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A Reader, Navy Veteran, Returning From Middle East, Finds He Can’t Get A Job In America—Because He Doesn’t Speak Spanish
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February 15, 2012, 02:43 AM
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[Previous Letter: A Reader Questions Police Attitude Towards Minorities, James Fulford Replies]

Re: Brimelow At CPAC: Al SHARPTON Is Complaining About "Hate"? 

To: Ronnie Oliver (email him)

Peter Brimelow said at CPAC:

“I get email all the time from people at eastern Washington state and places like this, who say that kids can’t get jobs at McDonald’s and places like that because they don’t speak Spanish. Essentially this is a ferocious attack on the living standards of the American working class … just as immigration policy in general is.”[Video]

What has to happen to combat this growing problem? I wanted to apply to a job opening at BMW of America in Duncan, South Carolina. I felt that I met all of the qualifications—until I got to the part that said that you had to speak Spanish.

This eliminated me and any other American who did not feel the desire to take 4 years of Spanish in High School.

I have no issue at all with an applicant who is better qualified than I am when it comes to competing for a job. But I do have an issue when the job comes with a handicap—that you need to be bilingual to apply.

Why in the world would a German company in South Carolina need a Spanish-speaking manager? We as Americans should be required to read and understand English to get jobs, but not Spanish, French or any other language.

I sent the e-mail below to the customer relations folks at BMW:

My name is Ronnie Oliver and I am from the Greenville, SC area. I work for the Royal Saudi Navy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I am in the process of possibly ending my career in the Middle East and heading back to the Northern South Carolina or Southern Part of North Carolina area to live.

I was reading about the expansion of your BMW plant in the Greenville/Spartanburg area and decided to check your website for a possible job that my qualifications might be a match for. I am a disabled Veteran and I retired from the USN in 1996.

I worked for such corporations as Halliburton, Johnson Controls and at the Michelin Plant in Anderson County. I came across what I felt was the perfect job for my qualification and was completed dismayed when one of the requirements was that in order to apply, you have to speak Spanish. This will eliminate a lot of good candidates right out the gate, because they did not feel the need to study Spanish in school.

I commend BMW for the expansion in South Carolina. But, as a disabled American Veteran with almost 20 years of Navy service trying to get a job in America, why is that Spanish is a requirement and why are the Spanish workers at your plant not required to speak English? This is the question that I would like for someone to answer for me.

This is the reply from BMW:

From: Customerrelations@bmwusa.com

Dear Mr. Oliver:

Thank you for contacting BMW of North America, LLC.

We do not have detailed information to provide to you regarding your inquiry. Any information regarding employment with us and the requirements for any available positions are available at http://www.bmwusa.com/about/careers.htm.

If you have any further questions, the BMW Customer Relations and Services Department is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., Eastern Time. You can reach us at 1-800-831-1117.

Sincerely, [etc.]

Why is it that we as Americans have to meet a higher standard than the people who immigrate into the USA and do not speak the language and have no desire to learn the language?

I have spent the past nine years working in the Middle East where Arabic is the spoken language, but all of the workers are required to speak English.

And I have to know Spanish to get a job in my own country?

This makes no sense to me.

What has to happen for this issue to be addressed?