May 2018

Aaron Schlossberg became an overnight internet star when a video of his unhinged rant at two women speaking Spanish went viral. This 42-year-old Manhattan lawyer was irate that people in America don’t always speak English. Mind you he chose to vent in an eatery on New York’s Madison Ave. I repeat – New York – where you can hear 98.7% of all global languages spoken. (I made up the stat, but is as close as dammit).

It turns out that Aaron is not new to the ‘stop and yell’ tactic. Two years ago he accosted the Massachusettes-born Willie Morris on NY’s Fifth Avenue and blessed him with this lunacy:

“What country you from? I’m gonna call the police. You don’t run into people. I’m a citizen here. You’re not. You’re an ugly fucking foreigner, so fuck you!”. Adding, “You’re not allowed to walk on the wrong side of the street.”

In good humor, Morris allowed that Schlossberg may have a case in his assessment of Morris’ looks, but he was factually wrong on his citizenship status.

It is evident that Schlossberg has anger management issues to go along with his racism. Also, he’s a coward. When tracked down by intrepid reporters from The New York Post, the big man hid under an umbrella and whined he was being attacked. Such is the spineless inconsequence of a blowhard bully.

Let’s examine the thing that set Schlossberg off – people speaking Spanish. Here’s the deal. America has no official language. There is nothing in the Constitution – nor in case law – that demands people speak English. I suspect that the First Amendment would be a powerful tool to deny any move to establish an official language.

Having said that if you want to get ahead in America, you should learn to speak English. It is as useful a skill as computer literacy – not mandatory but a good idea. Immigrants have always known this. Overwhelmingly they have insisted that their children learn and use English. However, there is nothing wrong – it is even a benefit – to speaking more than one language. It is important enough to be an integral part of the education of English speaking students.

Trump, a life-long racist has made hay out of xenophobia. He tapped into the fears of whites across the land who think they are ‘losing their country’. And while the image of a white racist is Bubba, down on the farm, in fly-over country, Aaron Schlossberg shows that mindless racism can wear a tie and work in the nation’s most diverse city.

Hopefully, this is the darkness before the dawn and no future President will stoke the fears of Schlossberg and his fellow travelers to win office.

 

 

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