Wells Fargo to Inland Empire residents: ¡Habla Espanol!

“I am not going to stand here and let corporate America decide what language I’m going to speak,” an Inland Empire resident told KABC, in reference to a Wells Fargo billboard written in Spanish. (Apparently, he protested by refusing to purchase an English/Spanish dictionary or using Google Translator in an effort to keep the bank from tricking him into learning a few foreign words.)

I’ve never understood why anyone would care one bit what language a sign used. Without a doubt, dealing with cashiers or any sort of customer service types who don’t speak English can be frustrating, but not in a “get out of my country” sort of way – just in a, “if a business is going to repeatedly screw up my order because they hire a staff that can’t understand me, I’ll shop elsewhere,” sort of way. That’s capitalism.

“I think they should be in English as well as Spanish, because there are Korean signs down there and I don’t understand that gibberish,” said another Hesperia resident speaking at the city council meeting.

I’d call this out as racist, but there’s no reason to not believe residents would also complain if the signs were in French or German, so to be fair, I’ll just label it xenophobic.

More importantly, this issue raises an alarming issue: clearly Inland Empire really love to read billboards, otherwise why would they care? Finally, a win for outdoor advertising!

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4 Replies to “Wells Fargo to Inland Empire residents: ¡Habla Espanol!”

  1. They best not take a run down the 605 as there are portions where the only boards you will see are in Spanish, and a couple Asian. ITs all good in my book, I learn another language by osmosis.

  2. So the resident’s point is that every sign should be aimed at him and everyone else? Advertisements can’t just be targeted to some people? So if there was a lingerie ad, it would also have to include a male model in his underwear, so the resident wouldn’t feel left out? Isn’t that a view that people usually get over when they’re, oh, I don’t know, four?

  3. It’s a Wells Fargo billboard – do you really, really care what it’s saying? You think it’s some secret message that Wells Fargo is sending to Spanish speakers? I don’t speak Spanish, but I’m going out on a limb here and say the billboard says the same thing a Wells Fargo billboard in English says – except it’s translated to Spanish.

  4. If it were in French people would whine about the surrender monkeys; and xenophobia is definitely part of it; but I’m going to call a spade a spade & take the wild guess that these folks are probably racist.

    I grew up in Canoga Park, a city with a graying Anglo population and a burgeoning Hispanic one; and I’ve heard enough “they come here and just expect us to learn their language and they pop out babies like animals” diatribes to know when someone is just plain disgusted by Latinos.

    I’m disgusted by Americans.

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