Remember earlier this year when a bunch of tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma killing and injuring people and destroying everything in their path? Eight of the people who lost their lives during one of these deadly natural disasters were immigrants from Guatemala. A recent article in The Oklahoman explored the need to improve the existing warning system to include instructions in Spanish, the primary language of more than 40,000 Latinos in Oklahoma City. 

The amount of racism and hatred that ensued when the paper asked its readers if they agreed is terrifying.

Check out some of the comments:

So, let me get this straight. According to these morons, it's more important to get immigrants to learn English--something extremely difficult to do as an adult--than it is to provide them with a service that could potentially save their lives? I'm sorry, but I have a very hard time understanding this logic. We're talking life or death matters here! Can't they get past their blatant bigotry and see this for themselves?

Plus, do these losers even know how long some immigrants have been here? What if it's only been a few months? Do they expect people to arrive here and magically learn English in three days? It's obvious that none of these racist people have ever met an immigrant in their lives. Otherwise, they would know that the majority of them spend their days trying to make a living, usually going from one job to the next without so much as a bathroom break--leaving them little to no time to dedicate to learning a second language.

It's got nothing to do with immigrants not wanting to learn English. In fact, walk into any of the English classes offered by churches, schools and non for profit organizations, and you'll see them filled to capacity with immigrants. Why wouldn't they want to learn English when being bilingual would open even more job opportunities?

Lastly, maybe those who spew their hatred should learn their own native language first (check out spelling mistakes above) before they complain about the language abilities of those who don't look and sound like them. 

Image via news9.com

Add Comment What would you say to these people?
About the author

Roxana A. Soto is Features Editor of MamásLatinas. She's a bilingual and bicultural journalist born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Miami. She's also mom to a girl in 3rd grade and a boy in Kinder. She loves books, languages, traveling and good food – especially when cooked by someone else.

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Add Comment What would you say to these people?

nonmember avatar
While I agree the comments made by the few very ignorant persons in Oklahoma saying that "Mexicans" must speak English if they are to be safe during a natural disaster, I highly doubt that is the how the majority of Oklahoma people actually feel. Americans are one of the most generous and caring countries in the world. They are willing to help their neighbors to a fault, as we have witnessed with many recent disasters. Your poor reporting is a sign of your need to get journalistic attention without really doing your homework, in stead of getting the true facts. Portraying a small group of Oklahoma people rather than telling the truth is a betrayal to all the very good people in Oklahoma. This is both very unfair, and sophomoric. By the way, I live in New England and have no reason to promote Oklahoma. However, I am very tired of media biases and ignorant bloggers who just want to get people riled up. Intelligent people will know immediately that this small minority of ignorant people in Oklahoma in no way defines the majority of caring and fair minded people of the area.
nonmember avatar
I would complement their low life character in such a way that they would immediately feel flattered... So, when they did use their critical thinking skills, they'd realize how small I painted them! My God gave me special powers and I'd help these bigots whether or not they understood sympathy.
nonmember avatar
Roxana, when my grandmother got off the boat from Italy with her family, she made sure that she and her children learned English, got an education, and became Americans. She risked everything to bring her family here for a better life, not to turn the U.S. into Italy. Most of the white people in the U.S. that you call racists are the children of European immigrants that strived hard to fit into their new home. Most of them didn't speak English either. European immigrants learned English and worked hard to fit in. I think their descendants are just wondering why this new wave of immigrants from Latin America seemingly has absolutely no desire to do the same. Your excuse that they are too busy working multiple jobs is tired and pathetic. I worked two full-time jobs while going to school full-time making straight A's. If people have time to go out drinking every night, they have time to learn a new language. It's a question of what they want more. No other place in the world is as accommodating to immigrants as the U.S. I know Mexico and South America are not. If you think the Mexican government or its people would be as welcoming and accommodating to an influx of immigrants as the U.S. has been, you're out of your mind. There's an old saying: When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Perhaps you should do some soul-searching before you go spouting the kind of race-baiting hate-mongering you espouse in this article. You're just proof that racists also come in lighter shades of brown.
nonmember avatar
To ignorant persons comment "when in Rome" do you know how long they lived here before their deaths? No you do not unless you knew them personally. To assume they had excuses of working 2 jobs and going out drinking. This still shows ignorance upon your part. Great you make straight A's but you do not know these people and to accuse a persons death on being "lazy or a drunk" is horrible. May God have mercy on your soul.
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