whitten failed to better familiarize himself with the town and its culture before deciding to buy the hotel for $2 million. "Taos is so unique that you would not do anything in Taos that you would do elsewhere," he says.
Whitten grew subdued as a two-hour interview with The Associated Press progressed. He said he was sorry for the misunderstanding and insisted he has never been against any culture.
"What kind of fool or idiot or poor businessman would I be to orchestrate this whole crazy thing that's costed me a lot of time, money and aggravation?" Whitten said. (Ding! The little light is going on upstairs.)
Whitten should have dealt with the situation differently, especially in a majority Hispanic town, said 71-year-old Taos artist Ken O'Neil, while sipping his afternoon coffee on the town's historic plaza.
"To make demands like he did just seems over the top," he says. "Nobody won here. It's not always about winning. Sometimes, it's about what you learn." (True enough)
I used to hear the charge of, "they're just talking about us and don't want us to know it) concerning Filipinos when I was in the Navy. Might have been true for all I know. But my take has always been that if someone is badmouthing me yet insuring I'm unaware of it in this fashion, that person only proves their own cowardice. It's proven to everyone who knows what the Hell is going on and reflects badly only on the fool speaking a language I don't understand.
As far as speaking to another native of their home country, why the hell not talk in a manner you both find comfortable?
And the change of first names is just idiotic. I say this as someone who has fought all his life for people to properly pronounce my last name. I've plenty of extended family that just gave up and tolerate the mispronunciations that occur. Whatever. My name is a part of me and will be used properly. Therefore I kinda identify with the workers who got their backs up over that one.