I disagree with the May 13 editorial "Big Mac, Por Favor."
When I go to a business establishment to spend my money, I expect a certain level of service. If I don't get the level of service because I cannot communicate with the service staff, I take my money elsewhere. This is common sense and not "bigoted and offensive," as the editorial implied.
Further, the responsibility for adult immigrants learning English belongs to the immigrant; it is not the responsibility of the state.
The concept of "multiculturalism" and its definition and relevance to public policy are ripe subjects for discussion. Unfortunately Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) has chosen to resort to name-calling instead ["Immigrant Remarks by Ehrlich Still Burn," Metro, May 12].
What is particularly disturbing is that our level of discourse has so degenerated that a governor would believe it appropriate to describe a politically charged concept with a word as vulgar as "crap." We have come to expect this from inflammatory talk show hosts of both parties, but we should expect more from our elected officials.
When a government official uses vulgar words, vulgar minds are inspired to vulgar acts. We cannot and should not censor Mr. Ehrlich, but for the sake of civility, the governor should take more care to speak in public in a way befitting his role and responsibilities.
As a native speaker of Spanish who has a good command of English, I find the remarks of Comptroller William Donald Schaefer (D) and Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) offensive.
I live in Rosslyn, and I know the Latino staff of the Burger King near the Metro station. Even though I know I could speak in Spanish to them, I speak in English, and I am impressed by how they rise to the challenge and answer in good, conversational English.
Perhaps a bit of compassion and patience with people who are trying their best to assimilate are in order. For every attendant at that McDonald's about whom Mr. Schaefer complained, there are people such as my Salvadoran friend, who came to this country three years ago and through assiduous effort now speaks with me in English more often than Spanish in order to sharpen his skills. He lives in Montgomery County.
Perhaps the governor also should consider expanding funding for adult education programs too. That way, he could get a heartfelt "muchas gracias" from the many Latinos who work long hours in the food service industry.
RAFAEL ANTONIO CABRERO