August 21, 2007
Cater to me or else!

For the most part, this article about life in Farmers Branch a year after the anti-immigrant movement took hold there just makes me sad. What a colossal waste of energy (and money, too, given the cost of defending the losing lawsuit against them), and for what? But one part of this story just has me puzzled:

[City Council member Tim] O'Hare said he doesn't remember exactly what caused him to propose anti-illegal-immigrant measures that put the city of 28,000 in the national spotlight.

"I can't point to just one thing," he said.

But he said there was increasing resentment over the growing number of Hispanic students in Farmers Branch schools who didn't speak English, and over an influx of businesses catering to Spanish-speaking customers in the Four Corners shopping center in the heart of town.

Emphasis mine. This is something I've noted before, and it still makes no sense to me. What possible reason could there be to resent a business that caters to Spanish-speaking folks? Every day of my life I drive past businesses that don't cater to me - Christian booksellers, gay bars, vegetarian restaurants, Curves, big-and-tall clothing stores, etc etc etc. It's never occurred to me to be resentful of these places. What's it to me? What's it to the resenters in Farmers Branch? Unless you have reason to believe that the newcomers are somehow muscling out the oldtimers, why wouldn't you just keep patronizing the places you've always gone to and not care about the rest of it? Isn't that what capitalism is all about? Someone help me out here, because I just don't get it.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 21, 2007 to National news

Obviously, they resent such businesses because such businesses are illegal, because it's not about racism, "it's an illegal thing."

Posted by: Chris Koeberle on August 21, 2007 8:34 AM

I'm not sure if you're being ironic here or not, but just in case: Last I checked, grocery stores were not illegal.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on August 21, 2007 9:08 AM

Not sure what part Chris Koeberle considers illegal, certainly not the business and certainly not the fact that they speak Spanish or advertise in Spanish (that is not illegal).

I guess one with a small mind could equate speaking Spanish with being here illegally.

Posted by: Manuel Barrera on August 21, 2007 9:18 AM

Chris's logic is about par for the course. Spewing misinformation and hatred of others works pretty well for Republicans. It's about all they have to fall back on.

Posted by: Dennis on August 21, 2007 9:41 AM

I am acquainted with a few people who live there and when they start talking about it what it finally comes down to is property values. Typically they will claim that they themselves are not racist but they know other people are and they feel the need to protect their own financial assets.

Posted by: bill on August 21, 2007 11:13 AM

Sorry about that. I was being sarcastic. Of course resenting an establishment that caters to members of a certain race is racist, and of course grocery stores are illegal. Next time I'll remember the <sarcasm> tag so it's more clear.

Here we go, without sarcasm this time, just so you can have another crack at mocking me for opinions I actually hold:

It is obviously disingenuous to claim that the measures taken in Farmers Branch are solely a response to illegal aliens when those measures were inspired by a resentment of grocery stores that cater to a population which is not composed solely, or even primarily, of illegal aliens.

Posted by: Chris Koeberle on August 21, 2007 1:03 PM