Monday, November 16, 2009

Civil rights groups protest at Taos hotel

TAOS, N.M. (AP) - Members of several civil rights groups protested Saturday in front of a Taos hotel where Hispanic employees have clashed with the new owner.

Whitten Inn owner Larry Whitten forbade employees to speak Spanish and ordered some to Anglicize their Hispanic names when he started making changes at the hotel in July.

Taos officials and organizers say the number of protesters ranged from 60 to 75.

Shirley Reyes is a Taos chapter president for the League of United Latin American Citizens whose son was fired by Whitten.

She says the protesters called for a national boycott of Whitten's hotels.

Taos public relations director Cathy Connelly says the protest was peaceful.

Whitten did not immediately return a phone message left with a hotel employee.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) - Civil rights groups protest at Taos hotel

Who are these people? Some implants from the midwest or east coast?

Now, I can understand why you wouldn't want employees speaking in Spanish in front of guests. For some reason people feel uncomfortable when a language other than the one they speak is being spoken in front of them and they don't know what is being said.

However, this is New Mexico and anywhere you go in NM you are likely to be subjected to people who are speaking in Spanish rather than English. This doesn't mean they are illegals, many people in NM speak Spanish with their families or others that speak Spanish. No different than people who speak French in New Orleans.

Also, I do not believe that whoever these employers are realize that the culture is part of the attraction to NM. People visiting don't want Juan to be called John. People come here to experience the "culture" and it isn't just Native American. One of the things that makes New Mexico so special is the blending and diversity of cultures.

These idiots need to get a clue!


Sam said...

Hear, hear!

What part of New MEXICO don't they understand. That Hotel owner is a moron.

Lesley said...

Whoever they are - they shouldn't own a hotel in Taos or anywhere in NM.

SJ Reidhead said...

You are being too generous - and you are a liberal! Me, the conservative thinks they are outright bigots at work here!

I would be willing to bet you a margarita that the "new" owners are involved in the whole anti-immigration movement. I've seen their type before.

If I were in Taos, I'd probably be out there protesting with them - thus speaks the good Republican!

The Pink Flamingo

Lesley said...

Probably I am being too generous and maybe I was trying to not attract the ire of the far right. I believe there are certain people that don't believe that anyone should speak more than one language or be named anything like Pedro. It is very sad, because not only is NM suppose to be a state full of diversity, but also the US is suppose to be. Yes, a melting pot, but that is no reason for people to totally forget their culture. But, there is more than that because I don't see anyone getting angry that I go to things like Celtic Festivals and I doubt they would be angry if I spoke French (even if I spoke no English). They are angry at Mexicans, not immigrants. Somehow they have been lead to believe that is the problem, when it is so much bigger that isn't even on the scale. Thanks Lou Dobbs! :)