Joey Vento’s Hearing – Geno’s Steaks

Penn prof: “Speak English” sign like Jim Crow era – Full Article
By Michael Matza

INQUIRER STAFF WRITER A hearing was expected to continue into the evening on whether Geno’s Steaks owner Joey Vento discriminated against non-English speaking patrons by posting an “Speak English” sign at his South Philadelphia shop.
The Rev. James Allen, the chairperson of Commision on Human Relations, was the first witness to testify late this afternoon, followed by University of Pennsylvania professor Camille Charles.Charles, a professor of sociology, said the number of foreign-born residents living in the South Philadelphia neighborhood near Geno’s grew more than 200 percent between 1980 and 2000.

Hearing today over cheesesteak sign – Full Article
December 14, 2007 — The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations is holding a hearing today on that English-only sign at a landmark cheesesteak joint.
Geno’s owner Joey Vento put up a sign that reads, “This is America: When ordering please speak English.” The city’s commission says there is probable cause that Geno’s violates the Fair Practice Ordinance Act, which means the sign could make a customer feel unwelcome.


7 thoughts on “Joey Vento’s Hearing – Geno’s Steaks”

  1. Seriously, a sign sayinig “Speak English’ is that same thing as segregation. Suuuure I really believe that. :runs away from the ardently pro whatever blog.

  2. The point is, you need much English to say ” hamburger” and that sign is completely unnecessary at his particular business. Putting that sign up he pretty much insinuated,” foreigners not welcome”. It’s blatant xenophobia.

  3. I think the sign is Joey’s way of obtaining a spotlight and he’s not afraid to offend a few people along the way. The sign obviously is both really dumb and really offensive as Joey is telling people they must order in English though, as you stated, there is really little English necessary to order from Geno’s. The many thousands of other businesses in Philly seem to be doing well without offensive signs such as this one. I guess Joey and crew pride themselves on offending people and laughing all the way to the bank. Maybe they should move the love sculpture from the fountain, in Philly, and put it outside of Geno’s so he’ll be reminded he’s in the city of brotherly love.

  4. The weird thing about Dr. Charles is that all her articles about the sociology of exclusion are published in English-only journals. Sounds like she ought to practice what she preaches and stop supporting exclusionary Jim Crow establishments like social science journals.

  5. The weird thing is that you feel your comment actually makes any sense. Maybe I’m also a hypocrite for only writing in English?

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