Hotel owner tells Hispanic workers to change names

The tough-talking former Marine immediately laid down some new rules. Among them, he forbade the Hispanic workers at the run-down, Southwestern adobe-style hotel from speaking Spanish in his presence (he thought they’d be talking about him), and ordered some to Anglicize their names.

No more Martin (Mahr-TEEN). It was plain-old Martin. No more Marcos. Now it would be Mark.

Whitten’s management style had worked for him as he’s turned around other distressed hotels he bought in recent years across the country.

The 63-year-old Texan, however, wasn’t prepared for what followed.

His rules and his firing of several Hispanic employees angered his employees and many in this liberal enclave of 5,000 residents at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, where the most alternative of lifestyles can find a home and where Spanish language, culture and traditions have a long and revered history.

more here.

It boggles my mind to think that this can happen in today.

What a schmuck!

I don’t have a problem with requiring English to be spoken in a work setting as a requirement when interacting with customers.
This, however, is waaaaaaaaaay over the line. Get some culture, dude. Seriously. An entire world existed for thousands of years before America. I love this country, I truly do, but my word it is not the center of the planet. It kind of reminds me of King James Only protestants who can’t be bothered to look past their immediate environment to see the truth of culture and history.

I agree. I used to sell high-tech components to many Chinese business owners, and it was common practice for them to change their name to an Anglo name to make it easier on people (e.g. my friend Chia-weh went by Jerry, and his wife Jiah went by Jill). Though they did this voluntarily, it always kind of bothered me. I have no problem learning to pronounce someone’s name, even though it may take some practice. I would rather call someone by their actual Chinese name rather than Winston or Eugene (don’t know their actual names). :stuck_out_tongue:

Ditto for those of Spanish-speaking descent. I’m sure they aren’t surprised when someone calls them MAR-tin rather than mar-TEEN and probably don’t even correct people most of the time, but demanding they go by the anglocized version? Silly.

The age-old process of the migration of peoples causing demographic change will fix this just the way it has for tens of thousands of years. One day your group is “in”, the next day you’re “out”. America used to be run by Native Americans. Then it turned white. Soon it will be brown. What’s the big deal? We all have 46 chromosomes.

I remember when I was in grade 5, our French teacher assigned us all French names. Which was easy enough for those of us with multi-cultural names – John → Jean, Mark → Marc, Peter → Pierre, etc. It became problematic with some of the kids, like Wayne, who was saddled with “Yvon”, and Byron, whose moniker I can’t remember.

I do remember one thing, though – I was bothered. My name was not “Jean” – it was (and is) “John”. My name, to me, is an integral part of my self-identity. It’s one thing for me to change my name – it’s quite another for someone else to decide to saddle me with a different name. Even just for the purposes of a French class. Do we make ESL students anglicize their names? Do we make Sacha Ivanovich change his name to Andy Johnson? Should Giuseppe Verdi become Joe Green?

I have two sisters who live in Taos. I will ask them who this guy is.
Taos is a very unusual and open town full of Indians, Hispanics and ex-hippies.
I don’t think this guy is going to last very long there.:slight_smile:

I want everyone to stop speaking English to me, you better speak American or else!:tsktsk:

After all we have flashlights not torches! :whacky:

That includes my wife no more speaking Korean on the phone to your friends you could be talking about me behind my back! :eek:

She probably is… :wink:

Some of us have 47.

oh it does happen all the time

my friend was instructed by an East Indian manager not to speak in Filipino in the office. this happened in Canada. mindboggling that a foreigner of all people would say it to another foreigner.

of course the manager was later reprimanded for being culturaly insensitive and that he has no right limiting what language other people can communicate outside of business discussions

My sister’s nickname is Candy, so the french teacher called her Bonbon! Boy did she hate it!!!:smiley:

Note this happened in Taos New Mexico where “white” people are very well the minority already. Asking the workers to speak American English while on the job is not wrong or insensitive, asking them to anglicise their names is.

I heard about this case a while ago but that is probably because I am a New Mexican and it hit our local papers first. Seems this guy thinks he can take this motel/hotel that is losing money and turn it into a money maker. We will see if that works or if all he did was come in and offend the natives (all of us, not just those who are Hispanic or Navajo or …) so to speak.

Brenda V.

Interestingly enough, most of the civic offices and jobs are held by Hispanics in Taos, such as police and in the local government. I don’t think this guy has a leg to stand on, although I am sure he is very wealthy.

The interesting thing is that there are many who come into town thinking that they can do this. They never realize who it is they are trying to boss around.

The guy has lost a lot of money and is not doing well at all, it looks like he came to to wrong town to do this. It does still sadden me to think that there are those who still think that they can do this to people though.

See I thought so.

That is just it, what was he thinking? He comes to NEW MEXICO where the population of Hispanics and Spanish descendants is over 500 years old, longer than we have been a country! Of course the Native Americans have been here for much longer but, this State has old money in it that is from Hispanics! You know kind of like those Bluebloods from out East only as families here in the New World for much longer!

Brenda V.

I think that most people don’t understand this fact when they get to NM especially Northern NM. My husband who is not from here is always saying you never mess with a Taosano. :), be it hispanic or indian. We are a tough breed.

I know she is she doesn’t know I understand what she’s saying.

She’s saying she worships the ground I walk on, give me money and take out the garbage.:love:

This was on the O’Reilly Factor last night check Shows O’Reilly Factor video No Mas Espanol:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit