“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!