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November 29, 2006

Prof: English-Speaking Parasites

Do you hate it when you have to press "1" to hear English options when calling to find out how much you owe on your credit card, etcetera?

If so, you may be a parasite.

At least, that's what Paul Campos, law professor at the University of Colorado, thinks. (You know, the University of Colorado...the exemplary educational system that brought us Ward Churchill.) In an op ed piece in the Rocky Mountain News, Campos gently implies that we should consider being more humble when pressing "1":

Yet the most significant fact to keep in mind about people who speak Spanish in the United States is this: such people are invariably performing useful labor. In fact, it isn't too much of an exaggeration to say that the odds a person does the kind of work that simply has to get done in order to keep civilization afloat go up in direct proportion to the probability that this person speaks Spanish.

Those among us who build the buildings, and cook the food, and clean the bathrooms, and trim the trees, and care for the children - in short, the people who, in Orwell's phrase, "make the wheels go round" - are increasingly the people who press "2" in order to hear their options in Spanish.

Meanwhile, the immense mass of well-paid parasites who infest our fabulously wealthy nation - the financial analysts, the political consultants, the managers of human resources, the vice presidents for West Coast promotion, the producers of television commercials designed to increase the consumption of certain breakfast cereals, and, needless to say, the syndicated newspaper columnists - will continue to become annoyed at the need to press "1."

I wasn't aware that only Spanish-speaking people do the hard work. I'll have to speak to my neighbors, who came here from Brazil and have their own painting business. Perhaps they might appreciate having a number to push for Portuguese. Or the mother of one of my good friends, who came over from Germany many years ago and worked as an aide in a nursing home before retiring. I'm sure she wouldn't mind a German phone menu option. Another good friend of mine came over from India when she was a child. I'll bet her parents would like a chance to press "1" for Hindustani when negotiating modern communications.

As for myself, I certainly wouldn't mind being one of the well-paid parasites that Campos mentions in his piece. (Anyone want to hire me as a political consultant? My prices are very reasonable.) Alas, I'm just your average, middle-class, English-speaking white American who struggles to pay the bills every month, and whose great-grandparents came over from Germany and had to make it without bilingual services.

So when Mr. Campos thinks about those poor workers who have difficulty learning English, perhaps he'll think about the fine people I mentioned above. They seem to be getting along just fine, despite the lack of coddling from the nanny staters.

And yes, it annoys me when I have to press "1". Excuse me while I go glom on to the nearest hardworking Spanish-speaking person I see so I can be that parasite I've always dreamed of being.

(Speaking of well-paid parasites, it would be interesting to find out what Campos makes for working September through May, with a month off at Christmas, a week off in March, all federal holidays, and sabbatical every few years.)

h/t: Moonbattery

Show Comments

Posted by Pam Meister at 09:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Leftwing Lunacy

Sounds to me like Campos is indulging in a bit of psychological projection by calling Americans "parasites." Because he sucks.

Posted by: reverse_vampyr at November 29, 2006 03:21 PM

"Paul Campos is a professor of law "

He is therefore not only a parasite himself
but a propagator of parasites of the worst
stripe ;-)

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at January 14, 2007 02:19 AM

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