City panel rules on “Speak English” sign: No hay problema

A couple months ago, Abha brought you the story of a famous cheesesteak shop in Philadelphia which featured a sign that said, “This is America: When Ordering Please Speak English.” Interest in that post was, shall we say, robust, generating almost 600 comments.

Now, a Philadelphia city panel has ruled that the sign posted by the owner of Geno’s, Joe Vento, was not discriminatory. According to MSNBC, “Commissioners Roxanne E. Covington and Burt Siegel voted to dismiss the complaint, finding that the sign does not communicate that business will be ‘refused, withheld or denied.'”

Critics of the sign say that it discouraged certain groups of people from eating at Geno’s, as the sign was posted directly above another sign stating, “Management Reserves the Right to Refuse Service.”

But Vento said that the sign was never meant to be offensive, and that he never refused serving anyone who couldn’t speak English. Though he doesn’t deny that, occasionally, his non-English speaking customers would “accidentally” get the wrong order.

Said the triumphant shop owner: “I always believed in my heart I was going to win from the giddyup.”

More here.