I received a link to this story in my e-mail the other day and I’m slightly perturbed by it. Short story even shorter: Reedy Creek Diner chef Greg Simons in Lexington, North Carolina displays the above sign in his restaurant. He then claims that, “Everybody’s money is green as far as I’m concerned. It’s a communication thing.”
On one hand I would like to think that it really is “a communication thing”, yet somehow I can’t seem to shake the possibility that he’s slightly racist. Does anyone else get that vibe? I hate miscommunication as much as the next person. Actually, I’m pretty sure I hate it much more since Mr. Kelley and I spend a lot of the time on the phone together and half the time he’s speaking at a decibel only dolphins (they apparently have incredible hearing) can hear. So yes, I understand that in our day-to-day lives miscommunication is a major inconvenience, however, we don’t purposely avoid talking to people with whom we may not understand.
I comprehend that it’s Mr. Simmons’ prerogative if he wants to not serve certain people, but it’s everyone else’s prerogative to have a problem with it and label him a racist. Surely someone is going to see a parallel between his restaurant excluding non-English speakers and other businesses excluding people who don’t wear shirts or shoes. Yet there is a major difference: those who choose not to wear shirts or shoes when walking into an establishment can simply go home and find the appropriate articles of clothing to wear, but people who don’t speak English can’t easily pop in their Rosetta Stone and learn another language in time for the next time they crave diner food.
I’ve thought about this for a bit because being called a racist is a pretty hefty accusation and perhaps he might just really have a vexation with not understanding what people are saying, but if that’s the case why doesn’t he also exclude people who speak English as a second language or those with accents? I know from experience that it’s pretty darn difficult to understand them (my parents are a great example). Perhaps then he’d need a better excuse aside from “Everybody’s money is green…”
Photo credit: http://bit.ly/k4okzt