Watch Your Language! Pt. 1

In virtually the same month, two stories dealing with foreigners and language have roused the semi-lukewarm interests of Canadians.

In Calgary, a woman/man/thing named Barrey Whiteley wrote an angry letter to the Calgary Herald newspaper about how she/he/it didn’t like other people speaking a language to each other that wasn’t in English. Here’s the insane rambling in its entirety (WARNING: some brain cells might die):

Being patriotic labels you a racist. I was at Westbrook Mall waiting for a dentist appointment in the food court area. Three obviously almost deaf Italian-or Spanish-speaking men were speaking their native language loudly. I walked up and asked if they were Canadian citizens. They all said yes (in English).

I then asked them if they could please speak English. They asked me why. I said being a Canadian means speaking English or French; Canada is bilingual only.

They shrugged their shoulders.

I went back to my coffee. Not 10 seconds later, they started speaking their language again. I got up and yelled, “You want to speak your language, go back to your country.” Two security guards approached me and said these men come there almost every day, and they can speak whatever language they want.

I yelled at them, “You are obviously immigrants that don’t remember why you came to Canada; to start a new life, you two did.” They then asked me to leave. I said phone the cops, I have a dentist appointment. I then went to my appointment.

It’s almost illegal to be patriotic. Canada needs language police. Go figure, eh?

Barry Whiteley, Calgary

Where to start? There’s a million different things wrong with Barry’s letter.

Let’s go over this line-per-line, shall we?

Being patriotic labels you a racist.

First of all, no it doesn’t. Saying or doing racist or ignorant things about or towards another person or judging them solely on their ethnic or racial looks or colour labels you as racist because it is racist. Barry, this . . . person (girl or guy or thing) is fucking fundamentally stupid, and has no idea what patriotism even is. He/she/it is using patriotism as a pathetic excuse to hide his/her/its paranoid xenophobic delusions.

I was at Westbrook Mall waiting for a dentist appointment in the food court area. Three obviously almost deaf Italian-or Spanish-speaking men were speaking their native language loudly. I walked up and asked if they were Canadian citizens. They all said yes (in English).

How were they “obviously deaf” when they all heard you? Clearly you’re blind. And why’s it her/his/its business if they were Canadian citizens or not? Was it really the language that was at fault, or was it in fact the loud talking? Even if they were talking loudly, so what? What if it was already loud in the food court? By other people or by music? IT’S A FUCKING MALL!!! And wasn’t she/he/it waiting for the dentist. Don’t they have waiting rooms?!

(Personally, I’m sick of people speaking in their native language softly, quietly, or when they don’t use it when they’re speaking to each other even though both speak the same language. They don’t have to be loud, but to do it softly . . . it’s like as if they’re ashamed of being themselves for some reason. Why? Because of people like this psychotic lady/lad/thing, that’s why! The occasional snoopy and OBVIOUSLY deranged asshole who is scared of anything alien to them!)

I then asked them if they could please speak English. They asked me why.”

First of all, yeah, lady. Why? What’s her/his/her business? She’s/he’s/it’s on her/his/its way elsewhere, and they’re talking to each other!

“I said being a Canadian means speaking English or French; Canada is bilingual only.

They shrugged their shoulders.

Because they all had one thing on their minds: What’s wrong with this stupid fucker? So what if Canada is bilingual? Even so, that’s only a requirement for the government to provide services in both French and English, because the majority of people speak English and French is the second-most spoken language in the country. Bilingualism isn’t mandatory, especially to allophones, to the privacy of your own home, or when you’re talking to people who speak the same language as you do.

“I went back to my coffee.”

Wait, I thought she/he/it was waiting for her/his/its dentist? Okay, now I’m calling bullshit on the whole dentist appointment thing. You don’t think that drinking coffee before even seeing your dentist would be a bad idea?

“Not 10 seconds later, they started speaking their language again. I got up and yelled, ‘You want to speak your language, go back to your country.’ Two security guards approached me and said these men come there almost every day, and they can speak whatever language they want.”

The security guards were right. These guys can speak whatever fucking language they want to each other, you xenophobic piece of shit! Why? Because that’s their right to. Immigrant or not. They’re engaged in a private conversation, and usually it’s the kind that is none of her/his/its fucking business. What’re they going to do? Blow up the Calgary Tower, which is something no one cares about anymore (Canada’s penis is really in Toronto)? And clearly you are fucking insane, because you’re yelling at a couple of non-whites, telling them to go back to their own country, because they’re not speaking English, as if they’re somehow going to let you in on their private conversation, or according to your demented mindset, their terrorist plot. That’s why security was called. You were causing problems for people and harassing them over absolutely nothing.

“I yelled at them, ‘You are obviously immigrants that don’t remember why you came to Canada; to start a new life, you two did.’ They then asked me to leave. I said phone the cops, I have a dentist appointment. I then went to my appointment.”

Again, you’re a stupid liar. They didn’t tell you they’re phoning the cops. They asked you to leave. And since they came here to start a new life, doesn’t that include something like freedom? The freedom to speak whatever language you fucking want? Go figure, eh? And now there’s only two guys? Wait, I thought there three of them!

“It’s almost illegal to be patriotic. Canada needs language police. Go figure, eh?”

You weren’t being patriotic. You didn’t respect their privacy, their right to speak whatever language they want, whether they’re Canadians or not. You’re a scoundrel using patriotism as his/her/its last refuge for delusional and paranoid xenophobia. And Canada doesn’t need a language police. What’re they going to do? Arrest people on the streets for not speaking English? Raid their houses and stores for allophone books and movies? Do we really need more victimless crimes on the books? Take up courts and police time, fill up the jails with people who don’t deserve to be there? And if you told a cop to arrest someone because they won’t speak English or French . . . you deserved to be laughed at.

And how’s it coincidental that he’s got the last name “White-ley”?

All-in-all, this guy is definitely blatantly stupid, bigoted, and xenophobic who doesn’t respect other people’s privacy or their right to free speech. The kind of asshole who visits other people’s countries and expects them to speak English to him, yet yells at people for not speaking his language in his country when he’s back home? Imagine this happening to him in, say, France? Or Germany? I can imagine him being terrified when a German screams in his face: “Why don’t you speak German? Speak German or go back to where you came from!” Or if the French scolded him to his face: “Speak to me a civilized language, you deaf American bastard!” He’ll be called American because we sound like them. Insult to injury!

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