Friday, August 17, 2007

HISPANIC TV AD CONTROVERSY CONTINUES

Readers of this column know that my main focus is on giving potential car buyers advice on how to buy the right car at the right price without being taken advantage of by a car dealer. I have deviated from this column format twice recently in response to the controversy associated with a TV advertisement I am running in which I speak Spanish, with English subtitles. Today’s column will vary again because the controversy continues. I am getting far more positive responses to my Spanish ad than negative, but the steady pace of negative calls and emails continues to surprise me. Many of the negative calls are anonymous which makes me suspect as to their motivation, sincerity, and integrity.

Whenever a caller or emailer identifies herself, I always respond. In the interest of getting my reasons out to others who may take issue with my Spanish-speaking TV ad, I am introducing three actual negative emails and my responses (spelling and grammatical errors intact):

(1) Dr. Mr. Stewart I could not believe seeing your commercial in Spanish with English subtitles. Why not move your business over there instead of here. I would not buy from you after seeing that commercial. Others agree with me. This is America, not some Third World Country. You are not doing them a favor either by catering to them. They need to conform to our customs, not us conforming to their thrid world culture. You should be ashamed of yourself

Dear Larry,

I sincerely apologize for having offended you with my Hispanic TV commercial. Please allow me to explain.

There seems to be a common thread within the comments objecting to my Spanish commercial on our local, English-speaking TV stations.

That thread, and common misunderstanding, is that I am targeting Spanish speaking people who, either understand no English, or understand it not very well. This simply is not correct. My market research found that the vast majority of Hispanics in Palm Beach County watch English speaking channels. These are the potential Toyota buyers I am targeting. It’s easy to understand why local Hispanics watch English speaking TV if you have ever watched the 6 Spanish channels (which all originate out of Miami). The programming is of inferior quality and there is very little variety. There may be a few Hispanics who watch English speaking TV to learn to speak English better. Do you really think my 60 second commercial is discouraging these few from learning English?

Virtually all Hispanics living in Palm Beach County are bilingual and fluent in both Spanish and English. They are also mostly American citizens like you and me, most are 2nd or 3rd generation Americans, have good paying jobs, and can afford to buy a new car. Those relatively few Hispanics who don’t speak English can’t afford to buy a car. Many are here illegally and don’t even have driver’s licenses.

The response from our local Hispanic community has been overwhelmingly positive. My commercial got their attention, where it may not have had I spoken in English. You can easily understand why it got their attention if you can imagine yourself living in another country watching TV in your 2nd language. Suddenly, “out of the blue” you are listening to a Toyota commercial in English. Virtually all Hispanics found this very positive and several have bought cars because of this ad and many more say they plan to.

I could understand why you would be angry with Channel 5 if they ran Hispanic programming at times when you wanted to watch TV, but why are you angry because I ran a 60 second commercial. I hate commercials (except my own, of course). I mute commercials, change the channel, or take the opportunity to run to the kitchen or bathroom. When I sometimes accidentally have to watch a commercial (can’t find my remote control fast enough). I see lots of really obnoxious commercials. Some are absolutely terrible! (There is one car commercial where a balding guy with a beard shouts at you). I see very deceptive commercials which are obviously designed to trick us into buying from them. How about the commercials for feminine hygiene products, hemorrhoid medications, or anti-flatulents? Why don’t these kinds of commercials upset you? Have you called or written any of these advertisers? If you did, I bet you didn’t get a response. In fact, I bet you can’t even talk to them like you can me.

Several critics have accused me of “being all about making money”. You folks that pride yourself on being better Americans than I should understand that America is the land of free enterprise and capitalism. With lots of hard work, every American has a shot at the “gold ring”. I won’t apologize to anybody for trying to make a profit in my business. Many of these Hispanics, who a lot of the anti-Hispanic commercial letter writers seem to resent, came to this country because they were fleeing the communist state of Cuba. Profits and making money are frowned upon by communists. In Cuba, it’s not “all about money”; it’s all about poverty except for the communist party leaders who live quite well.

F Scott Fitzgerald said that the true test of a great mind is being able to hold two opposing views in your mind at the same time. In past presidential elections, our country was virtually split down the middle. If you are a democrat do you really think that the half of the country that voted Republican is bad or stupid? I ask the same question of the Republicans. If you don’t agree with me, why must you hate me and threaten me. I respect your opinion even if I disagree; why can’t you respect mine?

(2) Dear Mr. Stewart

Maybe you need to talk to Tom McKenna of Seacoast Water in Stuart, who is being forced out of his business by his Hispanic landlord because he just wants tenants that appeal to Hispanics. Wake up and see what is happening in this country and you are a part of it. Sure you are entitled to your views, but you are going to lose alot of customers who do not share your views. Believe it or not, people are turning away from companies who are advertising in Spanish. America should come first and the language here is English, not Spanish.


Dear Laura,

I don't know the specifics of the matter with Tom McKenna and his lease. I believe that you are referring to a story in the PB Post. I am a businessman and I do know that a landlord cannot force a tenant "out of business". Tenants have rights just like landlords. A landlord can elect not to renew a lease, in which case that tenant would have to lease space elsewhere. He would still be in business but at a different location. Landlords have rights too. If a landlord believes that they can lease their property to another tenant that will enhance their profits, that is what free enterprise is all about…and America is all about free enterprise. In some countries, the government can tell businessmen who they can and cannot lease to or do business with.

I am in the process of expanding my Toyota dealership. I purchased the property next door to my property. On that property is a Cuban restaurant, El Colonial. Their lease in up next month and I will not be renewing it, but I am working with the owner, Jamie Gomez, so that he will have plenty of time to find a new location. Jamie and his father, Jose, operate the restaurant and are American citizens who came here from Cuba. By the way, Jaime watches English speaking TV, loves my commercials, and recently bought a new Toyota Land Cruiser from me.

PS: If you like Cuban food, this is one of the best. It's Zagat rated very high and my employees and I eat there often. I will continue to do so when they move.


(3) This is for Earl Stewart. I saw you add on TV the other night and must say I was skocked. An Add in spanish- due what you must. Not only will I not buy a X2 Scion from you but I will ask my friend and fellow employees not to by a car from you. Why should I push 1 for english and I don't need your ads in my face in spanish.

Dear Charlotte,

I am sorry that my Spanish language ad offended you and I’m sorry that you have chosen not to do business with my dealership again.

You may be surprised when I tell you that I believe English should be learned and spoken by all citizens of this country and that I don’t support amnesty for illegal aliens. I also don’t like the answer machines that say “touch 1 for English or Spanish”. When you call my dealership you never get an answer machine. Please feel free to call me and discuss this further at anytime. My calls are not screened and I am always available to everybody.

My innocent and only intent was to sell some more Toyotas and Scions to American citizens of South Florida who are of Hispanic descent.

I advertised on English-speaking channels, rather than Spanish for two reasons:

(1) The vast majority of American citizens of Hispanic descent living in South Florida speaks English and watches the same channels you and I watch. My ad was not aimed at illegal immigrants who are very few and can’t buy cars anyhow. Most can’t afford a car and, if they could, cannot buy a car without a social security number, drivers’ license, insurance, etc.
(2) The only Spanish channels shown in our area originate in Miami and because of their vast audience, are cost prohibitive for me to advertise on. I am paying $100 to $350 per ad and the Spanish channel, which all originate out of Miami and cover all of South Florida, cost about $5,000 for a 30 second spot. This is way over my allowable advertising budget.

You may wonder why I spoke in Spanish and there are also two reasons for that:

(1) It is a sign of respect when you speak to someone in their native tongue or the native tongue of their parents or grandparents.
(2) Speaking in Spanish on a 100% English TV channel “cuts the clutter”. It got your attention and the attention of many more. It was very controversial with lots of supporters and some detractors. This is the goal of any advertiser…to have his commercial noticed.

Best wishes,

EarlStewart

29 comments:

  1. Hi Earl,

    Your thinking on this is sound but only up to a point. The idea of making profits is fine but America isn't just about making money. There is a nationalistic pride that far outweighs "going for the gold'. In your case, your timing is terrible considering you decided to run the ads at a time when many Americans have had it with do-nothing lawmakers who want to disguise amnesty proposals for illegal immigrants as comprehensive immigration reform. I think the reason you have had such a negative reaction is because the ads can be construed by white, English-speaking Americans to mean you are either indifferent to their concerns or support the misguided argument that illegal immigrants should be extended the same legal rights as full-fledged citizens. Had your ad featured some sort of token sign-off in Spanish at the end, like "Earl Stewart, nosotros hablamos Espanol"(not sure how accurate this is), you probably wouldn't have received any negative feedback. I don't believe anyone would begrudge you making a profit but lets get this country back on the right track first before using inflammatory gimmicks to sell a few extra cars. The principals of Americans should not be taken lightly. (just ask the British).

    Regards,

    becontent

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  2. Earl,

    You really hit a nerve with this. I do not like you at all and feel you are very dishonest. I feel the only reason why you are doing this is to create more attention to your already massive EGO. You have hit new heights with your money making agenda. You totally go against your countryman and do something like this. Bravo, you have proven to be the knucklehead I always thought your are.

    Slick move.

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  3. ANONYMOUS?
    A person who criticizes me but is afraid to tell me his name, phone number or email has no credibility. You are either afraid that your opinions won't stand up to intelligent debate or you have a secret agenda to do me harm...such as a sales manager or salesman for a competing dealership. The KKK clansman has a good reason for his anonymity...what's yours?

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  4. Hello,

    I think this is all crazy. You have a car dealer starting a war with his own people. You have prejudice people writing in about how Earl is anti-american because he runs spanish ads. You have people fighting among each other on this blog because of this. You have a possible car guy that doesn't like you fighting with you over things you put in the blog. Earl you really know how to pick your subjects. Why don't you stay with the car stuff. Try some helpful tech tips. How about some tips on how to save fuel with fuel prices going through the roof. Add some receipes from time to time. Have fun with your blog.

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  5. This is stupid. Can't we all just get along. People buy your car from whoever gives you the best deal. Remember the best deal is the one you ask for. Service your vehicle from the dealer or repair shop that you think is honest and trustworthy. Anyone who owns a business is in it for a profit. You must remember that there are millions of car places in the world. They all want your business. Do all your research before hand and proceed. Do not choose Earl Stewart Toyota because he has a blog and writes things or because he advertises in spanish. Car dealerships and shops usually go above and beyond for people in their own cities and towns. Start with the hometown guy first. They want the local business first because you are in the same area. When you buy a car go to the service center first. Check out the folks in the service drive. Meet them. If they are nice and seem genuine go to them. You will find that most dealership service departments are priced right and usually try to be honest because they have so much to loose. Don't do business with ANYONE without doing your homework first.

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  6. DO YOU HOMEWORK BEFORE BUYING A CAR

    Thanks for your input and may I have your permission to quote you in my next Blog article? I couldn't have said it better myself!

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  7. Palm Beach ToyotaAugust 21, 2007 1:39 PM

    If you don't like the deal you get at Earl Stewart come to Palm Beach Toyota and we will beat any deal. Go into Earl Stewart Toyota get the lowest deal, get up and walk out and we will beat it.

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  8. Very Angry LatinoAugust 21, 2007 8:27 PM

    This is all so crazy. I came to this country, the best country in the world to escape poverty and communism. I learned the english language as respect to a country that took me in and gave me hope and a future. I find it rude and disgusting that you advertise like this. Speak to us like Americans, proud Americans not like immigrants who don't have the respect to learn the language of the country they live. I will buy my next car from someone else. You won't be seeing any of this latinos money or anyone in my family if I can help it. By the way you don't speak spanishi very well. I find this very insulting. Stay away from the garbage advertising and sell your products in this country using the language of this country. Have a little respect for the men and women dying for you in the world. Dying to protect the foundation of this country. Have a little respect for those who truely love and charish this country and have done everything in their power to make this our home. Respecting the people who welcome us in. If anyone needs to leave this country and go south of the boarder it is you. Stay away and god help you.

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  9. Dear "VERY ANGRY LATINO",

    If you are truly of Hispanic origin, please call me so that we can exchange views on this issue in a calm, non-threatening, and civilized manner, unlike some of the anonymous assaults on this blog by unscrupulous competitors' car salesmen and sales managers.

    If you call my dealership and ask for me, all calls are put straight through...no secretaries, no call screening, no voice mails. I don't have to remain anonymous because I believe in what I do and say and can support my position honestly.

    By the way, one or more of these frightened, disingenulus "anonymous" bloggers has recently adopted a new tactic...using my name as the blog poster. It's not hard to figure this out if you read the comments...their I.Q. is readily apparent from their writing.

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  10. english speaking immigrantAugust 30, 2007 1:58 AM

    That ad is insulting and patronizing. I wouldn't buy a car from some bigoted redneck who assumes I can't speak English because I'm not white. Why do you think these people are watching English language television? Use that redneck brain of yours.

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  11. what do you expect you don't even sell American cars

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  12. Stewart, its too bad you are
    no longer an AMERICAN. This
    country's language is ENGLISH
    not Spanish or any other.
    You say there are a lot of
    Spanish speaking people who
    listen to your ads on TV.
    If that is true, they must
    already speak ENGLISH. Why do
    you think you are doing this
    country a favor doing that?
    In my opinion you are being
    outrageous in so doing.
    I believe you have the IQ
    which ravels a pencil
    eraser. Regardless of what
    YOU may think -- I'm a VET
    and have served MY COUNTRY
    well. Obvously, MONEY is
    your thing and thats what
    the trouble of YOU and all
    the POLITICIANS are about.
    Close your store and go to
    Mexico. Perhaps you could
    make more money down there.
    I'm proud to be an AMERICAN
    Its too bad you aren't.

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  13. Jeffrey D. DavisAugust 30, 2007 1:41 PM

    Earl's behavior is reprehensible. Marketing to those who come here and refuse to learn our language borders on treason.

    This is America, we speak English in America. Maybe Earl would be more comfortable living in Mexico or some other Spanish speaking nation.

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  14. Earl. You are an example of a true ass. I hope you lose your dealership, your home, everything. This country does not need traitors like you. Remember, there are many other dealers in town. I hope there's lots of Mexican buyers because when we're through, those are all you'll have.

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  15. Hey Earl, While you may be thinking strictly in the sense of higher monetary profits and your own personal view of freedom, you missed the part where you are also in America, a country who's congress on January 13 1795 chose to reject printing Federal laws in a second language even for this reason, "for the accommodation of such German citizens of the United States, as do not understand the English language.". They (congress) understood a concept very well stated by Mr. Thomas Hobbes in 1651 that without a single uniting language for a country (state) "there had been amongst men, neither Commonwealth, nor Society, nor Contract, nor PEACE". English being the common uniting language of the United States chosen by Congress, it is also the language that is required to take your citizenship test. At this point in history (2007), the Spanish language in America is a language associated with a group that carries another country's flag in marches AGAINST American's who believe in the rule of law. A group that use more American tax dollars than they pay or produce. A group that as a group use tax subsidized emergency rooms as their private health insurance. Etc. You chose to advertise in a manner that is an "in your English speaking face" attitude. Maybe you think of yourself as a tolerant person, just how tolerant would you be if your employees came to work everyday wearing advertising (another country's flag) emblazoned on their shirts. How about someone taking all your "free" toilet paper and "free" customer offerings (candy or drinks), everyday. Maybe you would support a march against your dealership sponsored by another dealership because you don't allow your employees friends and family to hang out with them all day at your business as they work at your business. While you are operating on a "hey it's just business attitude", you stuffed your advertising in my "English speaking face". At a point in time when it is not "just advertising" to me. America is not "just America" to me, it's my home, my Country!----- You may not see it that way , but rest easy, for I am, as of now, "no customer of yours". fred13red@yahoo .com.

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  16. Dear Earl, What in my comment drew forth the angry knee jerk response of calling out the term redneck? I addressed issues such as respect of law, respect of other peoples property and other peoples rights. While you take the short term (Braindead?)(Profitable?) attitude of pandering to a group that does not value America for anything but what they can take from it, American taxpayers are taking a financial beating. Americans are also taking a beating to their sense of self respect while wondering how much of a sucker they are when they are held (by police and governmental authority) to laws that illegal immigrants are allowed to break with impunity. You and your Political brethren are pandering to a group that by 2005 numbers is less than 3% of this nation, by population, not by citizenship. That leaves a HUGE percentage of the population that can take their "American money" and GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. BTW-- I am in this country and I do think "that" way.---And now by choice and invitation I am again "No customer of yours". Fred. fred13red@yahoo.com. -------P.S. Great piece of advertising in that last comment, your Freudian slip re. "American money" came through loud and clear.

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  17. Hi Earl,

    I'm sorry you have to suffer unthoughtful or mean-spirited comments for your decision to air your TV ad in which you speak Spanish. With that opening you might be surprised to know that, like those others, I don't agree with your decision. However unlike the others, I don't wish you ill will for making it and I would not begrudge you any subsequent success caused you by airing the ad, if that be the case.

    I understand your economic reasons for making such a decision. Certainly, your ad is attention-getting (recalling your "cut the clatter" argument), but I think if I were an American of Hispanic descent, I would be put off by such an ad. In fact I am an American of Greek descent and if you had aired such a commercial in Greek to communicate "a sign of respect" to me (in some sense), I would feel such an overture to be disingenuous -- not that you meant it so, but that's how it would have struck me. I also believe that English-speaking Americans of Hispanic descent, in the same manner as I view it, feel that doing business in English is sufficiently respectful or dignified. Indeed, part and parcel of being an American, and in the special case of the immigrant, working hard for that identification (in the social sense), is being able to read, write and speak in English with enough proficiency to communicate successfully with others. For all Americans, not just for immigrants, communicating in English is one of our shared defining traits and a source of respect and dignity we afford to one another as fellow Americans. Communicating, in a general or public sense, with our fellow Americans in a language other than English is going backward on the scale of mutually afforded respect. So, I couldn't disagree with you more.

    You seem to be a very thoughtful person, so if I had to make the decision to patronize your business, it would have to be in spite of what I would view as a momentary lapse of judgement on your part.

    Despite our disagreement, I wish you the best of luck and I thank you for the opportunity to comment. Yours, --Rick

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  18. Dear Mr. Stewart: I am an attorney at law who very much disagrees with your 'ads in Spanish'.

    You state that "it is a sign of respect to speak to someone in their native language". You are correct. It is indeed. For that reason I am glad to know that you are in favor of English-only, and dislike being forced to 'press one for English'.

    You should also know that this country is in crisis because of the illegal invasion from our southern border. Anything done by any citizen to assist this invasion, is something done against the best interests of our beloved country.

    I have great respect for the Cuban-American community. That is because they did not come here illegally, obeyed our laws, spoke our language and WISHED TO BECOME AMERICANS. When they became citizens, our nation was indeed enriched.

    But too many-if not most-of the illegal aliens do none of these things. Surely you have seen them, Mr. Stewart. They form organizations like 'La Raza' ('The Race') and use it to preach that the USA is not properly a sovereign nation, that our borders are illegal, that our immigration laws are 'racist' and criminal. Most recently, they had the gall to assemble publicly in San Francisco and DEMAND that a popular talk show host, Michael Savage, be fired because he exercised his First Amendment right to free speech. His crime? He espouses 'Borders, Language, Country'.

    Thus Sir: Whether you intend it or not, you are aiding and abetting an illegal population which drains our social services, fills our jails, perpetrates domestic violence second only to the Islamic community, and subverts-by sheer force of numbers-our American culture.

    Finally: I have never, in my entire life, feared to sign my name to anything I have written. However: just a few weeks ago I was the victim of a crime perpetrated by an illegal alien. I appeared at his sentencing and at that time he acquired my address and telephone #. Because his was a crime of violence, I am indeed afraid to sign my name.

    And that, Sir, I deeply resent. That is why I don't want to see Spanish everywhere, or Smart-Port, and why I am working as hard as I can to criminalize so-called 'sanctuary cities' and require state/municipal govt. to notify federal/ICE of the illegal status of criminals in the state systems.

    I want my beloved country back, Mr. Stewart. Don't you?

    Sincerely,
    Kathy [K]ounselor

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  19. Kathy,

    Since you presumably survived law school, you no doubt have heard of the term non sequitur, but do you see its use in your comment of last? That is, how do you bridge the logical gap between Mr. Stewart airing a commercial in Spanish and his supposedly "aiding and abetting an illegal population?"

    As well as judges in courtrooms, normal Americans like me would like to be privy to the argument you haven't seemed to divulge yet. --Rick

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  20. COUNTERFEITING EARL STEWART'S POSTINGS:

    The following was posted by someone using my name, trying to make me look bad. I will be removing it from my blog:

    From: Earl Stewart [mailto:noreply-comment@blogger.com]
    Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2007 4:15 PM
    To: Earl Stewart
    Subject: [Earl Stewart On Cars] New comment on HISPANIC TV AD CONTROVERSY CONTINUES.

    Earl Stewart has left a new comment on your post "HISPANIC TV AD CONTROVERSY CONTINUES":

    I really don't care if you are a customer or not. You can not have that attitude in this country. You sound like a brain dead redneck. So take your business, your American money and go somewhere else. Thanks for showing your true colors. It certainly isn't red, white and blue.



    Posted by Earl Stewart to Earl Stewart On Cars at August 30, 2007 4:14 PM

    IT'S UNFORTUNATE THAT PEOPLE CAN BE SO DISHONEST AS TO TRY AND DEFAME SOMEONE IN THIS MANNER.

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  21. Rick,

    What a pleasure to read a posting from someone who can disagree with me and not wish that something terrible happens to me because I don't agree with them.



    I completely understand your point about, as a Greek-American, wanting to be addressed in English, not your native tongue. I had a call yesterday from a woman in Pennsylvania whose family emigrated from Ecuador. She had the same feeling. She too was very nice and wished me well



    My experience from dealing with lots of Hispanics in South Florida is that they feel differently, for the most part. The largest segment of the Hispanic population in South Florida is Cuban. Cubans began coming to this country in 1959 when Castro turned the country to communism. Cuban-Americans are intensely proud of their origin and most have friends and relatives in Cuba who they regularly see and/or communicate with. Remember, Cuba is just 80 miles off the coast of Key West, FL.



    We Anglos make a big mistake by classifying all Hispanics alike.

    Cubans are very different from Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Guatemalans, Columbians, etc. Each Hispanic nationality has a different culture, beliefs, and their Spanish language varies considerably too.



    This is one of the biggest mistakes I see in the negative comments I receive. Many people actually don't know "what kind of Hispanics" live in South Florida. Some look at all Hispanics as being Mexican!



    Thanks very much for your very intelligent and articulate posting.

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  22. This is great.

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  23. Earl, based on you last post 8-31-07 9;55am you make me wonder whether the post you say is a counterfeit post by someone other than you, really is counterfeit. The "redneck" remark and the "we anglos" kind of fits the same thought pattern.----- It does not matter whether you stepped one inch across the border from Mexico or Canada or you traveled eighty miles from Cuba or much further. If you are a citizen of America then you are AMERICAN. Below are some thoughts by another American who faced some of the same issues. Possibly?, you recognize his name? Google it if you don't.----------"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

    Theodore Roosevelt 1907 -------------fred13red@yahoo.com

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  24. Dear fred13red@yahoo.com,

    First, let me say that I respect the fact that you posted your comments with your email address, even if it omits your name. As I've said before, those who don't have the courage to identify themselves, aren't worthy of a serious reply.

    I will respond to your posting section by section:

    Earl, based on you last post 8-31-07 9;55am you make me wonder whether the post you say is a counterfeit post by someone other than you, really is counterfeit. The "redneck" remark and the "we anglos" kind of fits the same thought pattern.-----

    IF YOU WONDER IF I'M LYING ABOUT THOSE POSTING THAT USE MY NAME TO "COUNTERFEIT" MY OPINION, ASK ANYONE WHO KNOWS ME. I AM NOTHING IF NOT TRUTHFUL...PROBABLY TO A FAULT.

    It does not matter whether you stepped one inch across the border from Mexico or Canada or you traveled eighty miles from Cuba or much further. If you are a citizen of America then you are AMERICAN.

    WHO CAN ARGUE WITH THAT? I ALSO SUPPORT MOTHERHOOD AND APPLE PIE.

    Below are some thoughts by another American who faced some of the same issues. Possibly?, you recognize his name? Google it if you don't.----------"

    YES FRED. I KNOW WHO TEDDY ROOSEVELT IS. I HAPPEN TO BE A GREAT ADMIRER OF HIS, JUST AS I AM OF THOMAS JEFFERSON AND ALL OF OUR PRIOR PRESIDENTS. FRED, AMERICA EVOLVES AND IMPROVES YEAR BY YEAR. GEORGE WASHINGTON & THOMAS JEFFERSON ADVOCATED SLAVERY AND, IN FACT, OWNED SLAVES. THOMAS JEFFERSON EVEN FATHERED ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN WITH A SLAVE. WOULD YOU SUPPORT THIS BEHAVIOR BY A PRESIDENT TODAY (EXCLUDING BILL CLINTON, OF COURSE)? TEDDY ROOSEVELT DIDN'T BELIEVE THAT WOMEN SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE. IT WASN'T UNTIL 1920 WHEN WE PASSED THE 19TH AMENDMENT THAT THEY WERE ALLOWED TO VOTE. DO YOU SUPPORT THE POSTION THAT WOMEN SHOULDN'T VOTE TODAY? TEDDY ROOSEVELT LED HIS ROUGH RIDERS UP SAN JUAN HILL IN CUBA AND KILLED A LOT OF SPANISH SOLDIERS. TEDDY WON BUT HIS ROUGH RIDERS SUFFERED THREE TIMES CASUALTIES OF THE SPANISH. SOMETHING LIKE THAT MIGHT HAVE MADE SENSE OVER A HUNDRED YEARS AGO, BUT IT SURE WOULDN'T TODAY. "THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN"...(If you don't know who said that...look it up on Google). AMERICA HAS EVOLVED FROM AN ISOLATIONIST MENTALITY, THROUGH A WORLD DOMINATION MENTALITY, AND WE ARE NOW ENTERING A PERIOD OF BEING A PART OF A GLOBAL SOCIETY. THERE ARE ALWAYS THOSE WHO CLING TO THE PAST AND THERE ALWAYS WILL BE.

    THOSE WHO RANT ABOUT "ONLY ENGLISH BEING SPOKEN IN AMERICA"...HOW DO THEY FEEL ABOUT "Catholic masses being conducted in Latin or Jewish children attending Hebrew school and synagogues holding service in Hebrew? Why do most high schools offer and encourage children to take another language...French, German or Spanish? Why is a speaking and understanding ability of a 2nd language and reading and writing knowledge of a third language a prerequisite for A Phd? Do you think opera should be banned because they speak Italian? Have you ever enjoyed a foreign movie with English subtitles? When you travel outside of America, wouldn't you enjoy yourself more if you spoke some of the language of the country you were visiting? How does it make you feel that most everybody in that country (even the children)speak English much better than you can speak their language?

    FRED, TAKE YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND AND JOIN THE 21ST CENTURY. WE CAN KEEP TEDDY ROOSEVELT AS ONE OF OUR HEROES OF THE NINETEETH CENTURY,BUT WE WOULDN'T WANT HIM TO BE OUR POLICY MAKER TODAY.

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  25. Earl,
    It is commendable that you consider yourself a teller of the truth. If you are, others who know you will laud your truthfulness and you will not need to claim it.
    I'm a little lost as to what motherhood and apple pie have to do with whether someone considers themself as an individual, or as a group consider themselves to be first a Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Colombian, etc., while living in America and then somewhere down the list, or if at all, consider themselves an American while at the same time EXPECTING and DEMANDING the benefits and rights of an American citizen. All the while the culture and habits from a country they ran from are praised and embraced by them to the exclusion of the better culture that they ran to, because it was better. In car talk it would be like giving (not selling, which implies an agreement)) a new car to a person whose car was in poor shape due to a lack of proper maintenance and they then maintain the new car in the same fashion as their old car," because"----- " that's the way I used to do it, it's my culture". With incorrect maintenance and /or understanding of why the car must be maintained in a certain fashion,,, well, it also will end up in poor condition. Now if you pander to this person in their language of maintenance because they reject and/or refuse to learn what it takes to correctly maitain a car, then the new car will viewed in the same light as the old car it replaced. Both of you will have lost in the transaction. You , in knowing what was lost . He in not knowing what he received, and squandered.
    It is commendable that you noticed the obvious disconnect between the founding documents of the United States and the founding fathers actions. Your inclusion of Thomas Paine, the main founding father of the United States would have solved the appearance of a conundrum. While Paine took ideas and values to the limits of Positive Principles, many of the other founding fathers took the positive principles that Paine wrote about to the limits of their own acceptance, or worse, to the restricted limits of their own pocketbooks which is a situation that may be being discussed in this comment section. Paine's pamphlet on African Slavery (1795) and writings on universal suffrage (1795) were either not understood, or more likely, understood and rejected for monetary motives, which means some major problems were knowingly left for future generations to deal with at a much higher cost. Embracing honor, honesty, integrity, loyalty, positive principles, along with rules of conduct that work is not to be derided as clinging to the past, but respected as honoring developed civilization
    Again I must commend you on another of your observations, most American High Schools do encourage the learning and speaking of a second language and while you appear to belittle your fellow Americans who respect the idea of a single unifying language, you pander to a monolinguistic group that refuses to learn the language or respect the rules and laws of their adopted/host country.
    You ask the question "How does it make you feel that most everybody in that country (even the children)speak English much better than you can speak their language?". Well it would make me wonder about the truth of your question or the validity and need of advertising in Spanish in the English speaking nation of America.
    BTW, -----We did not just drop into the 21ST century, ALL of the foundations for success and positive civilization came from previous centuries and previous millennia. Watch what you advocate throwing out.
    No reply necessary
    fred13red@yahoo.com

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  26. "Wer eine andere Sprache nicht kennt, kennt sein eigenes nicht" -- Goethe

    (For those who feel that Americans should be required to remain ignorant of any language other than English, that translates to "He who does not know another language, does not know his own.")

    Mr. Stewart, I applaud your outreach to the Hispanic community and I commend you for standing strong in the face of xenophobia.

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  27. Mr. Stewart
    I really do not know how to take your ad. I see your point and I also see the point of the people who criticized. What concerns me is the opinion that a lot of business owners are targeting the hispanic market because of the fact they are most likely to pay in cash because of the immigrent status where as most Americans must go through the credit check and haggling of salesmen. If you dont have to pay taxes or health insurance or live in househole where you have eight adults chiping in for 800 or 900 dollar rent, then I guess you wold be the perfect customer. Unfortunately Mr. Stewert your are not the only business owner to tqake advantaqge of such "easy" pickings, you were just a little more well known.

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  28. The Acid Queen ---It's not that Americans should remain ignorant of any language other than English. It is that all Americans should have the intelligence to understand and communicate in the common language already established in the United States. That requires the non-ignorance you seek.

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  29. We are honored to have this extremely insightful and complimentarly editorial written about our Spanish language TV commercial by Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald, a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist.



    Posted on Sun, Oct. 21, 2007

    English language not endangered
    By LEONARD PITTS

    La gente dice que Earl Stewart lo hizo sólo por el poderoso dólar.

    (People say Earl Stewart did it only for the almighty dollar.)

    El dice que tienen razón.

    (He says they're right.)

    What's that? The subtitles are distracting? Fine, I'll stop.

    But the point here is, all Stewart wanted to do was sell Toyotas. It's something he's been doing for 33 years as the proprietor of Earl Stewart Toyota in Palm Beach County. Then he hit upon an idea he thought might expand his market: Spanish-language commercials with English subtitles. The spots run on English-language television and, though he speaks no Spanish, Stewart stars in them himself.

    The subtitles, he says, were an afterthought. 'I said, `You know, I'm going to be talking to a lot of people that don't speak Spanish so, as a courtesy or to explain what I'm doing, maybe I should use English subtitles.' It was really an effort on my part, albeit a failure, to be nice to the monolingual folks.''

    The ''monolingual folks'' were not feeling the love -- putting it mildly. Stewart says the commercial brought him a ''flood'' of angry, often profane e-mails and phone calls, nine out of every 10 sharply critical of his commercial. As described by Stewart, the complaints tended to be longer on emotion than on logic.

    For instance, they said that by advertising in Spanish, he encouraged Spanish-speakers to avoid learning English. But he was advertising on English stations, so anyone watching presumably already spoke the language.

    And people kept referencing Mexico, usually in sentences that began with, ''Why don't you go back to . . . '' But anybody who knows South Florida knows that, while it is home to many Spanish speakers, the bulk of them are not Mexican.

    ''I think there's a lot of fear out there,'' says Stewart. ``All of the (presidential) candidates to some extent are using the immigration thing as a lever to get elected. They're appealing to the fear Americans have, some of this 9/11 stuff. And the rhetoric has a lot of the people who are not as informed or maybe don't listen carefully, convinced that most of the Spanish people in this country are illegal immigrants or they're terrorists.''

    It's a cogent analysis, but I think there's more going on here. One suspects that at bottom what set Stewart's critics off is a fear so visceral they might not even have words to express it. Put simply: Since when do we need subtitles in our own country?

    To which the best answer is probably another question. Who is ''we''? What is ``our''?

    The fact is that ''we'' is not what it used to be, and ''our'' reflects a nation more diverse than ever before. The Census Bureau says the Hispanic population of Palm Beach County stands at 16.7 percent, nearly two percentage points higher than the national figure. Isn't it smart business to reach out to them? Why begrudge Stewart's efforts to do so?

    Granted, it's not hard to empathize with the sense of dislocation some people feel as they watch the nation changing around them. But to understand what they feel is not necessarily to share it.

    In the first place, hysterical predictions to the contrary notwithstanding, it's exceedingly unlikely that English is in danger of losing its position of primacy. In the second place, people will sooner or later have to understand that while change is frightening, change is also life, especially in a nation as susceptible as this one to the forces of the free market. Which is, for my money, the moral of Stewart's story.

    He says that as that story has become better known, the public response has done a 180-degree turnabout. The commercial -- and the notoriety -- have brought customers from as far away as Miami. And he's just had his best September, ever. All of which leaves Stewart with mixed emotions. He's disappointed in many of his fellow Americans.

    On the other hand, business is good.



    Leonard Pitts Jr.

    Leonard Pitts Jr. won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2004. He is the author of Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood. His column runs every Monday and Friday. Email Leonard at lpitts@MiamiHerald.com or visit his website at www.leonardpittsjr.com

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