Store Owner Demands Spanish-Speaking Customers Show Social Security Cards

David C. Richardson, the owner of Rhode Island Refrigeration in Providence, Rhode Island, overheard two customers speaking Spanish to each other, so he asked them to produce proof of citizenship. According to them, he then threatened to call Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and make a citizen’s arrest, although Richardson denies he picked up the phone, but not that he made the threats. In fact, he says he’s done this “fifteen or twenty times” in the past and refuses to do business with those who won’t show their Social Security cards.

According to the article, Richardson is likely in violation of a state law that prohibits unfair sales practices, as well as state laws “prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race or national origin in places of public accommodation.” Even the group that Richardson claims membership in—Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement (RIILE)—is trying to distance itself from Richardson:

“There’s no way I can defend what he did. It definitely isn’t the policy of RIILE to go around and use your RIILE card to intimidate people,” said Gorman in a phone interview. “That’s not something that RIILE would promote … to make citizen’s arrest.”

When asked what proof he had to suspect their status, he replied, “What proof is there? I think the majority of people who don’t speak English in Rhode Island — at least 51 percent or more — are illegal aliens.” Both customers are Dominican natives with U.S. citizenship.

Genao said he is still upset over the encounter, which he called “loud in tone.” Richardson called it “a discussion.”

“I told [Richardson] I’m a U.S. citizen by choice, whereas he was just born here,” said Genao. “I have every right to be here. I told him his behavior was shameful. And he went on to say that a lot of these illegal immigrants are criminals and we have to stop them, and he said he did this for his country — because it’s going downhill, because of all these illegal immigrants.

“What [Richardson] should have done was say, ‘Thank you for shopping with me.’ That’s all he had to do.”

(Thanks to ElizabethD!)

“Store owner asks to see shoppers’ Social Security cards” [The Providence Journal]


Edit Your Comment

  1. darkened says:

    This is America, speak American. Big cheers to this store owner.

  2. MickeyMoo says:

    What a freakin TOOL – I hope the news media doesn’t pick this up or his store will get lots of free publicity. I do hope that if there are any rational people in his town they stop shopping at his business and he goes bankrupt.

  3. stageright says:

    I don’t see how this is “discrimination”. The guy, as a business owner, has the right to decide if he does or does not want to do business with criminals. And if you are here in violation of our immigration laws, then you are by definition a criminal.

    Personally, I have no issue with passing a law that makes it a crime to do business with someone here illegally.

    Renting to an illegal immigrant is aiding them, and I do believe there is a law against “aiding and abetting”, isn’t there?

  4. radio1 says:

    I have mixed feeling about this.

    Can’t any good news come out of my home state?

    And for the future posters (detractors) of this guy, have you been recently to the Providence-Johnston-Pawtucket-Woonsocket area recently?

  5. DrGirlfriend says:

    Setting aside how ridiculous and discriminatory this guy’s little crusade is, how many people actually carry their Social Security cards around?

    I used to work with a woman who pulled similar stunts, but not out of a sense of outrage – she just thought that it was her responsibility to ask. I had another person ask me, “How can this person have medical insurance through the state? She’s…..Hispanic!”

  6. MickeyMoo says:

    You sir, are an asshat.

  7. yesteryear says:

    wow. this should really get national press and this guy should be fired immediately. what a jackass. i hate to break it to him, but there are plenty of non-american citizens who might actually speak perfect english… this is not the best way to go about weeding out illegals.

    also – i wonder if he’s also against the fact that most of the refrigerators he sells are probably made overseas by 17 year olds who have kidney damage because they’ve been inhaling toxic fumes since they were 9? something tells me he doesn’t care too much about that angle.

    again, what a jackass.

  8. MissTic says:

    Yeah, because no one EVER counterfeited a Social Security card!!!!

  9. donTHEd says:

    Ridiculous. There are millions of Spanish speaking Americans.

    And like DrGirlfriend said, who really carries around their social security cards. I always felt it was stupid/dangerous to walk around with my SS card.

  10. Hawk07 says:

    The Consumerist is slowly turning into Digg in terms of having the most hypocritical commenters around.

    Just a couple of days ago, the majority was claiming that a public store has the right to refuse a sale (in reference to an AT&T store that accused the customer of wanting to unlock an iPhone which he wanted to activate at home.)

    Plus, if this guy is willing to do a job which is on our books and the federal government has thus far been stumbling and failing to do (the latest immigration snafu in the last year or so isn’t the first time we’ve tried giving illegals amnesty), than more power to him. Discrimination laws don’t protect people that have already broken the law.


    I think “store owner” is the keyword here.

  11. punkrawka says:

    Even if valid, a Social Security card isn’t proof of citizenship. So this guy isn’t just an asshat, he’s a moron to boot.

  12. When you assume, you make an ASS out of…well, yourself, basically.

  13. mwdavis says:

    Remarkably successful, you know . . . how the corporate masters get us all angry and het up at each other (white vs. black, immigrant vs. citizen, gay vs. straight, etc.) so we consistently fail to focus on those who are actually looting the country for their own benefit.

    I care a lot less whether my Croatian neighbor working as a custodian at the medical school is legal than I do about the All American President of Gargantuan Health Insurance, Inc.’s $500 million dollar parachute . . .

    just sayin’ . . . but yeah, I’m a hippie commie faggot, so don’t bother yelling at me. I’be heard it all before.

  14. Dervish says:

    @DrGirlfriend: I sure don’t carry mine around. I thought it was recommended that you keep your SS card somewhere safe until it’s needed, such as when beginning employment someplace?

    This guy is a dong. Heaven forbid people should speak another language at times.

  15. SRSco says:

    @darkened: I wish this was Digg or Reddit so I could bury the shit out of your comment.

  16. flamincheney says:

    I’m a swarthy fellow and should go into his shop and speak Spanish. When he detains me for ICE I’ll turn around and sue him for false imprisonment and kidnapping. Some empowered Americans have taken it upon themselves to learn more than their native tongue.

  17. mwdavis says:

    @Hawk07: Discrimination laws don’t protect people that have already broken the law.

    You are a very scary person.

  18. bonzombiekitty says:

    Never mind that –

    a. The US has no official language.
    b. You do not NEED a social security card as a US citizen, although most US citizens have one.
    c. The people could be non-US citizens, but living in the country legally and have no social security card.

  19. pigeonpenelope says:

    @darkened: considering American is not a language, should we be attempting to speak the many languages of Native Americans? I’m simply confused. Oh silly me.

  20. Wow, I’m like flying to Rhode Island, going to his store and speaking Spanish on purpose. (I’m guessing he won’t recognize it as craptastic high school Spanish.) Does he ask fair-skinned redheads speaking foreign tongues for THEIR social security cards? (Or would I have to travel back in time to turn him into a “No Irish Need Apply” racist too?) And WHAT THE HELL IS THIS MAN DOING TO OUR TOURISM INDUSTRY? We need all the tourist dollars we can get in this economy!

    “I told [Richardson] I’m a U.S. citizen by choice, whereas he was just born here,” said Genao.

    Good. For. Genao. I’m friggin’ delighted he chose the U.S. We could use more folks like him who understand what America stands for, as obviously this store owner MISSED THE MEMO in 1776.

  21. chrisjames says:

    “I’m a U.S. citizen by choice, whereas he was just born here.”


  22. rkmc12 says:

    I’m sorry, some schmuck at a restaurant is not going to look at my social security card and my number.

  23. nuch says:

    I’m not even sure I know where my social security card is – somewhere in a safe in North Tonawanda, I’m guessing. If I had to provide it to make purchases, I’d be totally screwed.

  24. rkmc12 says:

    @darkened: I’m assuming you’re a troll, if not we don’t speak American, we speak English. At least get it right.

  25. fostina1 says:

    what happened to “BRING MY YOUR TIRED, YOUR POOR, YOUR HUDDLED MASSES” this is not america anymore.

    “Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

    Here at our sea-washed, sunset hates shall stand

    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

    Is the imprisoned lighting, and her name

    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon hand

    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

    “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

    With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,

    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

  26. hypnotik_jello says:

    @darkened: go back and crawl into your cave, troll.

  27. Xay says:

    So let me get this straight: Consumerist commenters see no reason why you should have to show your receipt to a Walmart employee to verify that you are not stealing, but you should have to show your Social Security card to a store owner to verify your citizenship so you can shop in his store?

    And how does this not qualify as discrimination – there are plenty of people in the United States illegally who are not Spanish speaking, especially in the Northeast.

  28. nuch says:

    @pigeonpenelope: “Excuse me, but osio Sarah dawado”

  29. yesteryear says:

    @Hawk07: ah, i missed that. well… then i hope all of the ‘illegal immigrants’ (read: brown people who speak another language, citizens or not) and other folks in his area who are offended by this, get together and boycott the place.

    i’m not a discrimination expert, but isn’t there some kind of legal action that can be taken against this guy?

  30. mac-phisto says:

    i have 3 words for mr. richardson:

    chinga tu madre

  31. NcSchu says:

    I’m a legal America citizen who was born and raised here, but I don’t carry around my SS card with me everywhere I go…I’m too paranoid about getting my wallet stolen to do that. Memorization FTW!

  32. emjsea says:

    Douche of the day award to you! It’s called “English” you illiterate. At least “they” have an excuse for not speaking the language properly, what’s yours?

  33. nuch says:

    @danisaikou: That was supposed to be hyperlinked to: []

  34. Parting says:

    @darkened: There no such country as America (it’s a CONTINENT with a LOT of countries on it, Duh!), there is a country named USA.

    Also, there is English, no American either.

    And by the way, all “Americans” are immigrants. If it’s not you, it’s your grandparents or your grand-grandparents. And colonists were technically illegal immigrants which took over native lands.

    So if you want to act like a bad lawyer, take all facts first, then troll around.

  35. pigeonpenelope says:

    @bonzombiekitty: while i am quite sure that the US does have an official language (am open to be proven wrong here), i agree with you otherwise. most of my dad’s brothers and sisters are not US citizens but have lived here legally since they moved here. funny thing. the store owner would never know it. they’re british.

    i don’t carry my ssn or any proof of citizenship on me. should my purse get stolen, i don’t want my identity stolen.

    if i was not raised speaking english and had to learn another language, i would still feel more comfortable talking to my family in native tongue.

  36. RStewie says:


    I hope there is some sort of publicity, so this asshole goes out of business. Does he have a sign posted, warning people that they have to prove citizenship before they can purchase items? Otherwise, it’s discrimination, and illegal.

    I wish Genao sued his dumb, self-righteous ass.

  37. Hawk07 says:

    When stories like this hit the press, I know if I buy a refrigerator from this guy, chances are he stands behind the product.

    It sure as hell beats having to read all these Conesumerist stories about “________ (Sears/Best Buy/etc.) fails to fix refrigerator after _____ months/years!!!!!”

    I don’t know where any of y’all purchase your appliances, because obviously the big chain retailers fail miserably, and the small time guys are just racist.

  38. Parting says:

    @NcSchu: You’re NOT SUPPOSED to show your social security number to anyone, besides banks and your employer.

    Even for credit checks, you should (for your own security), use your DOB only.

    Identity theft hurts a lot, when the thief has you Social #.

  39. andymadrid1 says:

    I wish CNN would get rid of lou dobbs and his dubious crusade again illegal immigration. His rhetoric really rallies the stupid together and helps draw attention away from our real problems, like the falling dollar and our crazy president.

  40. tamoko says:

    @Dervish: I don’t carry mine around with me either. I guess I just wasn’t expecting to have to pass through 15 security/identity checkpoints when going about my daily routine.

    This guys a douche, much like the hyper patriotic, xenophobic Minutemen morons who seems to blame everything on immigrants; illegal or seemingly not illegal.

    @darkened: An A+ in douchebaggery, an F for sensitivity or ration thought.

  41. bonzombiekitty says:

    @xay: I think you sorta answered your own question. The biggest issue is that it’s discrimination — being able to speak another language does not imply a person is in the country illegally.

    Also, whether or not a customer is in the country illegally doesn’t really directly effect the given business. When it comes to receipts, that’s an attempt to reduce shoplifting and you can make the argument that’s it’s a reasonable measure to take.

    However, it is not the duty of a store owner or employee to try and enforce immigration laws on their own.

  42. savvy9999 says:

    When your own weird, single-issue interest group (left or right) disavows you, that’s a sign you’re seriously up the creek with a paddle.

  43. leprofie says:

    Read the bottom of the Social Security Card … “Not for identification”

  44. mac-phisto says:

    can we keep the foreigners & just deport all the stupid assholes?

  45. Hawk07 says:

    Somebody please tell me how:

    A) This guy is clearly being discriminatory for asking to see a SSN card (the general drift of the comments here)


    B) an AT&T CSR wasn’t being discriminatory when they accused a guy that he was going to take his iPhone home and unlock it and hence refused the sale without providing a valid SSN to register him when it’s been policy since day 1 that you can activate your phone online? (the drift of the comments in the other story)

    Anyone care to jump on this one?

  46. Rusted says:

    No one should ever give out their social unless legally required. I sympathize as I’m in an industry (Construction)that is overrun with illegals who drove down the wages and recompense of us legals, but that was wrong.

    @darkened: Many American languages. English isn’t original.

    @DrGirlfriend: I do, but its in my organizer.

    @yesteryear: No such thing as a non-American citizen. Once a citizen then an American.

    @punkrawka: Have to agree, lot of identity theft going on. Another reason to never disclose the number….

  47. bonzombiekitty says:

    @pigeonpenelope: No, the US has no official language. Just a language most of us happen to speak. There’s been various proposals by Congress to make English the official language, I think there may even have been non-binding resolution that was approved, but there’s nothing in the actual law that declares English as an official language. Although I think some states may have declared their own official languages (Hawaii has Hawaiian and English IIRC).


  48. Keirmeister says:

    Ahhh, the Triumph of Stupidity ™.

    Heck, my wife isn’t an American citizen but has a Social Security #.

  49. megan9039 says:

    This all goes back to what my mother always said “Why can’t everyone get along?”. Or the best one “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say a word”.

    I think if you want to come to America to become a LEGAL citizen to contribute to society, pay taxes and be treated like all LEGAL Americans, there is proper way to do so.

  50. sirwired says:

    @Hawk07: It is perfectly consistent to state that AT&T is within its rights to refuse to sell an iPhone, while this guy is not right to refuse to sell to people that he merely suspects are illegal immigrants.

    AT&T refusing to sell the iPhone is merely stupid. A store owner refusing to serve customers based on national origin (or even suspected national origin) isn’t just stupid, it is blatantly illegal. This isn’t even a grey area.

    There are many ways to be in this country legally for an extended period of time (and therefore need a fridge) and not have a SSN. Student, Spouse, international employee on extended assignment, etc.

    In addition, there is absolutely no reason for anybody to carry around their SS card with them at all times. Mine stays in a fireproof box in my house; the only people that EVER need to see it are the DMV and a new employer when filling out the I-9. Anybody else that asks for it, especially some clown that wants to be a one-man ICE, can go $*&@ him (or her) self.

  51. pigeonpenelope says:

    @xay: i hope that it is a given for everyone that we should never show our ssn cards to anyone asking to see it. i wouldn’t show anyone who demanded to see it to make me prove anything. exception: where it is truly needed like when i get my enhanced drivers license so that i don’t need to carry tons of docs to go to canada.

    i go to canada frequently and to get back home, i must provide proof of citizenship. they do not want a ssn card, they want my birth cert and a drivers license. or a passport. my point, a ssn is not recognized by border patrol as a good means of proving citizenship.

  52. ClayS says:

    When I was 16, I lost my wallet with my Social Security card inside, and I haven’t had an SS card since.

    If I had one, I wouldn’t show it to a storekeeper anyway; I’m too conscious of identity theft.

  53. BugMeNot2 says:

    No hypocrisy. Turning a customer away because you think he may use the product in a way counter to how you wish him to use it is perfectly legal. Not always the smartest thing to do, but still perfectly legal. Turning a customer away because he will no produce proof of citizenship is illegal.

    @xay: I haven’t seen anyone who is in the anti-show-receipt crowd say that these people should have shown their SS card. In fact, most people who have responded here have said, “Good for them for refusing.” There is no relation between this (an illegal action) and receipt requests (a voluntary action).

  54. bonzombiekitty says:

    @Hawk07: It’s discrimination primarily due to how he decides who to ask for SS cards.

  55. cabinaero says:

    I wonder if the idiot in the story realizes that it’s quite possible to legally have a social security number without being a US Citizen. Heck you can even legally get a SS# without a greencard.

  56. fostina1 says:

    the back of my ss card says to keep someplace safe. i dont consider that in my wallet. my fire safe or safety deposit box.

  57. ladron121 says:

    @Hawk07: “Discrimination laws don’t protect people that have already broken the law.”

    Um, I may be unclear on this, but I think you have to PROVE that someone has broken the law. Just because they are not white and are not speaking English doesn’t mean they are illegals. And since when is it anyone’s job to harrass American’s for proof of citizenship?

    These guys definitely have a case for suit.

  58. pigeonpenelope says:

    @bonzombiekitty: i’m not disagreeing with you here. what i am confused about is that i was under the impression that to become a US citizen, it is a requirement to speak English? if that is true, in a sense, and feel welcome to disagree, isn’t english somewhat an official language as it has been established as a requirement to be a citizen?

  59. azntg says:

    @NcSchu: Indeed. Heck, I’m a little iffy even carrying my driver license when I’m not driving!

    @bonzombiekitty: All of them good points.

  60. jeffrey115 says:

    @radio1: I have, in fact I lived in North Providence and Johnston for about a year. Who cares if there’s an influx of Hispanics? Rhode Island loses about 200,000 people a year to other states around the country. Be grateful you still have a tax base that doesn’t live in those awful senior centers.

  61. picshereplz says:

    Who the fuck carries around their social security card?

  62. TrexSchad says:

    @pigeonpenelope: The Federal Government has not established a national language. French and English are official languages in Louisiana and Hawaiian and English are official languages in Hawaii. A good majority of the other states have set English as their official language, but Rhode Island is not one of those states.


  63. Hawk07 says:

    @sirwired: @BugMeNot2: @bonzombiekitty:

    However, it’s not discriminatory to refuse a sale based upon age? I’m guessing the iPhone guy was a young male probably in his 20-30’s. In other words, the type that might know how to unlock an iPhone. But, if the guy had sent in his mother to do his evil bidding (purchasing refurbished iPhone), do you think the sales associates would have given his mother such grief?

  64. picshereplz says:

    By the way: []

    “How can I protect my Social Security number?

    You should treat your Social Security number as confidential information and avoid giving it out unnecessarily. You should keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers. Do not carry it with you unless you need to show it to an employer or service provider. “

  65. BStu says:

    @fostina1: Sadly, anti-immigrant fervor has a long history in these United States. In the 19th century, it was the Catholics, then the Germans, then the Chinese. In the 20th Century if was the Japanese (back in 1924!), then the Mexicans, then the Africans and Asians. Nativism reaches bach over 150 years in this country.

    Which, of course, leads to idiot store owners declaring that at least 51% of spanish speakers are illegals. Actually, the Pew Hispanic Center puts it between 2-4% of the states immigrants are undocumented. Just another bigot making up proof to justify prejudice.

  66. Anonymous says:

    They tell you when you get a social security card not to keep it on you and to keep it somewhere safe.

    This guy is just losing business by being silly.

  67. AMetamorphosis says:

    I think they should have to produce a Walmart receipt …

    ( cue moans & groans now … )

  68. meeroom says:

    I have to say that I think he has a right to do this, it’s his store. He obviously is concerned about an influx of illegal immigrants in his town. If the people don’t like it, take their business elsewhere. That’s called capitalism. There would be a lot less resentment towards today’s illegal immigrants if more of them would speak English, pay taxes, and not send their money back to their home country.
    And before everyone gets their panties in a bunch about me making assumptions, keep in mind that I’ve wroked with illegal immigrants since I was 15 and that has been the case with about 300 that I have known over the years.

  69. SkokieGuy says:

    @Hawk07: Wow! You feel: “…If this guy is willing to do a job which is on our books and the federal government has thus far been stumbling and failing to do………than more power to him.”

    My I review your taxes, since the IRS does a poor job of auditing tax cheat.

    May I inspect your home since many people perform home repairs in violation of building codes?

    Please, PLEASE tell me you were being sarcastic and don’t really believe store owners and other private citizens should go around enforcing laws.

  70. 3drage says:

    Good, wish more businesses would do this. I’m tired of supporting illegal freeloaders.

  71. picshereplz says:


    Do you carry your social security card around with you at all times?

    If so, you might want to change that practice.

  72. kryllen says:

    His house… his rules… if he wants to ask that his customers prove their citizenship, that is his right while he is in his own place of business. It is ALSO the right of the customer to walk out of the store when asked to prove citizenship.

    As mentioned before, having a social security number does not mean the person IS a citizen, so that is probably not the proof he should be asking for. In the end, he will probably just have to accept the word of the customer.

  73. Jim Fletcher says:

    The guy’s a douchebag, no argument.

    But I keep getting hung up on the part about “a lot of these illegal immigrants are criminals.”

    Actually *ALL* illegal immigrants are criminals. That’s the “illegal” part.

  74. bonzombiekitty says:

    @pigeonpenelope: You don’t necessarily have to speak english to be naturalized. But there are some requirements to be able speak and read english, yes. But from my understanding those requirements are not very strict (what being able to “speak” is english can be relative — I’ve met a few newly naturalized US citizens that had only the most minimal grasp of english), and I think there are other exceptions to that rule. There’s also nothing preventing a newly naturalized citizen from speaking entirely in his/her native language such that children don’t really understand english, or forming communities where a non-english language is primarily spoken to extent that everybody generally forgets English.

  75. DrGirlfriend says:

    @Hawk07: It’s illegal to traget anyone based on their ethnicity. This man targeted these customers based on the fact that they spoke Spanish, hence, of likely Latin American origin.

    IIRC, At&T outright refused the sale when the customer got all crazy-like and started getting hostile.

  76. BugMeNot2 says:


    While I agree this guy is wrong, please let the “Give me your tired, your poor,…” die. It was graffiti scrawled on a landmark. It’s no more an official stance on immigration than English is the official language.

  77. DrGirlfriend says:

    And by the way: soy latina, hablo español, y soy ciudadana de los Estados Unidos.


  78. morganlh85 says:

    Every good American knows NOT to keep your SS card in your wallet. What a douchebag.

  79. ancientsociety says:

    But but but…they just came here for a better life!

    Seriously though – His store, his rules. Conversely, the customer isn’t obliged to patronize his business. Also, it’s not “illegal” to do this, just “immoral”.

  80. Wow, what a xenophobic dick.

    I live in Arizona and every now and then we go the casino for a night out, a few months ago an elderly woman was sitting next to me, and she started complaining about the person sitting a few seats down. She was pretty much blowing my mind, I can’t even remember most of the racist stuff she was saying, But I thought it was hilarious that she was bitching about “illegals” while she was gambling at an Indian Casino, on a reservation…, But the topper, the absolute most outrageous thing was, she was jabbering on about some teller at her bank, the old racist lady heard the teller say to someone that she (the teller) was born in America, and the old lady actually said this to me about this teller: “She’s not an American. Her parents were from Mexico, I told her she’s an illegitimate American.” Yes, indeed, aren’t we all….

    btw I keep my SS card in my wallet, I’ve had the same paper card for the last 20 years, I really don’t know how I’ve been able to keep track of it all these years, or how it’s managed to stay in relatively good shape… I wish someone would steal my identity, maybe they could improve my credit. :)

  81. humphrmi says:

    I think it’s funny that the huge picture of the SS card above says very clearly on it “NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION”. So, aside from already knowing that he’s a complete moron, what does this guy accomplish by viewing their SS card?

  82. Hawk07 says:


    Actually, they immediately told him he couldn’t get the iPhone unless he activated it instore. When he inquired, they accused him of wanting to unlock the phone and said “No SSN! No Sale!!”

    Except, I think most Consumerists missed that part and instead jumped on the guys case for insulting AT&T employees after he already been accused of something. Who guys into an AT&T store and is hostile just to get an iPhone?

    All the concerns about “identity theft” and what have you are just cop-outs to the real issue. I would trust the refrigerator store owner with my SSN# many times more than a minimum wage + commission earning person at an AT&T store. Yet, at one store, you shouldn’t be required to provide a SSN, and the other one, you have to.

  83. bonzombiekitty says:

    @kryllen: Ummm. No. A business owner has to abide by the laws set down. Besides the questionable legality of asking ANYONE to prove their citizenship, he is basing his decision on who to ask for proof on precieved nationality. That is patently discrimination and totally illegal.

  84. LorneReams says:

    I live in RI. Most of the natives in the northern part of the state speak French. They have been there longer then most of the people who complain that they don’t speak English (or American, whatever that is). What is it about people from America (which I consider myself to be) expecting everyone in America to always speak English, and then when they travel out of country, get offended when people don’t speak English where ever they are?

  85. vladthepaler says:

    Why would anyone carry their social security around? Seems like a strange thing to have with you at all times. The store-owner’s request is unreasonable.

  86. BStu says:

    @pigeonpenelope: No. There is no “somewhat official” on this. Its not like other nation’s only ever have somewhat official languages. Many do have officially recognized official languages. The United States does not. Many states, too, but its worth noting that Hawaii and Louisiana officially recognize English AND another language. States from Maine to New Mexico conduct official business in two languages. And lets not forget the various territories. American citizens in Puerto Rico are more likely to speak Spanish than English.

  87. bonzombiekitty says:

    @bonzombiekitty: To add to this, I’m 99% sure it’s illegal to refuse business on someone based on citizenship. A person does not have to be a citizen to be in the country and legally conduct business.

  88. Pamoya says:

    You can refuse to provide service to someone because they are causing a disturbance, or because they have unlocked their phone, etc.

    You can’t refuse to provide service to someone because they are black, or because they are Hispanic. Ever heard of the civil rights movements? Sit-ins at lunch counters ring a bell?

  89. johnva says:

    @ancientsociety: Do you think it would be legal for him to ban black people from his business? After all, “his store, his rules”. The fact is, he has to obey the laws of the land if he runs a public establishment. This MIGHT be in a gray area, but I doubt it. I think it’s discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity/national origin.

  90. ju_ju_eyeball says:

    Boo Hoo! I was speaking spanish, and people did not like it! That is correct. English speaking people do not like it. It is not our language. English is our language. How did I figure that out? All our founding documents (Declairation of Indepenence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc.) are written in english. The true test of a country’s nation language is the language on the MONEY.

    Mexico (Peso) – Spanish
    France (Franc) – French
    Germany (Mark) – German
    United States (Dollar) – English

    Do foreign countries bend over backward for englsih speaking people? Does Mexico waste millions of Pesos to print everything in spanish and english? When you call any government office, do you think it says press 1 for spanish, 2 for english?

    The United States better wake up and begin defending itself from cultural attacks like this, it will be gone.

    If Genao is a citizen by choice, he needs to choose to speak english too.

  91. picshereplz says:

    @ju_ju_eyeball: Are you just trolling? I can’t even figure it out anymore.

  92. @pigeonpenelope: The other thing I think people don’t take a moment to realize when they think an “official language” is a good idea is that as all citizens (and aliens, for that matter) are entitled to equal justice under law, regardless of their fluency in English, so “official language” implies a helluva lot more official translators hired at government expense. If you live in an area with a large first-generation immigrant Hispanic population, for example, there will often be a judge who speaks Spanish who will cover small claims so they don’t have to call in the translator. Or where I grew up, nearly 30% of the public school population was from Korea, either recently immigrated or with fathers here on business for a three-year rotation. They used parent volunteers (or even students) as translators when necessary.

    If ALL that business was REQUIRED to be conducted in English, however, you’d lose the flexibility of being able to conduct low-importance matters in an ad-hoc translation fashion, and you’d be paying out the ass for translators.

    A lot of folks complain about government documents in other languages. If you go to the DMV in Chicago, you’ll probably see applications and “Rules of the Road” in 6 languages. Well, if the DMV DOESN’T do that, they have to provide translation services for people who are state citizens and need an ID (or DL), but don’t speak fluent English. It’s a helluva lot cheaper to translate all the documents ONCE than to have interpreters on hand everywhere. Making English the official languages won’t magically make people fluent in English, and they’re still entitled to access to services, regardless of English-speaking ability.

    And before anyone bitches about people not learning English — 1) English-language classes for immigrants in most popular-to-immigrate-to areas are stuffed to the gills and have waiting lists as long as three years. They WANT to learn; there are not resources to teach them. 2) Immigrants and their children are learning English at the same rate OR FASTER THAN prior immigrants, partly due to the worldwide use of English. 3) Have you ever tried to learn a language as an adult? IT’S FUCKING HARD!

    Okay, semi-related rant done.

  93. johnva says:

    @ju_ju_eyeball: I’m an English-speaking person, and I don’t give a damn what language anyone else in my country speaks. Half the country could go Spanish-speaking, and I wouldn’t care. If I started having trouble getting by with English, I would learn Spanish.

    Your language is not a holy thing. Culture changes. Deal with it.

    P.S. Our money has Latin on it too. Does that mean we are a “Latin-speaking country”?

  94. lonewolf333 says:

    @darkened: You idiot

  95. LorneReams says:

    Read the article again:
    “David C. Richardson, the owner of Rhode Island Refrigeration in Providence, Rhode Island,overheard two customers speaking Spanish to each other, so he asked them to produce proof of citizenship.”

    They weren’t speaking Spanish to him, they were speaking it to each other. Are you saying people shouldn’t speak other languages in public?

  96. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I have to say that I think he has a right to do this, it’s his store.

    His house… his rules… if he wants to ask that his customers prove their citizenship, that is his right while he is in his own place of business.

    @meeroom, @kryllen: He does not have the right to break the law just because he owns a store.

  97. DigitalMariner says:

    “And he went on to say that a lot of these illegal immigrants are criminals…”

    The fact that the word illegal is an adjective to describe that group of immigrants might have been the first clue…

  98. ancientsociety says:

    @johnva: Damn a perfectly reasonable rebuttal to my last statement. Deny, deny!

    Never mind me. I’m operating on 3hrs of sleep today. I think smart in my head but can’t get no words out today.

  99. jomil91 says:

    wow… I speak Spanish, was born in El Salvador, but I do have a social, but I enver carry it with me (lost it once) If he would had asked me, I would have encouraged him to call the Immigration service, just so he could be ashamed of him self. bitch needs to go back to europe.

  100. HugeSuccess says:

    Darkened has a point tho. People living here do need to learn English or go home.

    Just hearing customers speak another language isn’t reason to assume they’re illegal, and while I’m not positive, it’s probably illegal to refuse to do business just based on language problems.

    However, if you’re going to live here permanently it only stands to reason that you need to learn the language native to your new country.

  101. bonzombiekitty says:


    I was speaking spanish, and people did not like it!

    So if a friend of mine and I speak a first language other than English, we’re not allowed to speak it to eachother in public less some random person decides to ask us for proof of citizenship?

    There’s an argument to be made about immigrants learning the local language, whether it’s official or not. But that’s not the issue at hand — from the OP it sounds like Genao speaks english just find, but was conversing in Spanish with a friend and the shop owner over heard them.

    The issue at hand is that it’s illegal for an employee to ask someone for proof of citizenship based on perceived nationality, and on top of that it’s illegal to deny service to those who refuse to provide such proof.

  102. Dbone1025 says:

    Good for him.
    Maybe not SSC, but some ID. The banks wont do it, the borders don’t work… someone’s got to keep an eye out.

    Welcome! Speak whatever you want! But when there are so many here illegally you can’t blame a guy for trying…

  103. @meeroom: “I have to say that I think he has a right to do this, it’s his store.”

    You’d be incorrect. Discrimination based on race, gender, national origin, and certain other characteristics is illegal, even when done by a privately-owned establishment, as long as it is a place of public accommodation (or otherwise covered, for example, under the FHA).

  104. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    @chouchou: I’m native american you insensitive clod! :D

  105. akyiba says:

    Was he carded because he was speaking Spanish? I wonder if he was speaking another language would the same be done.

  106. greensmurf says:

    Screw that I wouldnt show anyone my social security card and I am not Latin. This is one of the most asinine things I have ever heard. This guy is a real dumb ass.
    Citizens arrest? I love that so what happens if they are legal US citizens? I see LAWSUIT in this guys future. I hope someone kicks his ass real good because people that discriminate are brainless uneducated ass wipes.

    Here it Comes…..LOOOSSEEERRRR!!!!

  107. AMetamorphosis says:

    Does Walmart ask to see your receipt in Spanish ?

  108. Steel_Pelican says:

    @Hawk07: IANAL, but my scan of RI discrimination codes does not show that he’s outside of his state rights to refuse sale to anyone for any reason. This doesn’t say that his actions aren’t discrimination, it’s just that discrimination laws don’t apply to the purchase of goods in RI. In keeping with federal law, RI prohibits discrimination in accommodations (food, lodging, and entertainment), but not in goods. So, legally, he’s within his rights (as far as I can tell). But that doesn’t make it morally or ethically sound.

    How is this different from the AT&T case? Richardson is refusing sale based on the suspected national origin of his shoppers, whereas AT&T was refusing sale based on the suspected usage intent of its shopper. Refusing sale because of suspected use is perfectly legitimate in concept, though AT&T’s choice was probably misguided. A liquor store owner refusing to sell liquor to a 22-year old, on suspicion that he’ll give it to the 15-year-olds outside the store is not as misguided. Richardson is refusing service based on who he thinks the shoppers are, rather than what he thinks they’ll do with the goods. If Richardson refused sale because he thought they were going to use the refrigerator coolant to build a bomb, he’d be justified. If he refused to sell it to them because he thought they looked Jewish (which is functionally the same as his choice), he wouldn’t be justified.

    See the distinction?

  109. pibbsman0 says:


    /Proud to be a Rhode Islander!

  110. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @ju_ju_eyeball: They were not speaking in Spanish to the store owner or other employees. They were speaking Spanish to each other. Only asshats and nosy people get upset when they hear someone speaking a language they can’t understand.

  111. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    I think this guy is going about this the wrong way, but this is in no way illegal. The First Amendment only applies to government action and not to private individual action.

  112. ElizabethD says:

    Both customers are bilingual in Spanish and English — read the linked article. They had been conversing between themselves in Spanish but spoke fluent English to the business owner.

    You wouldn’t believe how many kneejerk racists are supporting Richardson here in RI. I am outraged.

  113. nerdherd628 says:

    I hate this kind of BS. When I sell service plans at Best Buy and
    tell them that it comes with phone tech support via the geeksquad, 50
    percent of the customers what to know where the call center is. It’s in
    huston by the way, but those who ask usually say something rude and
    uninformed about people who live in other countries and work at call

    I had to call BBY HR once and the guy on the other line was named
    Raj, but he was super nice. He had an accent but that doesn’t bother me
    so he was easy to understand. I think it’s American xenophobia that
    causes people to make unfair judgements when they hear the accent, they
    expect that to mean they are uneducated and speak unitelligibly.

  114. waxigloo says:


    What is this…1950? What if he had a sign up that said, “Whites only. No Negroes.” Would that be ok because it is his house, his rules?

  115. @bonzombiekitty: There’s also an argument to be made that Americans are crippling themselves in the world economy by being monolingual. More and more multinationals want English + fluency in at least one other language before hiring. Why should Germans buy from a U.S. company where nobody speaks German? per Willie Brandt: “When I am selling to you, of course I must speak English, but when I am the BUYER, dann muessen Sie Deutsch sprechen . . .”

    Seem to me the smart parent would get their kid speaking Spanish or Chinese as fast as possible. And the smart American would see folks with fluency in another language as an economic resource to be exploited, not bitch-slapped for having the temerity to come from another country like the rest of us originally did.

  116. kryllen says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Which law was broken then, exactly?

  117. President Beeblebrox says:

    @darkened: Wenn ich in Amerika bin, werde ich irgende Sprache sprechen, wie ich will.

    Go ahead, call teh coppers on me now.

  118. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    But when there are so many here illegally you can’t blame a guy for trying…

    @Dbone1025: The store owner is also breaking the law. Maybe other store owners should refuse to do business with him.

  119. 5h17h34d says:

    Don’t forget that the very existence of this great country is because it is a melting pot of legal and illegal immigrants. People who claim they are “American” are incorrect unless all of their forefathers are native Indians.

    Perhaps we should call it the United States of Hypocrisy?

  120. kryllen says:


    Well, no, that would be racial discrimination.

    What he is seeking to practice in this case would be “citizenship discrimination” if such a thing exists.

  121. Hey, unless you’re what we call “Native American” (incorrectly but commonly called “Indian” or “American Indian”) then YOU OR ONE OF YOUR (great)Grandparents were aliens in the United States.

    Our immigrants are here by choice. The store-owner in the story was born here. It always tells a lot about how you earned your “membership card”

    Here’s an analogy…. If he was born into money, and was rich his whole life, he would resent anybody who went to college, worked hard, started a business, and earned his own fortune.

    I was born in the USA, as were my parents, and even my grandparents. But, my great-grandparents were European immigrants. Does this make me any less of a citizen than someone who is a descendant of a family who came here on the Mayflower? Does it make me any less of a a citizen then my great grandparents?

  122. MeOhMy says:

    Help! My dollar has Latin written on it! Also, France and Germany have been using the Euro for nearly 10 years now. Talk about nations that have no history or cultural identity…oh wait…

    I think calling the guy in the article a “douche” has some tasty irony what with douche being a Frenchie word and all.

  123. Hey, where are the people who say “Why make a big deal out of it, just show them the damn card”

    You know,they jump in with that on the “receipt nazi” discussions.

  124. Steel_Pelican says:

    @ju_ju_eyeball: First, a though experiment. Let’s say that your company transferred you to Germany next week, and your family came along. How long would it be before you were fluent in German? How long before your family was? Once you were fluent, would you make it a point to speak only German to your family, especially in public? Would you be attacking German culture by speaking English to your family in public? What about in the office with your fellow American expats?

    Secondly, “Do foreign countries bend over backward for englsih [sic] speaking people?” Actually, they do. English is more-or-less the unofficial “default” language of the EU, and if you’ve traveled in Europe, you’d know that most Europeans (especially those in service jobs) can speak conversational English, regardless of their country of origin.

  125. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @kryllen: As it is already been said, you can not refuse sale on the basis of national origin. Much like race and gender it is a protected class.

  126. marchhare22 says:

    @BugMeNot2: “. It was graffiti scrawled on a landmark.”

    Thats a A line from a poem, “The New Colossus,” by the nineteenth-century American poet Emma Lazarus. Get an education, then start flapping your mouth about issues.

  127. DevPts says:

    The shop owner is wrong.

    There are better ways to enforce his rights to conduct business with those whom he sees fit.

    Probably should post a sign on the entry door:
    “Proof of citizenship may be required to conduct business.”

    Just because the men in question where speaking a language other than English, while poor criteria, does not necessarily imply illegal immigrant. However if this is his criteria, so be it. Again he should make it known.

    Add to the sign: “We conduct all business in English.”

  128. timsgm1418 says:

    I’m not even going to go into the discrimination thing, mainly cuz I’m sick of hearing about discrimination. I think the guy was stupid. I’m pretty sure most countries don’t ask for proof of citizenship when you buy something. If he was trying to employ the men, then yes he has a right to ask for proof of citizenship. I’m just not sure what he thinks he is accomplishing. How was he going to hold those people, at gunpoint? Wouldn’t they then be within their legal right to beat the crap out of him to escape being held at gunpoint? Personally I have no plans to carry any birth certificate or social security card with me just to prove I belong here. The guys a jerk, and if he acts like that to customers, he won’t be in business long. I could see how this would make maybe local news, but I don’t live there, not planning to visit there and I think it’s pointless to make this a national thing. I would have to think 95% of people will think the guys a jerk and should realize that speaking another language doesn’t mean crap about citizenship. If he just threatened to hold them but didn’t have any real way to do so, and they were free to leave, they should have just left and made sure all their friends knew what happened. People spread the news of bad service a lot faster than good service, and he’ll be out of business soon. Money speaks a lot louder than words.

  129. ElizabethD says:

    UPDATE from today’s Providence Journal:

    PROVIDENCE – A national Latino clergy leader yesterday called on the state to “investigate immediately” a storeowner’s demand to see the Social Security card of one or both of two Spanish-speaking customers, and his subsequent threat to call immigration authorities and make “a citizen’s arrest.”…The Rev. Miguel Rivera, head of the National Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders and the Rev. Eliseo Nogueras, the group’s New England vice president and head of the Hispanic Pastors Association of Rhode Island, held a news conference yesterday outside Richardson’s store.

    They asked that law enforcement authorities pursue possible criminal or civil charges against Richardson… The clergymen said if they fail to get either legal satisfaction or Richardson’s written apology, they will stage religious vigils outside his store until they shut his business down.

    “We will close this place. We will bring hundreds of people that will be outside in the street … We are going to touch him where he is going to suffer, in his pocket,” said Mr. Rivera.

    Michael Healey, spokesman for Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch, said the department’s civil-rights unit is “prepared to respond if called upon.” Healey said it would be up to the clergy organization “to involve us by filing a complaint” and encouraged Genao and/or his friend to speak with investigators.

    “Obviously, stereotyping is stupid and offensive and we are troubled by what we’ve read,” said Healey….

    After the news conference, Richardson said, “If I have broken any law, I will apologize for that.” He also said, “I didn’t intimidate anyone,” but if someone felt intimidated, “I apologize.”

    In a phone interview, Genao [said that he] had not considered a lawsuit. “I didn’t know there was going to be such an impact,” said Genao. “So far I’m pleased with it, because maybe that will stop for so many people just like this gentleman – to stop racial profiling of other innocent people.”

    Genao said yesterday that while it might be considered rude to speak only in Spanish in front of someone, “in this circumstance, this wasn’t rude.” When Richardson went to look for the plumbing supply, “that’s when I started talking to my friend in Spanish, and he [Richardson] heard me.” …

    (Rev. Nogueras said:) “We do not need people taking it upon themselves to arrest people because they think they’re illegal…”

  130. Morgan says:

    @chouchou: America is not a continent; you may be thinking of the continents of North America and South America, which can be collectively refered to as “the Americas.” Generally, a native English speaker saying “America” is talking about the United States of America (the same way we mean the United Mexican States when we say Mexico); similarly, “American” is a citizen or national of the United States of America, not simply someone from North or South America.

    To actually be on topic: discriminating based on race or language spoken is not only illegal, but an asshole move. The guy who was refused service at AT&T the other day is not the same kind of case at all; if you read the comments for that article, you’d notice that it was pointed out that a store can refuse service to anyone for any reason EXCEPT discrimination (on basis of sex, race, and so on). This was discrimination, which is why this is not ok when refusing service to the AT&T guy was ok.

  131. rjhiggins says:

    @kryllen: “His house, his rules” doesn’t apply. His is a place of “public accommodation,” meaning it’s open to the public. And therefore he is bound by Rhode Island’s laws regarding discrimination (as the story points out).

    Folks: Please ignore trolls like @darkened. And while he’s not a troll, I’d suggest ignoring Hawk07, too.

  132. BugMeNot2 says:


    “However, it’s not discriminatory to refuse a sale based upon age? I’m guessing the iPhone guy was a young male probably in his 20-30’s…have given his mother such grief?”

    You are assuming there and have demonstrated a lack of reasoning and debate that reaches a new level, even for this site. You also show age discrimination in your argument. You assume the guy was in his 20’s or 30’s simply because they suspected him of wanting to unlock his phone? The fact that he was suspicious in the way he tried to avoid activating in the store had nothing to do with it? That’s just idiotic.

  133. Rectilinear Propagation says:


    Both federal and state laws prohibit businesses from denying public accommodation to citizens on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin. The Federal Civil Rights Act guarantees all people the right to “full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

    *emphasis and link added by me

  134. mac-phisto says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: & to be honest, that’s the best way to attack this issue. a special interest group should find out who his suppliers are & the companies he is otherwise associated with, show them his practice & use the media to connect them to the debate.

    he can cry NIMBY all he wants, but let’s see him try to sell his goods when they stop being delivered.

  135. kryllen says:

    Accommodation? What accommodation? He has the right to refuse sale. He isn’t Renting or Selling an accommodation. From the article it appears that he refused a sale… if he was selling an accommodation for $18 I would think we should be investigation the accommodation that he was selling instead.

  136. BugMeNot2 says:


    I’m sorry, but whether it’s presented on a brass plaque or sprayed with paint, I find it to be graffiti. I guess I should have been clearer when I stated that, and should not have taken for granted that people would realize that I was making a derisive comment about the poem and the fact that since it happens to be at the base of the Statue of Liberty, people think it’s some sort of official stance.

    I’ll be clearer for your snide yet simplistic mind next time.

  137. sleepydumbdude says:

    Heh I don’t even carry my social with me.. but I only speak english.

    Maybe in the future we will get a post about receipt/social checkers at a door. Checks your social on the way in and the receipt on the way out.

  138. muddgirl says:

    A Social Security card is not “proof of identification”. NOR should it be proof of citizenship. There are many US citizens who do not have or carry a SS card or ANY OTHER PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP. This is getting so ridiculous.

    In the future, I will stop every person and demand to see proof of citizenship before I continue the conversation. If they are from a foreign country, I will demand to see their visa. If they are here from a country that does not require a visa for travel to the US, I will demand to see their return ticket or proof of sufficient funds to live on or purchase said ticket.


  139. I think the store owner is a jackass, but government needs to let the public deal with guys like this and not spend their money there.

  140. nerdstalker says:

    This was all over the news last night (I live in RI), so yeah, this guy is getting free publicity. I bet you $1 that he’s Irish, and 150 years ago his anscestors were told to get out of America, too.

  141. Buran says:

    That’s one business I won’t patronize. Isn’t it actually illegal to require SSN as a condition of doing business with someone, outside of certain agencies? I can see what this guy is getting at but he has no right to make that demand.

    Besides, I’m a legal citizen, born here, and I don’t carry my SSN with me anywhere, since it’s asking for identity theft.

  142. DrGirlfriend says:

    This may or may not be a derail, but this whole language discussion reminds me of a Dunkin Donuts commerical that is currently running. It consists of a bunch of people at a competing coffee chain – probably Starbucks – fumbling all over themselves because they are having so much trouble saying “foreign” words, like “venti”. Meanwhile, good ol’ American Dunkin lets you order in English because, you know, foreign words are so difficult for Americans. So the line at the ostensibly-Starbucks keeps getting longer and longer with all these people who just can’t conceive of a language other than English, while the DD customer smugly breezes on by with his easily-ordered coffee.

    Of course, the irony of it all is that DD is advertising their LATTES.

  143. m0unds says:

    on the paper frame thing the ssc comes in, it says “do not carry in your wallet”.

  144. Dbone1025 says:

    Rev. Nogueras said:) “We do not need people taking it upon themselves to arrest people because they think they’re illegal…”

    So who’s going to do it!?! Look around people!

  145. DrGirlfriend says:

    @Dbone1025: The people who are hired and paid to do it should be doing it.

    If they aren’t doing it to your satisfaction, take it up with your legislators. It’s not appropriate for citizens to start going all Dog the Illegal Hunter on people.

  146. johnva says:

    @DrGirlfriend: That was *exactly* my reaction when I saw that DD ad. I guess I’m not part of the xenophobic demographic they’re trying to target.

    I do think the Starbucks sizes are kind of stupid, but not because they’re “foreign” words. And I think Americans can handle ordering a “venti” coffee at this point, considering there seems to many Starbucks locations in even smallish towns.

  147. BugMeNot2 says:


    Bah, there is no such thing as a native American. There are simply here-longer Americans.

    Again, I agree this guy was in the wrong to do this, but arguments such as the “who’s really native” and “give me your tired, your poor” need to be let go. They aren’t good arguments.

  148. QuirkyRachel says:

    Oy. Beyond his…silliness, no one should be carrying their social security card with them. Talk about asking for identity theft. Not to mention that there are plenty of people in the US on visas who don’t have social security cards.

  149. mike says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: That’s not entirely true. Businesses can refuse customers for any reason, ranging from “you’re an asshat” to “you’re paying cash instead of using a credit card.”

    I feel for the store owner here. Immigration laws have become so muddled that people are getting frustrated and taking matters into their own hands. Asking for Social Security cards is a gray area. I’d produce a passport.

    (I’m Asian)

  150. Steel_Pelican says:

    @Dbone1025: “So who’s going to do it!?!”

    Why don’t you? [] or would you rather just fight the “culture war” from the safety of Consumerist comments?

  151. BugMeNot2 says:

    @DrGirlfriend: @johnva:

    Heh, see, I kind of like those commercials, but I don’t really think of them as xenophobic so much as making fun of pretentiousness.

  152. synergy says:

    @mac-phisto: rotfl dirty, but funny as hell. :D

  153. Madjia says:

    I was actually very unhappily surprised on my last visit to the states (as a dutch citizen with an appropiate visa for my stay) when I was told I needed a US ID to buy cigarettes at one store and one night when eating out, they wouldn’t accept my ID for purchase of alcohol.

    I understand this probably didn’t have anything to do with being legal or not, but they simply would not accept anything other than US identification. Now how can I produce that as a visitor to your country? My passport was no good. Oh well, other than that I still had a fantastic trip, but next time I am avoiding that area.

  154. synergy says:

    @pigeonpenelope: You need to be able to speak it, but it doesn’t bar you from speaking whatever other languages you please.

  155. Dbone1025 says:

    I do. I pay tax. Tons of it. I wonder about the good Reverand. And if the Gov’t can’t control these problems, citizens should.

  156. ShadowFalls says:

    Umm… Yeah… I am going to go and show my Social Security card to some random person I do not know… Right…

    Besides, if the person was crazy enough to show you, what keeps it from being a fake? This guy isn’t just just discriminating, he is an idiot too.

  157. DrGirlfriend says:

    @BugMeNot2: I can see that too, but the very first impression I got, which hasn’t gone away, is that the commercial a byproduct of the growing wariness that people in the US have about anything considered to be from the outside.

  158. johnva says:

    @BugMeNot2: Why is it pretentious to have names for things that are in another language, especially if that makes it more descriptive?

    Is it pretentious to use the Japanese names for various kinds of sushi, for example? That seems analogous to me. The fact is, American English absorbs words from other languages all the time. That’s common for a living language.

    Moreover, as DrGirlfriend pointed out, the DD commercials use the word “latte”. So they are “guilty” of the same thing they are making fun of.

  159. Tank says:

    A few years back, a company I worked for tried to recruit people who were fluent in Spanish as employees because our owner read a study that said “there are more Spanish speaking people in America than there are Canadians in Canadia.

    Think about that for a minute, will ya?

  160. HeartBurnKid says:

    @Steel_Pelican: He may not be outside of state laws, but it’s a pretty clear violation of federal law — specifically, the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    We live in America; we don’t have to show papers to anybody who asks.

  161. InThrees says:

    I’m not really sure what side of the fence of this grand debate I’m on, but I suspect the following is pretty telling:

    “You’re right sir. Rather then buy an appliance from you and inject the fruit of my labors back into this local economy, I believe I will take a road trip to Honduras with this gringo cash and buy a stove and fridge there.”

  162. MeOhMy says:


    I don’t really think of them as xenophobic so much as making fun of pretentiousness.

    Exactly. Hasn’t anyone ever walked into a SBUX and asked for a “Large Coffee” and been asked “You mean a VENTI?” I think a lot of people don’t even know that Venti is a real word that SBUX didn’t just invent. I dated a girl in college who even worked at SBUX and once asked me “Why do you think they call the large ‘Venti’?” and I said “I don’t know…you’re the one taking Italian for pete’s sake…is it a 20 oz cup? How do you say 20 in Italian?”

    The truth is that the barista isn’t trying to be pretentious as much as they don’t want you getting all pissy when they give you a Venti but by “large” you really meant “Tall” or “Grande.”

    But the joke still works in the commercial :-)


    “American” is a citizen or national of the United States of America, not simply someone from North or South America

    Thank goodness the Arrogant Worms taught us this valuable lesson!

    How could two whole continents,
    Lose their name to one constituent
    Where were we when the U.S. went,
    And took the word American away?

    But to be fair to them,
    Their other name options,
    Like U.S.A.ers or United Statesians,
    Were pretty bad

  163. HeartBurnKid says:

    @johnva: The really amusing thing is that, if I walk into a Starbucks and ask for a “Large”, they know to get me a Venti or whatever it is. It’s not like the coffee jerk is going to sit there and be purposely obstinate to you just because you don’t use the right terminology. I love the world that exists only in commercials, where ordering coffee or draining pasta is a Herculean task.

    @BugMeNot2: I like that logic. Once you get down to it, we’re all native Africans, aren’t we? If you’re anywhere else, you’re an immigrant.

  164. Rectilinear Propagation says:



    A public accommodation is a private entity that owns, operates, leases, or leases to, a place of public accommodation. Places of public accommodation include a wide range of entities, such as restaurants, hotels, theaters, doctors’ offices, pharmacies, retail stores, museums, libraries, parks, private schools, and day care centers. Private clubs and religious organizations are exempt from the ADA’s title III requirements for public accommodations.

    Or did you miss the “full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages…” part of my previous comment?

    You can’t refuse sale on the basis that the person is from another country. It is against the law.

  165. katylostherart says:

    @rkmc12: really i’ve been told by several english that i speak american.

    also how is discrimination illegal in this instance? he was the store owner right? was it a corporate franchise? i’ve never seen anything anywhere that even remotely replied you’re protected from discrimination on basis of race, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, etc. unless we were talking about EMPLOYMENT.

    he may suck as a business person for this but where is discrimination illegal to use in a retail transaction?

    does someone have the law on that?

  166. akyiba says:

    @ju_ju_eyeball: There’s latin on there too.

  167. ancientsociety says:

    Lol. The very notion that a freakin’ DD ad about possibly difficult (mostly made-up anyway) words being “xenophobic” and/or “racist” is just laughable. You people really need to turn your PC meters down a notch.

  168. Dbone1025 says:

    Am I the only one that is more concerned about illegal immigrants causing more problems than they solve, and not so concerned about having to show an ID when a cop, store clerk, or anyone else asks for it?

    Again, I agree the SSC was a bad call, but I wouldn’t have a problem if I had to show a passport with a purchase.

    Doing nothing wrong, nothing to hide…

  169. katylostherart says:

    “Both federal and state laws prohibit businesses from denying public accommodation to citizens on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin. The Federal Civil Rights Act guarantees all people the right to “full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

    that’s public. what’s public about a store? they’re private property to my understanding.

  170. katylostherart says:


  171. Hawk07 says:


    So, refusing to sell an item to a suspected criminal (illegal) is different from refusal to sell because of suspected criminal intent?

  172. @kryllen: You’re misinterpreting the word “accommodation.” In this context, it refers to any business that “accommodates” customers by providing ANY good or service.

    I’m not trying to be snarky, but if you’re going to argue about legal terms, it’s often helpful to look them up in a law dictionary first to be sure you understand them, rather than to assume everyone is misusing the English language in the same mass-delusional way.

    @sohmc: “That’s not entirely true. Businesses can refuse customers for any reason, ranging from “you’re an asshat” to “you’re paying cash instead of using a credit card.””

    You are incorrect. Businesses can refuse customers for any reason THAT IS NOT ILLEGAL. Businesses ARE NOT allowed to refuse customers for being black, or having a service dog. It is against the law. Discrimination based on national origin is similarly illegal.

    (Seriously, okay-to-ask-for-proof people, did you all give the civil rights era a miss? Do you not READ the non-discrimination policies employers and realtors make you sign? How are these laws totally unknown to you?)

    “Asking for Social Security cards is a gray area. I’d produce a passport.”

    Also illegal. You MAY NOT discriminate based on national origin. (And who in the hell carries their passport around with them? Most Americans (more than 50%) don’t even HAVE passports. How much business, exactly, would you be getting?)

    You may be confused because employers MUST ask for proof of right to work in the U.S. before hiring someone; both SS cards and passports fulfill this requirement, as do a variety of documents immigrants and resident aliens may possess. However, this DOES NOT apply when a business is providing a service to customers.

    I also continue to be mindboggled by the sheer shortsightedness of all these policies — what if these two gentlemen were tourists from the DR enjoying the charming natural beauty of Rhode Island? Do we refuse to serve tourists for not having social security cards or speaking poor or no English? Could we get any LESS welcoming as a tourist destination?

  173. MeOhMy says:


    Why is it pretentious to have names for things that are in another language, especially if that makes it more descriptive?

    SBUX sizes:
    Short – Makes sense.
    Tall – Not Short. If the only sizes were tall and short we’d be ok.
    Grande – this means “large”! Now should the “grande” be shorter or taller than the “tall”?
    Venti – this means “20”. Is that more or less than the “grande” that actually means large? Is this shorter or taller than tall?

    Frankly, it’s probably less confusing for monoglots who can remember them by rote. Without looking at the menu board I can never remember if the Grande is supposed to be piu o meno Grande than the Venti!

  174. bonzombiekitty says:

    @katylostherart: Title II of the Civil Rights act of 1964 prohibts discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, or nationality in hotels, restaurants, theatres, and all other public accomodations (read: any business open to the public) that engage in interstate commerce (which would be just about every business).

  175. HeartBurnKid says:

    @Hawk07: It is if the only reason you have to suspect he’s a criminal is the color of his skin.

  176. bonzombiekitty says:

    @katylostherart: They are public in that they are open to the public. You don’t have to be a member to use it’s accomodations.

  177. HeartBurnKid says:

    @katylostherart: Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

  178. Dipsomaniac says:

    Now, If I were there and inclined to get involved, I’d have a stream of people going into his store, taking up his time and putting together large purchases, then demanding that the shopkeeper prove *he’s* a citizen before paying.

    But that’s just me.

  179. @katylostherart: RTFL. PLACES OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION includes RETAIL STORES. Any place you SERVE THE PUBLIC is a PLACE OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION even when it is PRIVATE PROPERTY. That is the point of calling it a “place of public accommodation” instead of a “public building” or “public land.” It is a private location where the public is accommodated.

    AND JESUS, MARY, AND HOLY SAINT JOSEPH, how on God’s good green earth did all of you putative Americans manage to COMPLETELY GIVE A MISS to the civil rights era, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and all the rest of it? THESE LAWS ARE NOT NEWS. You learned about them in junior high school. Did you all drop out before 6th grade here or what?

    Or do you all really think it’s okay for a store owner to refuse to serve blacks because they’re black, Hispanics because they’re Hispanic, Chinese because they’re Chinese? Because if THAT’S the case, get the hell out of my country. I’ll take an immigrant any day over a US native who deliberately and wantonly violates the laws of his country because he has a bigotry problem and/or is so incredibly ignorant he’s unfamiliar with civil rights laws.

  180. katylostherart says:

    i have already given up

  181. Pithlit says:

    @BugMeNot2: Hell no. It shouldn’t die. Many of us Americans are here because of the ideals that poem expresses. I think it’s the perfect sentiment to bring up in discussions like these. I don’t necessarily think we should just open up our borders and abolish all our immigration laws, but when talking about xenophobic assholes like the storeowner in the OP, I think it’s certainly apropos. I think everyone is aware it is a poem, and not an official decree.

  182. HeartBurnKid says:

    @katylostherart: A place that is privately owned is still a place of public accommodation if it is open to the public. For instance, Wal-Mart is a place of public accommodation. Costco is not, since you must show a membership card to get in and/or buy anything.

  183. trujunglist says:

    I don’t normally carry my social security card with me. It’s a habit of mine. If they had been speaking Greek or German, would he have checked their cards? What about someone who looks Mexican but speaks English? What about an obviously American white person that was speaking Spanish to someone who was Mexican? Stupid ass bigots. Have fun facing the consequences of your stupid ass actions.

  184. HeartBurnKid says:

    @Dbone1025:Harrassing somebody for speaking a different language and being a different color? You bet your ass I can blame a guy for trying that.

  185. Carencey says:

    This “gentleman” also seems to be missing the fact that plenty of people are in this country legally without being citizens.

  186. johnva says:

    @Troy F.: Yeah, I agree that the sizes are kind of stupid. But that phenomenon is not limited to Starbucks. Look at how fast food chains call their sizes something other than small, medium, large.

    The reason I got the slightly xenophobia vibe is that I felt they were specifically making fun of Starbucks for using words from another language. Not horrible or anything, but I think it’s playing on that nonetheless. They specifically mention “ordering in English”, and the criticism is not limited to the sizes (which kind of don’t make sense in any language). I just find it bizarre that they criticize Starbucks for having “Italianish” names for things on their menu and then use “latte” for their own drink. Do Americans just perceive “latte” as an English word now? If so, well, Starbucks had a lot to do with that.

  187. bonzombiekitty says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Agreed, I’m constantly amazed at how many people thinks it’s perfectly ok for a business that’s open to the public to refuse service for whatever reason they please, including race, religion, etc…

    There’s a ****ing reason you don’t see “Whites Only” signs on any business anymore.

  188. Dbone1025 says:

    @HeartBurnKid: Every one is defending the spanish speaking guys… FINE, innocent, I give. But how do you DEFEND a country against ILLEGAL immigrants? They could be anything – people looking for a better life, or terrorists. One way or the other, they’re illegal. Border patrol can’t stop’em. Cops can’t find’em. Store owners see them every day. YOU see them every day. Wouldn’t you agree that the rest of us should be willing to give up a few freedoms – like the right to leave your ID at home – to help protect ourselves?

    I’m not saying this guy was right in what he did, but I am giving him credit for trying.

  189. johnva says:

    @Dbone1025: No, I don’t agree that I should be willing to give up ANY freedoms to prevent illegal immigration. I don’t think it’s a good thing, but I don’t think it warrants us going to a “papers please” society. Frankly, I don’t care about it much one way or another. And I am suspicious of the motives of people who do care a lot, since so many of them seem to focus almost entirely on Hispanic illegal immigrants and not “illegals” of other nationalities.

  190. ancientsociety says:

    @Dbone1025: NO, I don’t think I should have to just “give up a few freedoms” because the government is ALREADY not doing it’s damn job! There are already laws and procedures for preventing illegal immigrants from coming to this country.

    The problem is our elected officials do not want to provide the funding and backing for the entities responsible for preventing this sort of thing because they don’t want to be portrayed as “racist” or “xenophobic” by groups who have their own vested interest in the problem.

    We’re already giving up many of our freedoms and rights because people are frightened about the next great evil bogeyman. Fear is a great motivator.

  191. Corydon says:

    I think we can all agree that this guy is an idiot, a lunatic or both.

    That being said, I’m a bit uncomfortable with the state stepping in and telling a store owner (not an employee) who he has to do business with. (IANAL, but the consensus on this thread appears to be that RI’s public accommodation laws oblige him to sell to whoever walks through the door.) If the store loses business (as I’m sure this one will) then the owner has only himself to blame.

    One of those “unwritten rights” of a free society is (or ought to be) the freedom to make stupid, self-destructive decisions like this one and then fall on your face. Smart people will learn from their mistakes and from observing the mistakes of others.

    Sadly, more and more people seem to think that it’s the government’s job to protect them from themselves, which means that more and more people never learn exactly why it’s a really dumb idea to be a racist bigot.

  192. “But how do you DEFEND a country against ILLEGAL immigrants?”

    Severely penalize the companies that hire them and the coyotes that transport them. If there weren’t employers looking the other way, there wouldn’t be the incentive. These employers (and most of the coyotes) are American citizens, and they know better. (Illegal immigrants sometimes don’t, especially if coyotes are involved. Sometimes you get someone with a LEGAL right to be here (b/c of marriage, say) who can’t navigate our system who pays $20,000 to a coyote to “help” and ends up here illegally as a result.)

    Sealing a border as long as ours is stupid, impractical, and ridiculously expensive. If there were no jobs for illegals, illegals wouldn’t come here. Penalize the asswipes giving them jobs who absolutely, 100% know the law and choose not to obey it (probably while bitching about illegals out of the other side of their mouth). Make it a penalty that hurts, attach criminal penalties, not some little fine that can be shrugged off as the cost of doing business. That’s how.

    And then fix the guest-worker program so it doesn’t suck.

    “Wouldn’t you agree that the rest of us should be willing to give up a few freedoms – like the right to leave your ID at home – to help protect ourselves?”

    NO. Because I live in the United States of America, not Nazi Germany, but thanks. “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”

  193. sue_me says:

    Is there any legal basis to throw the stupid in prison?

  194. Corydon says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Or do you all really think it’s okay for a store owner to refuse to serve blacks because they’re black, Hispanics because they’re Hispanic, Chinese because they’re Chinese?

    Well, as I gay man, I do kinda object when straight women invade our bars. That’s a case where I actually like the idea of gender- or sexual orientation-based discrimination.

  195. timsgm1418 says:

    I’d have to say I wouldn’t think it’s the same argument. yes, he was judging based on their language but seems like if he knew they were citizens he would have sold to them, even though they were hispanic. I agree the guys a jerk, but the whites only thing was based on color only, being black is not illegal, and not about being a citizen. I would not knowingly sell something to an illegal immigrant, but I don’t think I should assume someone is not a citizen just because of their language. If he was refusing just because they were hispanic I would think the arguement is the same. In his mind he felt they might not be in the country legally, not refusing because they were hispanic. Should he be able to put a sign up saying “we reserve the right to refuse service to illegal aliens”? My guess is he could, but then you get the difficult thing of figuring out how would you know? I think he should have a right to refuse service to illegal immigrants, but not sure how he should go about finding out. I for one would not show him my birth certificate or SS card, and if he tried to detain me I’d definitely have a problem with that.@bonzombiekitty:

  196. “IANAL, but the consensus on this thread appears to be that RI’s public accommodation laws oblige him to sell to whoever walks through the door.”

    Almost — he can’t refuse service to people for ILLEGAL, discriminatory reasons, which are enumerated by law. He CAN refuse service because someone’s not wearing pants, or screaming at the top of their lungs, or has knocked over six displays, or is harassing the employees, or whatever.

    “One of those “unwritten rights” of a free society is (or ought to be) the freedom to make stupid, self-destructive decisions like this one and then fall on your face. “

    Don’t you think that’s what’s happening here? Some of the consequences of the decision he made are legal consequences. Just because we’d like murderers to figure out that murder is a bad idea based on the consequences of their actions doesn’t mean we can’t make one of those consequences legal censure.

  197. Corydon says:

    @bonzombiekitty: There’s a ****ing reason you don’t see “Whites Only” signs on any business anymore.

    This is an interesting comment. So do you think that most whites actually are racists and that if it weren’t for the public accommodation laws, we’d immediately revert to Jim Crow?

  198. ElizabethD says:

    That’s why the concept of *private* clubs was invented.

  199. timsgm1418 says:

    @Dbone1025: can’t remember the exact quote by Ben Franklin I believe…”those that are willing to give up a little freedom for a little safety deserve neither” I’d rather stick to the innocent until proven guilty attitude.

  200. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Wouldn’t you agree that the rest of us should be willing to give up a few freedoms – like the right to leave your ID at home – to help protect ourselves?

    @Dbone1025: No. That’s just stupid.

    1) It’s not necessary to stop illegal immigration.
    2) It doesn’t help stop illegal immigration.
    3) Store owner != Cop
    4) It exposes you to ID Theft.

    You don’t give up freedoms for protection especially when doing so doesn’t actually protect you.

  201. timsgm1418 says:

    @Corydon: well said

  202. bonzombiekitty says:

    @Corydon: Huh? How in the world did you get that from what I said?

  203. Dbone1025 says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: fantastic point. I stand corrected.

    johnva: I didn’t specify Hispanic. I have a problem with all illegals.

  204. Orv says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Of course, we both know that won’t happen. The same political party that’s making the most noise about illegal immigration is the one that tries the hardest to please the business interests that hire those immigrants. The only way for them to please both sides of their coalition is to punish the workers but turn a blind eye toward the people who hire them.

  205. @Corydon: I think s/he was building off my comment about ignorance of the civil rights era.

  206. bonzombiekitty says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Yes, I was (and I’m a he)

  207. emjsea says:

    And, by the way, who the heck carries their SSN card around with them? That’d be a great thing to leave in the hands of someone if you lost your wallet or it was stolen. I have my driver’s license, if I need ID and I certainly don’t need to be giving it to some asshat store owner to prove something to him.

  208. ancientsociety says:

    @Corydon: Well said

  209. Panamapeter says:


    Panama Spanish, money English
    Illegals in Panama, English speaking Americans.

  210. clevershark says:

    You know what they say — if someone speaks two languages, they’re bilingual. Three languages, they’re polyglots. But if someone speaks only one language, he must be an American.

  211. johnva says:

    @Dbone1025: I didn’t say YOU did specify only Hispanics. I’m saying a lot of people that complain about illegal immigrants do that. Which makes me think that at least some of them are motivated by racial considerations rather than a respect for the law. The guy in this story jumped to the “illegal immigrant” conclusion based on language, not any actual evidence of their legal/illegal status.

  212. Panamapeter says:


    Panama Spanish, money English
    Illegals, English speaking Americans.

  213. rioja951 - Why, oh why must I be assigned to the vehicle maintenance when my specialty is demolitions? says:

    @DrGirlfriend: You got it before me, well somewhat.
    Soy ciudadano Español, vivo en los Estados Unidos y nadie me puede forzar dejar de hablar mi lengua nativa.

    (translated: I’m a Spanish citizen, I live in the US and nobody can make me stop speaking my native language.)

  214. radio1 says:

    @jeffrey115: Really, what tax base? There’s no tax base if you are getting paid under the table and not contributing to RI State Tax, Federal Withholding, SS and Medicare.

  215. Steel_Pelican says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: You win, as usual.

    Another point that the “THEY TOOK OUR JERBS!” crowd fails to realize is how much it will cost to “fix immigration” they way they’d like. There’s the tax burden of rounding up all of the existing illegals and transporting them back to their respective countries of origin, and then the tighter border security, followed by more frequent INS inspections of US businesses.

    But it’s also important to remember that in addition to the increased taxes, there will be increased prices across the economy. Many agricultural products will increase in price as labor costs go up (once employers have to start paying US workers minimum wage), so our food supply will become measurably more expensive to the US consumer. Increased INS penalties will be passed on by the penalized company to the consumer.

    They may want better immigration policy, but are they willing to pay for it?

  216. y2julio says:

    @darkened: This is America. There is no official language. English is just the defacto language. Dumbass.

  217. Corydon says:

    @bonzombiekitty: My interpretation was that the civil rights laws were the only thing standing between us and a return to Jim Crow. My apologies for the misunderstanding.

    I would hope that in this day and age, even with the absence of civil rights laws, the overwhelming majority of people would continue to act in a civilized manner towards all people, regardless of their race, national origin, etc.

    My hunch, based on my experiences living in several parts of the country, and from serving in the military, going to college, and working in several different industries, is that for the most part people would do the right thing, and that social pressure would largely keep the bigots in line.

  218. @Dbone1025: Thanks. :) But Orv is right, I have a hard time seeing that kind of legislation passing b/c the same politicians (on both sides) who inflame us about illegals also kowtow to the business interests who rely on them.

    Another thing that’s important to keep in mind is that our guest worker program is wildly broken. In California they’re having trouble getting 50% of the workforce they need for harvest (even using illegals); it’s worse in states farther from the border. Even with rising pay, locals won’t do the job, and the guest worker program doesn’t bring in NEARLY enough agricultural workers to supply our needs.

    Most foreign agricultural workers (statistically) don’t actually want to stay in the U.S. — they want to come here for the season, earn US wages, and go home to their families for the winter. The reason many DON’T is that it’s hard to get the visa the next year, so they stay illegally over the winter and then work illegally the next year rather than risk losing the work and the ability to support their families. Others who come illegally in the first place aren’t willing to risk the border crossing, even though they’d rather be back at home.

    A guest-worker program that served US interests (as well as the workers’) would be much larger, vastly simplified, and make it easy for workers to get their papers. (Heck, create a “Guest Worker ID card” good for five years so small farmers don’t have to muddle through reams of papers trying to figure out if they’re legal.) As an added incentive, I’d make green cards available to guest workers who obeyed the program rules and committed no crimes for 5 years, but violation of the rules would result in a permanent bar from seeking citizenship in the U.S. (And again, not all guest workers WANT to immigrate; many want to earn enough in ag wages in the U.S. to open a business in Mexico.)

  219. ancientsociety says:

    @Steel_Pelican: *gasp*

    You mean the same companies who employ illegals and reap the profits while evading employment taxes & laws will actually be forced to pay their workers a living wage and not rely on pseudo-slave labor anymore, yet I, as a consumer, may have to pay some extra money for good and services?

    Tough choice…

  220. girly says:

    @Jaysyn: things can be illegal without directly violating the constitution

  221. Xay says:

    Everybody that replied to my post: I stand corrected and I apologize to the anti-receipt crowd.

    @Dbone1025: No, I will not give up my freedoms for a damn thing. My mother immigrated to the US legally from South Africa during apartheid. She still has her passbook that she had to show on demand to prove that she was allowed to be where she was. She moved here to escape that regime, I have too much respect for what she went through and what other people have gone through in this country to give them up because you are afraid of the so-called illegal immigrant menace.

  222. ketama77 says:

    @darkened: Id sure like to know what language American is since we speak english in the US.

  223. Quintus says:

    I learned Spanish after High School when I did a lot of traveling, and have become quite fluent at it. I like going to people like him and speaking Spanish and then have them bash me and tell me go back to Mexico or wherever, and then I ask tell them in polite English: “My grandad owns most the property in this area, and our origins are from England and Ireland. Are you asking me to go back to Europe. What should we do with all this property.”

    Anyway, what goes around comes around. You get treated the way you treat people. (That guy was from Ireland too, well at least his decendants.)

  224. edebaby says:

    @andymadrid1: re: Lou Dobbs

    Get, and read Lou Dobbs book “Independents Day”.
    Once read, you will surely see the falsity in your gross generalization of the man’s position.

    remember: don’t shoot the messenger.

  225. howie_in_az says:


    Holyshit you guys need a sense of humor. His comment was hilarious in its irony.

  226. HeartBurnKid says:


    “Every one is defending the spanish speaking guys… FINE, innocent, I give. But how do you DEFEND a country against ILLEGAL immigrants?

    1: Nail ’em at the border.
    2: Nail the people who hire them.

    “They could be anything – people looking for a better life, or terrorists. One way or the other, they’re illegal.”

    I’m done listening to people who scream “Terrorism! Fear! 9/11!” to get what they want. I’m sick of it from Bush, and I’m sick of it from everybody else.

    “Border patrol can’t stop’em. Cops can’t find’em. Store owners see them every day. YOU see them every day.”

    Sure I see ’em every day. I also see plenty of legal immigrants every day. And — here’s the kicker — there is no way to tell them apart on a casual glance. And it is way out of line for police to demand identification from people just walking around, let alone random citizens.

    “Wouldn’t you agree that the rest of us should be willing to give up a few freedoms – like the right to leave your ID at home – to help protect ourselves?”

    Hell no. America was founded on freedom. We give that up and we lose our very identity, the very thing that made generation after generation of people — English, Dutch, French, German, Irish, Italian, and yes, Latino — even want to come here in the first place. Besides, you must know how the government works by now — you give them an inch and they’ll take a light year.

  227. Steel_Pelican says:

    @ancientsociety: You might be fine with the increased cost, but most of the “speak english or get out” set probably wouldn’t.

  228. humphrmi says:


    Mexico (Peso) – Spanish
    France (Franc) – French
    Germany (Mark) – German
    United States (Dollar) – English

    Uh, you are aware that France no longer has the Franc, and Germany no longer has the Deutsche Mark, right? No? The currency of France and Germany is the Euro. And except for a picture, a number, and the word “Euro”, and a translation to Greek underneath, there is no other language on the bills or coins. So, by your logic, is the official language of France and Germany (and the thirteen other Eurozone members) Greek?

  229. katylostherart says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: thanks for flipping out.

    a) slow computer or page load time or something between comments.

    b) actually no, they did not go over this at all in my branch of the educational system. in my school years from 3-18, we generally only got up to ww2 in american history and sometimes not even that far. european history and western civilization only up to ww1 and then skipped straight to ww2. global history i think covered the mayans, aztecs, incas, slave trade and the british empire with a little greek/roman/general mediterranean history thrown in. i am not a history buff, i like math, art and language, i’m not going to read about the civil rights movement for fun on my own time if it gets glossed over in all levels of education. (also, supposedly my state, ct, was like top 5 for education)

    c) again, thanks for filpping out, totally necessary.

    maybe you’re not in an area with a high number of illegal immigrants. this guy didn’t go about it the right way, and no, speaking spanish should not be a reason to refuse a sale. but at the same time i can see this guy’s anger. if you live in a place with a high population of illegal immgrants it’s quite easy to see them as encroaching.

    take where i live for example, my area is 1/3 illegally living in the us. not 1/3 immigrated, but one whole third of the population is here because they jumped a border, bailed on a student visa or bailed on a travel visa. so basically they get free healthcare, their children get free education because we are paying the taxes that go to schools and they’re not and they have expensive forged ids.

    i agree with someone who said before that you need to fine employers and corporations willing to give illegal immigrants jobs because if the job’s there, they’ll just keep coming.

    i’m not going to go around screaming at everyone who speaks with an accent, but i can understand why someone would. hell, i’m trying to move to another country and i am expecting to have to defend my status at least once if not many times. i wouldn’t expect to be screamed at either, but i could understand why someone would. and i wouldn’t have a church do a religious vigil to shut the place down for it. that’s far more of a dick thing to do than what the jerk behind the counter did.

  230. ChuckECheese says:

    @Steel_Pelican: Hey everybody–the immigration prisons are being built, as you speak, right outside my town of El Paso, which is probably the U.S.’s most Mexican city. After much whining, the police now demand proof of citizenship (a DL will do, as will a SSN), and they’ll check it out. If you don’t have proof, or they can prove your docs are bogus, they take you downtown. The city is up in arms about this, because, I’ll just take a guess and say about 20% of this city is undocumented. It appears to me from personal observation that unchecked illegal immigration can cause a number of local and regional social problems. On the other hand, refusing to sell to somebody because they aren’t ‘merican enough is just obnoxious. That guy needs to get himself a new job as a border patrol agent or something (they’re hiring).

  231. @ancientsociety: Incidentally, in terms of agricultural labor, they don’t have to pay a “minimum wage” per se. (Now this isn’t true in all jurisdictions or for all types of farm labor; I’m only familiar with the kinds of agricultural issues I deal with, and there are lots beyond that.)

    It IS legal to pay-per-pound in agriculture (so many dollars per so much produce picked). It’s also legal to work more than 8 hours without “overtime” when doing pay-per-pound, largely because farm work is so seasonal and you might NEED to put in 14 hour days in September … and zero hour days in January. :) It’s also legal to do contract labor in some situations ($200 for completing task X, whether that works out to more or less than minimum wage). And it’s legal for school-age children to work outside normal hours at some kinds of ag labor. Ag labor may also provide on-site housing/camping, may provide food, may provide transport, may provide limited payment in kind, which changes the pay equation. There are a variety of separate laws that provide labor and wage protections for folks in the ag sector working other-than-hourly and BY AND LARGE there’s not a lot of cheating.

    All of which is to say, prices for SOME foods would actually go DOWN under an expanded guest-worker program; farmers generally pay everyone the same rate-per-pound whether they’re local, guest workers, illegals with forged papers, or purple monsters. Rates wouldn’t have to go up if everyone was suddenly legal, but with adequate labor to get all the plums picked, the supply would get closer to catching up with demand and there’d be far less field-waste.

    If you’re looking to build character in your high-schooler, farm labor is an excellent way to do it. Plus they’ll be super-motivated to go to college so they never have to detassle corn again! Nothing makes a kid long for white-collar work like physical labor with a 4 a.m. start time.

  232. @katylostherart: “i agree with someone who said before that you need to fine employers and corporations willing to give illegal immigrants jobs because if the job’s there, they’ll just keep coming.”

    That was me. :)

    And truthfully, it’s appalling that your school system skipped the Civil Rights Era. It’s absolutely appalling that there’s anyone in the U.S. in this day and age who’s unaware of that struggle and the resulting laws.

  233. girly says:

    @HeartBurnKid: Get the people who hire them! I totally agree!

    They are the market that makes illegal immigration so attractive.

    And have the reputable employers identify illegals when they are trying to be hired.

  234. Dervish says:

    @katylostherart: “b) actually no, they did not go over this at all in my branch of the educational system.”

    So wait, they never talked about the civil rights movement at all? Not even as a part of black history month, or Martin Luther King Jr. day? “I have a dream?” Rosa Parks? Never?

  235. GrandizerGo says:

    The guy is a certified looney.
    In his way of thinking, if you have a SSN # than you don’t steal.
    Rather than boycott his store, 6-10 people a day should go in and ask questions about appliances to prepare to purchase.
    Speak to the help in English, then to each other in another language.
    When he calls the ICE, leave the store.
    Next pair enter and resume the same thing.

  236. FightOnTrojans says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: I totally agree with you on the learning multiple languages part. I’m already looking into a Japanese or Chinese immersion program for my daughters. I want them to be tri-lingual so they could be armed & ready for the 21st century.

  237. ancientsociety says:

    @Steel_Pelican: The irony is astounding when people stereotype the ‘”speak english or get out” set’ to support their arguments about how awful stereotyping is.

    @Eyebrows McGee: Not all illegals work farm labour. Just sayin’.

  238. nacio says:

    What an uneducated individual. disgusts me

  239. Dbone1025 says:

    @katylostherart: @HeartBurnKid:
    Heartburnkid, read what katylostherart says. I live in Queens NY, and I’m fairly certain I’d be right 75% of the time if I accused someone of being illegal, but katylstherart nails a few reasons it matters…

  240. @ancientsociety: No, but many do, and it’s a major area of concern w/r/t the immigration debate. It’s also an area I’m involved in, so I care a lot about it. :)

  241. ancientsociety says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: I also disagree with the argument (not impying you believe this) that all illegals take jobs “Americans” won’t do, especially when it comes to agriculture. That’s ludicrous and patronizing. There are literally millions of US citizens who do hard, dangerous manual labor everyday in this country and it does them all a great disservice when people use that argument.

  242. kryllen says:

    Ahh thanks guys. Unfortunately the Civil Rights era and results of that era were not covered in my schooling.

    I think I can see where this guy is coming from, though. I would imagine in his line of business, he comes into contact with contractors, some that he may have known and transacted with for years. He gets people walking in and his first thought is, “These people could be illegal aliens taking repair business away from my normal contractors”… thus he may be attempting to make certain his loyal customers are not losing business.

    I wonder too whether another concern is that if there is a possibility they are illegal aliens they may not be certified for the repairs. If the end customer has issues such as injury or loss resulting from the non-certified repairs and the end customer is unable to locate said illegal aliens, they could end up coming to him for reparations for selling to non-certified repairmen?

    That is all conjecture, of course… the newly enlightened kryllen here now sees the gentleman in question did violate some laws there.

  243. @ancientsociety: I agree. My point is merely that there aren’t enough farm laborers, period — native or foreign, legal or otherwise, humans or purple space aliens, whatever. (And God knows where I live, pasty white high school students whose families have been here six generations are the majority of the seasonal ag labor.) There ARE a lot of migrant laborers from Mexico who are WILLING to help fill that gap, but the guest worker problem makes that difficult.

    Seasonal labor, especially if migratory, presents a particular set of problems that are easier for some types of people — high school and college students, singles, adults willing to leave behind a family with the other parent to make better wages for the season — to solve than for others (homeowners, single parents, folks with full-time jobs).

  244. Dbone1025 says:

    we’re all normal people (presumably) and most agree the employers are a big part of the problem. So as normal people, what do we do about them?
    trying to be constructive.

  245. johnva says:

    @Dbone1025: If it really bothers you, vote for someone who will actually enforce the law against employers who employ illegal immigrants. Most of the Republicans do not want to do this, because it could hurt corporate interests.

  246. gina227 says:

    OK, so I am a Rhode Islander, and I have to say, while this is nauseating, it’s not exactly shocking to me. This guy has plenty of company in the predjudiced asshole category. A lot of the old-timers especially, seem to have this attitude ingrained in them that anyone who’s not lily-white is beneath them/a criminal/lazy/you name it. It’s insane, but after numerous arguments with older relatives, I’ve come to the conclusion that they are not going to change.

    What I want to know is how this guy stays in business? Being located in Providence, he must have a large percentage of Spanish (and other) speaking customers.

  247. BugMeNot2 says:

    @Troy F.:
    That’s exactly the point, I think. There are common words that would express the sizes without having to stretch it with uncommon or foreign words. I’d feel they are pretentious if their naming pattern was “minscule, median, plenteous, and Rubenesque. The same with calling their coffee slingers baristas. That’s why I don’t see it as xenophobic (besides the fact it’s just not), because it is a dig at the whole coffee is Serious Business culture that Starbucks tries to maintain.

    You’d be surprised that think that that actually is some sort of official motto. It’s like people who believe the post office actually have “Neither rain, nor sleet, nor dark of night…” as their official creed, rather than it being something added after the fact because it improved the design of a building. Maybe saying it should die is a bit much, but it should take a long nap, as it is invoked a bit too often these days.

    Yes, I suppose we are. Hmmm… Maybe I should start putting that on forms that require race identification.

  248. dlab says:

    Wow lots of comments.

    All I have to say is people should be able to speak any language they want. Isn’t that why kids are told the pilgrims came here, so they could do whatever the heck they wanted?

    The United States used deception and treachery to invade my country under the false pretense of “liberating” it in order to then turn around and make us a colony, and then give us citizenship so that my countrymen could be used as cannon fodder (can anybody guess where I’m from?). The least the US owes me is my right to speak Spanish wherever the hell I want, and I have no problem with kicking your ass if you tell me I can’t.

    @Dbone1025: Your reasoning is flawed. I, a citizen, am unwilling to give up ANY of my rights in order to “defend” America against illegal immigrants. For centuries, the United States has profited from its abusive and imperialistic foreign policies at the expense of other countries and their citizens — its foolish to think history wouldn’t catch up to us.

    @timsgm1418: What is so wrong about an illegal immigrant purchasing something at a store? A store OWNED BY AN AMERICAN CITIZEN? Doesn’t that mean that the money would go BACK IN TO THE AMERICAN ECONOMY? Into THE HANDS OF AN AMERICAN CITIZEN? Maybe I just don’t understand how xenophobes think…

  249. PermanentStar says:


    The difference is, a store, to my knowledge reserves the right to refuse sale to anybody. Yes, they were being jerks, but I’m pretty sure that they were within the realm of the law.

    The owner of the shop is not entitled to see the purchasers ssn. To refuse the sale b/c the customer, whether legal or not is speaking to somebody else in another language is also discriminatory since it’s based on race – or perceived race – which of course is illegal. “Discriminating” based on what you want to do with a phone you purchase from an entity…stupid, but not illegal…

    Therein lies the difference.

    (Off that note)
    My step-dad is not a citizen of the US – he’s a resident alien. To that end, he doesn’t pay into Social Security, and doesn’t have an ssn card, but it is legal to be a resident alien…so, I’m wondering if my British step-father would be asked to produce certification that he’s here legally, or because he’s speaking English, he will be presumed okay.

    Also, good point to those who state that moves like this would effect tourism. I’d hate to go to France, Spain, Mexico, Greece…or anywhere where I do not speak their language, and not be able to purchase anything, because I am not a citizen.

    **And I cannot find where English is the official language of the US – nor the state of Rhode Island (yet) but legislation was introduced 1/8/08 in RI to make English the official language, but not the only language acceptable for use. (I started my search at, and the info about Rhode Island’s official language came from [] for anybody questioning where the information is coming from.)

  250. Tigerman_McCool says:

    I wish I had enough customers to pick and choose who I sold products to.

    Do we really think we have the whole story here? Maybe the owner needs the SS# to run a credit check for financing a frig.

    I just find it hard to believe this guy won’t take money from people just because of their immigration status. Cash is the universal language.

  251. dahlberg123 says:

    Actually, I think English is the quasi-official language of Rhode Island. I say quasi-official because I think there are “exceptions” such as in government offices where speaking another language is required. More than 25 states currently have laws in place making English as their official language.

    The guy may be an ass but as the store owner I think he has the right to discriminate who shops there as he wishes? Not trying to throw fuel on the fire but isn’t that the case since it’s his business and his property? That isn’t much different than have a dress code at a fancy restaurant; you are required to dress a certain way to get service which isn’t that far off from speaking a certain way if you ask me.

  252. ThomasD3 says:

    @darkened: since when is American a language? English is. America is not even a country, Canada and Mexico are part of America: The United States is a country and we speak English.

    the same crap happens all over: things go bad, so it’s the immigrant’s fault while the redneck and bitter parts of the country elected the thieves and criminals…

  253. miborovsky says:

    Reading a lot of these comments, many of you seem to believe “his house, his rule”.

    That is true. He has every right to decline to sell to anyone. HOWEVER, he has NO right to threaten to arrest the customer. His right to goings-on in his store only extends to things that he owns (like the fridge), NOT the person of the customer.

    Therefore, I think he should be sued for discrimination.

  254. everfade says:

    I located this mans business email addy. I sent a letter expressing my sincere regret that he is an American citizen. We have a great country but its people like him who help to paint us in such a bad light. Discrimination is not an American value. We are a melting pot which means many colors and cultures.

  255. johnva says:

    @dahlberg123: As has been pointed out many times in this thread, NO. Business owners are NOT free to discriminate against which customers they accept in any way they wish. They cannot discriminate on the basis of a protected status like race or national origin. This is because they are running an establishment that is open to the public. Laws were put in place on this issue because of how many businesses banned black people at one time.

    Having a dress code is different because it’s not discrimination on a prohibited basis. OUTSIDE of prohibited forms of discrimination, yes, businesses can discriminate how they choose. Even with the dress code, they might get into trouble depending on how they applied it, though. If they used it to ban nicely dressed people in Middle Eastern or Indian dress, for example, it could be illegal discrimination.

  256. miborovsky says:


    And how do you know he doesn’t speak Spanish? He was speaking with a friend of his in Spanish.

    Also, speaking of money, I seem to recall “Annuit Coeptis”, “Novus Ordo Seclorum” and “E Pluribus Unum” on my dollar bills… You speak Latin? You better, afer all, the true test of a country’s nation language is the language on the MONEY.

  257. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @Tigerman_McCool: Yeah, we do have pretty much the whole story. There is a link to the news article in the post. []

    They talk to both the store owner and the customers.

  258. HeartBurnKid says:

    @Dbone1025: I never said it doesn’t matter. I live in Southern California, I know first-hand the reasons why it matters, and I get a refresher course every time I walk into an emergency room. But there is a right way to do things and a wrong way, and we owe it to ourselves to do things the right way. And calling anybody with brown skin who speaks Spanish an illegal and demanding to see papers otherwise is a very, VERY wrong way. There’s no defense for it.

  259. Drarag says:

    While I agree that this business owner has every right to refuse to deal with someone if he chooses, I think he was wrong in asking for their Social Security card.

    I also think the politically correct wackos are getting way out of hand. If you are in this country illegally, then get out or get a green card. I can’t stand this “undocumented” phrase that everyone is using nowadays. Euphemism for ILLEGAL.

    Those two potential customers of Richardson’s can exercise their rights and conduct their business elsewhere if they wish.

    It’s not discrimination to want to only do business with people who have a LEGAL right to be here.

  260. Dbone1025 says:

    “For centuries, the United States has profited from its abusive and imperialistic foreign policies at the expense of other countries and their citizens — its foolish to think history wouldn’t catch up to us.”

    I’m not sure what that has to do with… well… anything.

  261. witeowl says:

    @ju_ju_eyeball: My favorite Miss Manners column seems appropriate here. (Paraphrased from best recollection.)

    Dear Miss Manners, please settle an argument between my husband and me. We were in the grocery store and the people behind us were speaking in Spanish. My husband says that it was rude, and they should be speaking in English. I say it’s not rude. Who’s right? Signed, OK with Español.

    Dear OK with Español: Miss Manners believes that it is rude to listen in on other peoples’ conversations, so it does not matter what language they are speaking. If one does not listen, one will not even know that they may or may not be speaking a foreign language.

    Oh, and I guess I’m screwed by your test of a nation’s language. I’ll never learn Latin at my age. Novus ordo seclorum. E. plribus unum. Huh? It’s hopeless, I tell you, hopeless!

    The icing on the cake for me is that the RIILE is slowly backing away from this wacko. That speaks volumes.

  262. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    i’m not going to go around screaming at everyone who speaks with an accent, but i can understand why someone would.

    @katylostherart: I also understand why: because he’s a jerk.

    The guy may be an ass but as the store owner I think he has the right to discriminate who shops there as he wishes? Not trying to throw fuel on the fire but isn’t that the case since it’s his business and his property?

    @dahlberg123: No he doesn’t. It’s against the law.
    [] (for definition of public accomodation)

  263. johnva says:

    @Drarag: But it’s not legal to discriminate on the basis of language or ethnicity and then say that you are discriminating based on legal status. He had no evidence that they were illegal immigrants, thus his discrimination had nothing to do with that.

    And I’m pretty sure it’s not legal to demand a Social Security card as proof of citizenship, either (I know you said that was wrong).

  264. Drarag says:

    @johnva: I think it’s perfectly fine to not want to do business with someone if they are not legally allowed to be in this country. Him asking them to prove their status was, in my opinion, just. His MANNER of doing it bothers me, but not his intention.

    And, I agree with you that asking for their Social Security cards was not right. Not sure of the legality of it, but definitely wrong.

  265. csdiego says:

    @DrGirlfriend: Exactly what I was going to write. Richardson is a tool. I haven’t had an actual SS card since my wallet was stolen 10+ years ago. I’ve never needed it, either. I just use my passport to prove my citizenship when I start a new job.

  266. iMike says:

    Douche of the week.

  267. Drarag says:

    ** “illegality”, maybe.

  268. wring says:

    It’s funny how the term “citizen” is thrown around like it’s the only legally acceptable residential status. What about the PERMANENT RESIDENTS who are neither illegal nor citizens? Can haz edumacation for this dude’s douchetruckery?

  269. Marko_Vulvic says:

    What else is there to say but…


    URRR…..JERRRBS!!! *wheezes, eats super-size hamburger , smokes some crack and throws wrapper into baby eagle nest*

  270. katylostherart says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: just be glad i can read english at a college level. actually, i think my level of basic education should be the minimum: “college” (cuz christ those are dumbed down too) level english and calc 3 in math.


    now i’m just sad for my goddaughter. if i can’t get her home schooled or educated in another country she’ll be as sharp as a sphere.

  271. warf0x0r says:

    @Marko_Vulvic: LOL, for anyone that doesn’t know the reference go check out southpark season 9 episode entitled Goobacks.

  272. AnnC says:

    The shop owner should have pulled a Marcell Wallace and asked:


  273. rjhiggins says:

    @kryllen: I hope that’s a lame attempt at humor. Otherwise, your ignorance is showing.

  274. jwissick says:

    Sure the poor and huddled masses thing still stands.. But is it too much to ask people to knock and come in the front door and announce themselves? Or do you allow people who break into your home to live there with you as well?

    Does he have the right to do this? Sure. He has the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. It is his right as a business owner.

  275. jimconsumer says:

    @yesteryear: isn’t there some kind of legal action that can be taken against this guy? – I am ashamed to be an American with people like you running around. Are you kidding me? You want to sue a private business owner for refusing to do business with people who speak Spanish? You know what – it’s his right. Period. If he doesn’t want to serve people he suspects as being illegals, he doesn’t have to. If he wants to make an “English only in this establishment” rule, he has that right.

    Sue him? Why? What’s the point? He’s doing a fine job of driving his business into the ground on his own.

  276. jimconsumer says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Sealing a border as long as ours is stupid, impractical, and ridiculously expensive. – Expensive I’ll give you. Stupid, impractical? Are you going to wait until a terrorist walks across the border carrying a suitcase nuke and detonates it in a major U.S. city before you get a clue about this?

  277. LAGirl says:

    having a social security card doesn’t mean anything. do you know how easy it is to get a fake ss card in LA?

    i work for a general contractor. a few days ago, i was told we had a new employee. i was given a copy of his social security card + ID. the social security card looked totally fake. i asked the company owner if i could check on it. he gave me the okay, so i called social security and sure enough, it’s no good.

  278. kryllen says:

    @rjhiggins: None of what I have posted here has been any sort of attempt at humor. If you are referring to my last post where I admit that my small-town education (US Small town) lacked in all the parts of history regarding racism, I can clarify anything you would like me to clarify.

  279. loueloui says:

    I don’t think this guy went about it the right way, but I agree, illegal immigration is a serious problem, and it will ruin our country if we allow it to. Already our language and culture are being eroded by the hordes of illegals streaming into our country.
    Check out this video:

    + Watch video

    I lived in south Florida for 20+ years, and I was witness to the destruction of what was once a very lovely city by waves of illegal immigrants. Miami is now a cesspool, and only bearable to live in if you are either very rich, or ignorant of your surroundings.

  280. hypnotik_jello says:


    Does he have the right to do this? Sure. He has the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. It is his right as a business owner.

    I’m sorry, you’re wrong.

  281. D-Bo says:

    It would clearly solve all our country’s woes if we just rounded up all the illegals (and others that may look illegal or like terrorists) and put them in detention camps (since we wouldn’t want them just sneaking back over the border now would we?). Then we’ll just create a National ID System and require constant retinal scans (or DNA checkpoints) in order to go about our daily business and ensure none of those pesky illegals sneaks back into society. Since the only punishment that is effective is capital punishment, we’ll have roving death squads to enforce these laws (I’m sure Mr. Richardson would volunteer). That would clearly be a country I would be proud to call my home.


  282. @jimconsumer: Totally impractical. The 5,522 mile border of the U.S. and Canada is the longest in the world, by FAR the longest non-militarized border, and parts of it would be nearly impossible to police just because of topography, even if we were willing to pay that kind of money.

    If a terrorist is coming in to the U.S. across a physical border, he sure as hell isn’t come in from Mexico where everybody’s panties are in a twist about border crossings. He could walk across somewhere into the top of Montana, no problem.

    And THAT’S not to mention our enormous coastline, huge portions of which are undefended, or our ports (air and sea) that do a poor job checking what comes through them already.

    Sealing the borders is totally impractical and, yes, a STUPID way to deal with terrorists. A sealed border won’t keep out a terrorist with no prior known activity who immigrates to a European ally nation and gets a passport (& tourist visa, if needed) and flies entirely legally into JFK. Sealed borders also won’t stop home-grown terrorists. Intelligence and policework is the best way to cope with terrorists, not expensive, annoying, and non-productive security theater that does more to inconvenience law-abiding citizens than to catch terrorists.

    Having been to many and various points along the US/Canadian border, including easily accessible unwatched points of access, I promise you, I HAVE a clue. You yourself may wish to travel to visit our borders and take a look for yourself; if you’d seen them, you wouldn’t think sealing the borders was remotely within the realm of possibility.

  283. @katylostherart: @kryllen: That is really sad. :( I’m sorry your educators didn’t do better by you.

  284. D-Bo says:

    @ancientsociety: Try reading the article before commenting next time. In Rhode Island it is specifically illegal to ask for a SS prior to commencing a transaction unless it is directly related (insurance, health care, obtaining credit). So in this case it was immoral and illegal. Somebody should go make a citizens arrest on him.

  285. greensmurf says:

    I run a business I make leather products, I am an equal opprtunity seller. If I have something to buy and you have the money to pay for it. I will happily sell you the product I have to sell.
    You can be an illegal alien from across the border or from outerspace. I dont care because it is not my job to check every persons ID as I am a retail business. Now if you want to apply for a job I may have an opening for I would have to do a background check and follow US employment laws. But I am a sole owner and operator so I dont have any employees.

  286. Logan26 says:

    @MickeyMoo: Then move out of the US. I can’t stand the bend over backwards attitude of people for illegals in this country.

  287. kryllen says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Well, I am working to get around that deficit (thanks again). I grew up in a heavy KKK area as the only minority in the school system (though some came and went) so that is why I think we skipped quite a bit of history. Had to learn about Martin Luther Jr on my own, for instance.

    Anyway. Totally off topic there. Enlightened kryllen signing off. Guy should be told he can’t do it, then if he continues may be punished.

  288. strokz1 says:

    a social security card proves nothing….. my dad has been in america for over 25 years with a social security card but wasnt until the last couple of years did he receive citizenship

  289. D-Bo says:

    @ju_ju_eyeball: The Euro invalidates you money analogy.

  290. wyzguy says:

    who the hell carries their SS card with them?

  291. dlab says:

    @Dbone1025: That is why I feel as though I have the right to speak Spanish whenever I want to. If it weren’t for imperialist US foreign policy, I would live in a different country and wouldn’t have to offend your delicate ears with my barbaric Spanish language.

  292. moviemoron says:

    I can actually see the side of the store owner. You have to put yourself in another person’ shoes before you pass judgment on them. For example, for regular working Joes, the thought of paying $4.00/gallon for gas sends shivers up our spine, but for someone who is a millionaire, that is just a drop in the bucket. Thus, you have the constant of a gas price, but 2 totally different views on whether or not $4/gallon is good or bad.
    Now, we don’t know what City this guy lives in or what its economic state is. It could be that because of illegal immigration, he has seen crime rates rise, American business owners put out of business, quality of life go down, etc. While we live in our big cities and everything is ok for us, it may be a totally different situation for him. So I can understand his frustration. Now, asking for a SS card, I cannot justify. I think that the City or State that he resides in should issue a state ID card that should be carried on all persons like a Drivers License which shows proof of status.

  293. That70sHeidi says:

    Heh, I actually do carry my SS card and my passport with me in my purse. The first I did because I was trying to find a job and had stored it in my passport, which is my only photo ID. So the passport I have to carry. I just forget to remove the SS card.

    It was depressing to have a craft store employee run around trying to find a manager to approve my choice of photo ID because she’d never seen a passport before. I can get into almost any country in the world with it, but I can’t charge $20 worth of embroidery floss. LOVELY.

    As a sidenote, I find it really despicable that those most concerned with these illegal immigrants are not outraged and protesting their fellow citizens state of life. Looking at the homeless, unemployed, children without enough food, the horrific treatment of our lauded veterans and war widows, how can anyone be worried about illegal immigrants, when it’s plainly obvious that our government, which we elect and pay for, ignores the real problems facing real citizens in the country?

  294. HootieMac says:

    @Dbone1025: No, I am NOT OK with giving up a “few freedoms…to help protect ourselves?” If you are, you’re a complete fool.

    I’ll take the Benjamin Franklin route here: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    We’ve had a ridiculous number of freedoms taken from us in the name of security since 9/11- you’re ready to give up more because of illegal immigrants?


  295. moviemoron says:

    SO greensmurf,
    are you saying that you would sell your products to a rapist or a child molester or a terrorist?
    Or do you think that you have a responsibility as an American to defend and protect your countries ethics and safety?

  296. balthisar says:

    Wow. I speak Spanish. As a second language. So when discussing a potential purchase with my wife, I’ve got to be worried about an ass-hat trying to perform a citizen’s arrest?


  297. Morgan says:

    @moviemoron: That’s a false dilemma; he can do both. It’s not his responsibility (or his right) to do background checks on his customers (unless he’s selling something like guns, of course) and selling to people without a background check is completely ethical. So I’m sure he would sell to a rapist, child molester, or terrorist, because he wouldn’t know that the customer was any of those things. (I think it’s safe to assume that anyone coming up to the counter and saying “Hi, I’m a child molester” would be denied service)

  298. ahwannabe says:

    @AnnC: That was Jules Winnfield’s line, actually.

  299. RISwampyankee says:

    I wonder when Mr Richardson’s family landed? I find it more than a little ironic that often the most rabid anti-immigration folks are themselves only a generation or two away from the boat.

  300. econobiker says:

    Problem is not illegal immigrants.

    Problem is false identification use by illegal immigrants.

    Example: Electrolux (stove/oven mfg) in Springfield, TN had a bunch of illegals using false Puerto Rician documentation. Until that company (or their designated temporary employment agency) actually changed to a robust screening system, the documents were “good enough” to verify citizenship- Puerto Rico being a US territory. Electrolux was busted by a Nashville tv report and lo and behold a bunch of illegals cleared out of Springfield, TN.

  301. amoeba says:

    This post looks pretty much like the local newspaper where I live. Posting “news” about idiots without knowing much about the SSN. I am a Brit, proud of my Brittish accent (sometime people think I am Latina because I have brown hair and eyes plus an accent), I am legal and I do have a SSN. So, I guess, the Hispanics should do business with hat jerk of Mr. Richardson.

  302. amoeba says:

    @amoeba: OOPS! shouldn’t, so he can loose biz.

  303. timsgm1418 says:

    the “native Americans” didn’t start out here either..@Dooley:

  304. HOP says:

    evryone in our country should start doing this…..what part of “illegal” is not understood?????????

  305. HOP says:


  306. greensmurf says:

    @moviemoron: Stretch out and reach for something to argue about, we are talking about a persons Race something that you can pretty much determine by looking at them in most cases.

    So since you obviously dont have a working common sense thinking process let me break it down for you.
    How am I going to know if a potential customer is a rapist or a child molester, or a terrorist?
    Unless I saw their face on americas most wanted recently or they have explosives strapped to their chest?

    Come now, please take your, I am going to open my mouth and try to get one over on this guy that doesn’t discriminate against a person because of their race.
    Just a word of advise, you might want to think about something before you post it because you are making no sense at all.
    So go ahead and tell me how someone can determine if a person is a Rapist, Child molester or a terrorist just by looking at them? See how dumb your comment looks now?
    So what point were you trying to make?

  307. deadlizard says:

    Shop somewhere else. Many stores will be happy to take your pesos if that idiot won’t.

  308. timsgm1418 says:

    @clevershark: and? everybody else seems to want to keep their “culture” with them, English is our culture, why shouldn’t we want to keep that? again, I’m not supporting the store owner, just saying English is our cultural language and since I have no desire to leave this country, I feel I shouldn’t have to learn a different language either to do business in this country…

  309. timsgm1418 says:

    however he was free to leave at anytime, so therefore he was ALSO a citizen by choice@chrisjames:

  310. Crrusher says:

    sounds like a douche bag, i never carry my social security card, don;t want to get it stolen so illegals can use it

  311. moviemoron says:

    Well, maybe you should re-read your post before you open your mouth. You stated that you would sell your products to anyone as long as they have cash. Did you not state this or do you have a brain disease. In that case, I forgive you. But let me check. YOu wrote:
    I run a business I make leather products, I am an equal opprtunity seller. If I have something to buy and you have the money to pay for it. I will happily sell you the product I have to sell.””””

    I think that summarizes it up. If I go by your reasoning, then it would be okay to sell bullets to a teenager because hey, they have the money and you have the product so you would be very happy to sell it to them.

  312. witeowl says:

    @HOP: I’m convinced.

    It’s illegal to steal. Would you please scan in and send receipts for your computer and vehicle?

    Also, it’s illegal to view and purchase certain types of pornography. I’ll need to see copies of your credit card statements and your hard drive. Send those to gawker and they’ll forward them to me.

    Finally, we’ll need to scan for use of illegal drugs. Please send a sample of your hair.

    There’s a reason police have uniforms and badges, and we don’t.

  313. timsgm1418 says:

    I’m a little surprised at that too. We didn’t go over it because I was going to school during that time so it fell under “current events”@Eyebrows McGee:

  314. CharlieSeattle says:

    @donTHEd: Ya both my brother and sister are spanish speaking, sister lived in Venezuela for a while. All of us are white and were born here though.

  315. katylostherart says:

    @Dervish: i honestly do believe anything i learned in depth about the civil rights was due to the learning channels and knowledge given to me by parents. things beyond common knowledge, like who rosa parks is, was not taught. the actual words in the civil rights act that have been listed here now a few times? definitely not.

    of course, every february the little posters went up with an illustrated portrait of a famous person and a little blurb about them under it. same with the presidents and stuff. we stopped at ww2. mlk’s speech came up in english but we didn’t discuss the events just how language could be inspiring. i saw X on tv. i watched the history channel now and then.

    i totally admit that my memory could be so bad i don’t recall any of this, but i can recall most of what my classes were and what they covered. american education is that bad sometimes.

  316. FMulder says:

    @BStu: 20th century, then the Africans?

    Hmm, Africans came to the US much earlier than the 20th century. Wasn’t a pleasant trip, wasn’t a pleasant reception, but speaking only to the date – your timing is WAY off

  317. FMulder says:

    @dlab: Would that also be the spanish language of the slave-trading, native-american exterminating, imperialist, colonizing Spain? The Conquistadors, perhaps?

  318. greensmurf says:

    @moviemoron: Let me see, What exactly was the subject of this post? Here it is just in case you cant connect the dots (store-owner-demands-spanish+speaking-customers-show-social-security-cards)Its about some guy requiring to see a persons social security card to prove they are US citizens, Where exactly did it state show proof that they are not a rapist, Child molester or terrorist?
    And instead of only posting part of what I originally posted why don’t you post it all and not parts that “help” your wanna be argument that doesn’t have a damn thing to do with the original subject of this post.
    Here is what I posted, go back and check if you want.
    –“I run a business I make leather products, I am an equal opprtunity seller. If I have something to buy and you have the money to pay for it. I will happily sell you the product I have to sell.
    You can be an illegal alien from across the border or from outerspace. I dont care because it is not my job to check every persons ID as I am a retail business. Now if you want to apply for a job I may have an opening for I would have to do a background check and follow US employment laws. But I am a sole owner and operator so I dont have any employees”–

    Obviously (but not to you) I was referring to race as this post is the subject of.
    Oh and I love your post here again going off topic and referring to crap that has nothing to do with the original post.
    “”””I think that summarizes it up. If I go by your reasoning, then it would be okay to sell bullets to a teenager because hey, they have the money and you have the product so you would be very happy to sell it to them. “”””
    WTF are you trying to get at I sell leather products, also You still dont reason with any common sense, Why don’t you make some more creative assumptions
    In my post I said,
    “Now if you want to apply for a job I may have an opening for I would have to do a background check and follow US employment laws.””
    So obviously (but again not to you) If I were in the business of selling bullets and guns I would be following US Federal laws and I would be doing background checks. I sell freaking Leather products and seriously you pulling shit out of your head based on assumptions on one statement is pretty stupid.
    So again I will ask you How exactly and I supposed to tell if a person is a rapist, a child molester or a terrorist?

  319. EtherealStrife says:

    The people he was harassing should have demanded to see HIS social security card. Who the hell is stupid enough to carry one these days?

  320. spamtasticus says:

    @ darkend.

    Eres un sombrero de culo! (asshat)

  321. crazylady says:

    Some of the comments are just mindblowing. Depending on local laws the owner has every right to do some things (e.g. you causing a disturbance -> kicking you out legally), but that doesn’t mean there are no applicable laws at all for the owner..and it’s pretty stupid what this guy did. We still have to comply with all sorts of other labor laws, for starters. There’s so many. They give me a headache.

    I think this guy is a douche for expecting something unreasonable. I speak two languages fluently and two more at a conversational level (on top of the half dozen programming languages I already know *duck*). Sometimes I talk to employees at stores in other languages. Sometimes I talk on the phone in another language. I write things in another language. If I decided to pull this ridiculous stunt here in los angeles i’d be lynched by a mob given this city has a majority minority. And if someone decided to do this shit just cause I was talking in..omg is that korean? mandarin? spanish? french? heaven forbid, southern california accented english with college level vocab?..doesn’t mean I’m not a citizen, doesn’t mean I’m unpatriotic..doesn’t mean anything!

    I was born here and I am ashamed of the behavior of some of the others who also were born here on this story. For most of us, at some point we or someone in our family was an immigrant, illegal or legal. And there may be some that don’t pay taxes and just leech support and money from this country, but there are also others who do indeed pay taxes and give back to the community in better ways than I’d think some of the more racist commenters here. Stupid to brush everyone with the same brush when it is a diverse collection of people who decided to work here.

    Really, looking at the hard work some illegal immigrants are a lot easier on the eyes than watching some fucking retarded US citizen sit on his/her arse leeching undeserved money from others.

  322. snoop-blog says:

    i understand how frustrated this guy is with illegal immigrants, but he should be more tactful if he really wants to turn down money from illegals. i personally wished, more companies would turn down illegals in the name of principles (granted some have better principles than others). like don’t give them jobs just because your trying to not pay an american a decent wage. it’s this guy’s right to not want to do any business period with an illegal, but if that’s what he wants, he should make you sign up for a membership or something. i would prefer to shop at a place that is willing to turn down the money from illegals based on their beliefs (and the fact that by even being there they are breaking the law).

    ***notice i’m talking about “illegals” and not “mexicans” b4 u try to flame me. and i don’t believe speaking mexican means you are an illegal. i don’t agree with what he did/does, but i do feel the same way about illegals as he does.

  323. Orv says:

    @EtherealStrife: Yeah, much less show it to random people. That’d be a great identity theft scam. “Yeah, I need your social security number to, uhm, check your citizenship, yeah!”

    Besides, a social security card isn’t exactly iron-clad proof of citizenship. I mean, it’s cardboard. You could fake one convincingly in ten minutes with a computer, scanner, and color printer. The hard part would be making the printing look as crappy as it does on the real cards.

  324. learned says:

    American is not a language. It is just discrimination against non whites, including Native Americans.I do not speak Spanish, but continue to be discriminated due to the color of my skin. I AM U.S. CITIZEN.I have been stopped by white police, who demanded my “green card”. U.S. citizens do not have green cards.

  325. HeartBurnKid says:

    This thread is fast becoming a monument to ignorance and bigotry. Seriously, people… have you never heard of the Civil Rights Act? Martin Luther King Jr.? Do you even know what Montgomery, AL is famous for? Do you know what Jim Crow was, and why it’s dead? Did you learn anything at all in history class?

    I’m opposed to illegal immigration myself, but seeing this assclown and all the ignorant douchebags defending him in this very thread, I’m starting to reconsider my stance. I mean, do I really want to be on the same side as you?

  326. Benny Gesserit says:

    It’s ok people. The next time my better half and I are in the states, we’ll visit said merchant. I’ll speak French and my honey will respond in German and we’ll watch his head explode. FUN!

  327. StevieD says:

    My Grandparents learn English (American) and used English in all public venues and their native language at home.

    Speaking a foreign language in public is rude.

  328. hmk says:

    man, I wish I could speak something other than English so I could talk and laugh about asshats like this store owner right in front of them. wtf is wrong with speaking another language? yeesh.

    or was it simply because it was Spanish, and the guy is racist?

    or maybe he was just scared because he’d never heard it before? try moving out of White Town, RI and into a more diverse area. (I really have no idea how white RI is, but I assume it pretty white).

  329. hmk says:

    @timsgm1418: didn’t anyone ever tell you in elementary school that what makes this country so great is that it’s a giant melting pot of cultures? I’m sure that being homogenous has it’s advantages, but in the US we (are supposed to) tolerate diversity, enjoy it, and learn from it.

    sure, a store owner could demand to do business only in english, but to accuse someone of being illegal simply because they were carrying on a conversation in another language? WTF.

    what if they were tourists? what if a lot of things.

  330. shufflemoomin says:

    @darkened: You DO know American isn’t a language, don’t you..?

  331. shufflemoomin says:

    @StevieD: You’re having a laugh surely? Or are you just unbelievably arrogant and idiotic? People have a right to speak whatever language they like to each other. Get a life and get a grip on reality.

  332. stinerman says:

    Mr. Hawk07, it is illegal to discriminate based on country of origin or race. There is no hypocrisy here.


  333. DeltaPurser says:

    Just for the record… This guy’s a complete asshole.

  334. evilhapposai says:

    Asking for SS card and judging just based on the language is a bad idea I DO however applaud his refusal to sell to an illegal aliens. Some one needs to step in and stand up to them since the politically correct government seems incapable of it. Where live there are LOTS of illegals hired by a local egg farm and other business taking the jobs away from needing citizens and the welfare office is packed with them draining the taxes from citizens. Not sure how but there needs to be a way to prove citizenship and if you dont have it you are cut off from EVERYTHING and your ass is deported IMMEADIATLY.

    …..and SS card is not proof as you can still be a citizen and opt out of it.

  335. timsgm1418 says:

    have to agree, I don’t think many of them came here by choice, and I’m not sure they got to enjoy the buffet or live shows on those particular cruise ships@noasalira:

  336. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @StevieD: Wrong. Expecting people to speak English when they aren’t speaking to you is rude. Nobody is required to make it easy for you to eavesdrop on their conversation.

    Asking for SS card and judging just based on the language is a bad idea I DO however applaud his refusal to sell to an illegal aliens.
    @evilhapposai: But the people he refused to sell to weren’t illegal aliens so why bother applauding?

    You do not have to be a citizen of a country to buy something there. There are other was of being in the country legally other than being a citizen. Ever hear of work visas? College? Tourism? It makes no sense to make people prove citizenship in order to buy an $18 refrigerator part.

  337. timsgm1418 says:

    @hmk: and I also have the right to disagree with some of our policies. Different races? no problem, different language? problem. I voted several times for English as the official language when I lived in AZ, and would definitely vote for it again. That said, I really don’t care if people speak another language at home or in public, doesn’t bother me a bit. And I think it’s a great idea to teach children 2 languages at home. However I do have a problem with trying to buy things or get service from people that don’t know our language. It is very frustrating and has made me go to different merchants many times. I don’t stand with signs outside their business or anything, I just don’t go to those merchants anymore.. Money speaks louder than anything else

  338. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    good for him. this was discrimination of language spoken. not against the law.

  339. timsgm1418 says:

    @hmk: I don’t think I ever said anything bad about people speaking another language to each other, I don’t really care if they do. when I was in my teens I babysat a little girl who’s father was Haitian and spoke french. He spoke to the little girl in French and the mother spoke English to her. With my very limited French (3 years in elementary school) I would use whatever French words I knew to her. I thought it was a fantastic idea to teach her both languages. However I don’t think she should have expected merchants or government papers to be in French when she grew up. If I moved to Germany, I indeed would learn German, as quickly as possible, and expect to have to use it in dealing with the just about everybody there, but in my home I would still use English and would probably speak it when on the street with my family. In the article it stated the men were speaking Spanish to each other, but English to the store owner. I see nothing whatsoever wrong with that.

  340. timsgm1418 says:

    oh gosh no. I was born in 1960, so really never saw a lot of the discrimination that was going on, but I’ve always thought it was wrong to treat someone badly because of something they can’t control. If they still had those laws, I would probably break them.@Corydon:

  341. timsgm1418 says:

    I believe what we speak is unofficially called American English, because it is definitely different than British English@shufflemoomin:

  342. ju_ju_eyeball says:

    @LorneReams: And how does a non-spanish speaking person suposed to know if they are deciding to do something not kosher?

    Haven’t you seen the movie, I forget which one, where the korean ladies at the nail salon are talking trash about the people who’s nails they are doing in korean?

  343. forgottenpassword says:

    I was always taught that it was impolite to speak a foreign language in public (around others who didnt speak that language).

    And I agree that (legal) immigrants NEED to learn to speak english in this country.

  344. failurate says:

    @bonzombiekitty: I am pretty sure the 1st amendment covers the legality of asking stupid questions.

  345. spryte says:

    @forgottenpassword: So if you visit a foreign country, do you first learn their language fluently and not speak a word of English around the people who live there? How on Earth is it impolite for people having a conversation near you and NOT WITH YOU to be speaking in another language? Guess what – it’s impolite for you to be listening to their conversation or to call them rude because you can’t understand what they’re saying. It’s also stupid.

    I’m so disgusted at the level of nationalistic hatred and spite I’ve seen in these comments. I’m also jealous, because I guess your lives must be pretty damn sweet if this is the biggest problem you have – complete strangers speaking a language you don’t know. Holy hell.

  346. failurate says:

    @darkened: Holy crap! People didn’t get your joke (which was only mildly amusing). But, they didn’t get it AND demnostrated so much PC anality in their reactions, that it made your mildly amusing joke 1000x funnier.

    Asshats for everyone!!!

  347. femmesavante says:

    @StevieD: grow the hell up. This nation was founded by people who spoke many languages: French, German, Dutch, Yiddish, and yes English. If the person I’m speaking to understands me, that’s all I need. Eavesdroppers can get over themselves.

    American citizen who speaks French, Spanish, and English.

  348. gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

    This dude is a loser. OMG I grew up in RI and it is a hugely multicultural state so he is a tool for trying this crap. I hope his business fails and he loses it.

  349. ihateauditions says:

    I speak english, french, spanish, german, mandarin and malaysian. My wife actually speaks more languages than me.

    We routinely speak in other languages when shopping, so we can ask each other a question or two about price, quality, etc without letting the salesman influence the discussion.

    I honestly hope that some idiotic racist fuck does this to me, so I can shove my American (and Native American) heritage down their throat, while hopefully getting them cited for an enormous number of illegal actions.

    Fuck racism. Historically speaking the newest immigrants have always been vilified outrageously, and the integration has always been for the best. But some mentally retarded hateful bigots always do the same thing, and they always claim it’s for noble reasons.

  350. ihateauditions says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: You’re an idiotic bigot. Please die k thx.

  351. rikkus256 says:

    Who the hell carries SSC card everyday anyway.

    Only Indians are native Americans. All of us are immigrants. I agree that illegal immigrants have caused some problem, however please respect the legal immigrants who follow the rules AND work as hard (if not harder) to make U.S. a better country.

  352. girly says:

    I think speaking another language can be rude, but only if you are blatantly acting like you are talking about people and mocking them.

    As for finding illegals, I think that if you find an employer that not only hired illegals, but knew they were illegals and used that against them knowing they couldn’t report the employer, that the employer should be deported as well. (too bad that can’t happen!)

  353. mgomega says:

    Personally, I think a business owner does, to some extent, possess the ability to determine the terms on which they do business. Provided competing services are provided by other companies, I don’t see any implied demand that a business owner MUST provide services to a particular party. Offended consumers can just go elsewhere. Mind you, I think any business owner who is going to refuse customers for any reason is an idiot, but the right to do so should still be available.

    Consider this same principle in the current mortgage crisis. Don’t banks do this very same thing? Don’t they force customers to provide a whole host of information, the least of which is proof of citizenship, before they will do business with them? And isn’t the whole reason the crisis exists that banks and lenders have been forced to relax this whole process and make loans available to people they would otherwise gladly send packing?

  354. mgomega says:

    @ ihateauditions

    Brilliant. My wife lived in Chile for two years and often caught American tourists trying this same trick (speaking english to avoid eavesdroppers). Nevermind that just about everyone there spoke English as a second language. Personally, I’ve always assumed that was the reason I’ve caught others doing that in public; they just want a private conversation, and the understand that most of us in this country are too lazy to learn a second language.

  355. @amoeba: The SSN *is* proof of right-to-work in the U.S., which definitionally means you’re here legally (assuming the card is yours and obtained properly), although there are ways to be here legally that DON’T entitle one to a SSN. (And there are still native-born US citizens w/o SSNs, although they sorta frown on that.)

  356. antirem says:

    This community has gotten really bad. We all applaud freedom but dont want others to freely choose to speak in a different language. You are the worst kinds of people. You are the ones who slowly strangle democracy slowly. There is NO REASON OTHER THEN RACISM to be biased against someone because of their language.

    (legal documents should be universally in one language as to not cause scrutiny)

  357. BStu says:

    @noasalira: You see how we’re talking about immigration here? That’s what I was referring to. If you think Africans stopped coming to the US when we stopped kidnapping and enslaving them, you would be wrong. Many cities around the United States have thriving communities of African immigrants, who like the immigrants from China, Mexico, Ireland, and Germany before are seeking a better life for themselves and their families. African immigrants today are often treated to the same cultural hostilities of previous anti-immigration campaigns. In 2002, the mayor of Lewiston, Maine “asked” Somali immigrants to stop moving there. You’re one-dimensional assumption about the African-American experience ignores the true diversity of backgrounds.

  358. antirem says:

    That is the number to the store, I got it from []
    Please call for any heating or cooling needs.

  359. kaizen0189960 says:

    After reading most of the comments, I am happy to see that not all white Americans are obsessed in discriminating against hispanics/latins. I was born an American citizen and ever since the issue of illegal immigration has surfaced I have been told many more racist remarks. My parents both came to the United States legally. They came because Mexico’s government sucks. That is a fact. I agree that Illegal Mexicans do bring some of the wages down. I also agree that it is unfair that they illegally take advantage of Americans welfare programs. I am not ashamed of being Mexican. In fact, I am proud to be Mexican. A lot of Mexican nationals say I am against them. I probably am. First of all, if you are 2nd or 3rd generation Mexican American, and you are still working in the same job your grandfather did when he came to the states, then you bring shame to your grandparents who came here for a better life for “YOU”!!!! Education is not free in Mexico. It is in the United States. Take advantage of it. Learning English as a second language or a first language does not make you less Mexican. Mexican is something you just are. Because I received a bachelor’s in business and work for a good company does not make me less Mexican. Because I speak English most of the time does not make me less Mexican. I hate it when Mexicans say that they are hard workers when it comes to picking fields. Is that all Mexicans are good for? Speaking to all Mexicans: Please educate your son/daughter to be ten times greater than yourself. Continuous Improvement should be our way of life. This store owner is an idiot. Obviously, throughout his generation, no one taught him what being a real American is all about. My brother in law is a border patrol agent and some Mexicans talk about him too. I will say this to all Mexicans who oppose the wall. Go vote against it. Gathering a large group against it will not stop it. Enough votes can! This said I can unfortunately say most of you will not. I am voted against it twice. I believe that it is a waste of tax payer’s money. We are better off hiring more border patrol agents. I believe that in many decades to come (unfortunately we can’t agree to come together) we will unite against the Mexican government to break up all monopolies and allow free and open commercialization like the states. To educate their people for free. It is in the country’s best interest. It should not be only for the people who can afford it. The Mexico’s president should be ashamed that his people want to leave his country. I will let you in a little secret. He does not care that the poor leave his country. He encourages it. He criticizes the president of the United States on illegal immigration. Fox and Calderon should take a long look at themselves. They discriminate Mexicans much worse than the U.S. I would love to go back to Mexico. However, I get scared whenever their police pulls me over. They always shake me down and make verbal threats on my safety. It is a beautiful country, that is run by drug cartels. If I go out there are a bunch of idiots drunk and behaving violently and surprisingly they are connected to police officials or drug cartels. Anyway I’ll end here because I can go on and on.

  360. Citizen Snips says:

    My gosh I’m glad that guy doesn’t live down here in Texas…he’d be having a field day…

    What I think is funny is that when he asked the people to show him their SS cards he probly said it like this: “I…NEED….TO…SEE…YOUR…SOCIAL….SECURITY…CARDS…” I love it when people talk to people of other races all slow and loud as if theyre total morons.

  361. jessemoya says:

    But when there are so many here illegally you can’t blame a guy for trying…

    Yes you can. There is no grey area in this story. It’s absolute, blatant racism. Based on his alleged comments while trying to explain himself, I’d put one month’s pay on a bet that he says nothing to white folks speaking French.

  362. moviemoron says:

    You wrote:

    If you can’t see the error in your ways, I really feel sorry for you.

  363. greensmurf says:

    @moviemoron: Feel sorry for yourself, you are the one that will not back up your arguments (that have no bearing on the subject matter) with an answer so tell me this:

    How exactly am I supposed to tell if a potential customer is a rapist, a child molester or a terrorist?

    Also go look up Equal Opportunity here is a link: []

  364. morsteen says:

    Yes i’m pretty sure you are (well you used to be anyways) required to know english to become an american citizen. Who knows nowadays seems everything is in spanish….why aren’t things printed in all the second languages of all of our people? why did they only pick spanish to print everything in? hmmmmm I wonder why. It may be a bit harsh and I’m not sure I totally agree with it, but desperate times call for desperate measures, the government could care less, nothing is enforced in regards to illegal immigration, so it is now in the hands of the people. Just like it was in the hands of the rebels when they started this whole thing. Oh and the whole stealing from the native americans argument doesn’t really go too far seeing as how the native americans stole from the original immigrants who came over the ice shelf and down through alaska and many others before them.

  365. adillee30 says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: You should treat your Social Security number as confidential information and avoid giving it out unnecessarily. You should keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers. Do not carry it with you unless you need to show it to an employer or service provider.

    We do several things to protect your number from misuse. For example, we require and carefully inspect proof of identity from people who apply to replace lost or stolen Social Security cards, or for corrected cards. One reason we do this is to prevent people from fraudulently obtaining Social Security numbers to establish false identities. We maintain the privacy of Social Security records unless:

    The law requires us to disclose information to another government agency; or
    Your information is needed to conduct Social Security or other government health or welfare program business.

    You should be very careful about sharing your number and card to protect against misuse of your number. Giving your number is voluntary even when you are asked for the number directly. If requested, you should ask:

    Why your number is needed;
    How your number will be used;
    What happens if you refuse; and
    What law requires you to give your number.
    The answers to these questions can help you decide if you want to give your Social Security number. The decision is yours

    Bottom line the store owner had no right to aske for the social security card.

  366. adillee30 says:

    I was born in a hispanic country and came to the United States when I was two years old. Yes, I am legally here.

    I speak, read and write English better than many people who were born and raised here. I have a good job and work very hard. If anyone asked me for my social security number I would not give it to them. This man’s actions were motivated by both his ignorance and racial profiling.

    With that said, I do believe that anyone who lives in the United States should learn the English language. It is to the person’s benefit. If someone chooses not to that doesn’t mean that they should have to fear using their native language or be treated with disrespect. I often speak Spanish with family and friends when we are out that does not make any of us illegal.

    The store owner used bad judgement and I feel is racist. Why would anyone give a stranger their personal information? The following Web site [] states:

    You should treat your Social Security number as confidential information and avoid giving it out unnecessarily. You should keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers. Do not carry it with you unless you need to show it to an employer or service provider.

    We do several things to protect your number from misuse. For example, we require and carefully inspect proof of identity from people who apply to replace lost or stolen Social Security cards, or for corrected cards. One reason we do this is to prevent people from fraudulently obtaining Social Security numbers to establish false identities. We maintain the privacy of Social Security records unless:

    The law requires us to disclose information to another government agency; or your information is needed to conduct Social Security or other government health or welfare program business.

    You should be very careful about sharing your number and card to protect against misuse of your number. Giving your number is voluntary even when you are asked for the number directly.

    If requested, you should ask:

    Why your number is needed;
    How your number will be used;
    What happens if you refuse; and
    What law requires you to give your number.
    The answers to these questions can help you decide if you want to give your Social Security number. The decision is yours.

    Bottom line the store owner had no right to ask for anyone’s social security card!

  367. uwouldntlikemewhenimangry says:

    Wow, I hope that is not representative of Rhode Island. That is some audacity. God I hate stupid, hateful people–regardless of race.

  368. Angiol says:

    America does not actually have an official language, contrary to what some may think. And I wasn’t aware speaking Spanish made you an illegal immigrant.

  369. ekasbury says:

    @MickeyMoo: Here, here. I couldn’t agree more.

  370. YouCanEatMe says:


  371. YouCanEatMe says:

    @mac-phisto: It’s gonna be tough to deport 200 or so million people.

  372. ReezyAscending says:

    Well, the comments seem to be well-divided into two camps: “This is discrimination, regardless of the idea behind it”, and “If you don’t speak Uhmurrican, get out”.

    This is a tired argument. As a store owner, the gentleman had the right to refuse service for almost *any* reason, as is their wont, EXCEPT for reasons that can be defined as discrimination.

    If the guy doesn’t want to man up and learn some Spanish in order to do business in an increasingly multi-cultural and multi-language economy, then he should deal exclusively online, or simply close. Pushing people away from your business has a curious effect; your patrons go elsewhere, your competitors excel, and your business goes under.

    To those who bitch about how other countries don’t make concessions to English speakers, I call bullshit. Most kids in Europe and Asia learn multiple languages in primary school, including English. This is required in the curriculum. We should be setting an example as a country that we are accepting to ANYONE, so long as they can contribute.

    Don’t even trot out the “b-b-b-but they don’t pay TAXES!” line, either. If their employer has any sense, they are paying the taxes for their “unregistered” employees’ income as a reduction in those employees’ checks. If said employees are being paid tax-free, then the company that hired them is just as criminal by dodging the taxes they need to pay on the income that the company produces.

    What I’m getting at is this: Whine about illegals all you want, but remember that your convenience (McDonalds, quickly-built tract housing, day labor, etc) RUNS on the efforts and sweat of people who sometimes are not US citizens. If you want them gone, then now would be a fine time to teach Junior to do something more important than fiddle-fuck around on Myspace on the phone you bought for them, such as, say, GET A FRICKING JOB.

    Our obsession with convenience has brought us to this. We have successfully taught our little snowflakes that we deserve all the nice things we have, and we don’t need to do anything to get them. Our kids don’t want to work, because they don’t want their feelings hurt by the big, bad world. So who does all the jobs that sixteen-year-old Junior would have done in the past (fast food, landscaping, house painting, construction labor) are now being filled by people that are willing to do the job. You got what you wanted. Congratulations.

    To tell you the truth though, I like, trust, and above all, RESPECT the people behind the counter at my local McDs a hell of a lot more than the spoiled, entitled crotchfruit that attend the university near where I live. I know which one will have the job done if I walk away and come back, nine times out of ten. That’s all I have to say.

  373. Crazydogggz says:

    @darkened: You sound like you have truck balls.

  374. dysthymia says:

    @darkened: “American”, que es lenguaje “american”. Es ingles, y tu eres un idiota por no muchas razones.

    Oh wait probably don’t know how to speak another language, let me translate for you: “American”, what is “American”. It’s English, and for many reasons, you’re an idiot.