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"Spanish Is Not A Secret Language"—Linguistic Racial Profiling
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August 04, 2008, 03:27 PM
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Language Log has post titled Spanish Is Not A Secret Language about the Foxwood Casino workers who made sexual remarks in Spanish in the hearing of their American female customers.(The casino is being sued by the insulted women, but if tried to prevent its workers from speaking Spanish, it would have been sued by the EEOC.) Linguistics professor Bill Poser writes
What I find so curious about this is the belief of the two offending casino employees that they could speak Spanish without fear of being understood. With 322,000,000 Spanish speakers in the world and 34,000,000 in the United States, the odds of someone at a roulette table in Connecticut understanding the language are not exactly remote, and it doesn`t take a linguist to be aware of this.
I can answer that—the Mexican workers in the casino knew that there were millions of people in America who spoke Spanish, but they thought they could identify them by sight. They were racial profiling.