A business owner in Philadelphia is getting hosed by the city government for exercising private ownership and freedom of speech rights. The issue is not about discrimination, it is about personal property rights and freedom. Personally, I believe that business owners across the nation need to join Joey Vento and do the same thing. He should be allowed to run his business the way he wants to and to top it off, he is just plain correct in what he is saying.
Forget the fact that Mr. Vento has never discriminated against any customer and denied them access to his establishment nor denied service. Just for having a sign that says "This is AMERICA...WHEN ORDERING SPEAK ENGLISH", he is being sanctioned by the City of Philadelphia.
Here is part of the article. For the full article, click on the post title.
One of South Philadelphia's biggest names in cheesesteaks is in a bit of a legal pickle for a lunch-line political statement against immigrants who don't speak English.
The city's Commission on Human Relations yesterday filed a discrimination complaint against Geno's Steaks over signs that read: "This is AMERICA ... WHEN ORDERING SPEAK ENGLISH."
Owner Joey Vento has become a mini-celebrity over the issue and has steadfastly refused to pull down the signs despite the growing legal brouhaha. His son, Geno, said his father would not comment on the matter to The Inquirer.
Reached at his home yesterday evening, the Rev. James S. Allen Sr., commission chairman, said it was incumbent on the commission to get the sign removed.
"We think it is discriminatory, and we are concerned about the image of Philadelphia," he said.
According to the complaint, which was served on Geno's yesterday afternoon, the restaurant is in violation of two sections of the city's antidiscrimination laws: denying service to someone because of his or her national origin, and having printed material making certain groups of people feel their patronage is unwelcome.
Again, this business owner NEVER denied service of told anyone not to come into his business. And since when is it (or should it be) a crime to make "certain groups of people feel their patronage is unwelcome"? I own a few small businesses myself. If I don't want someone's patronage, that is my prerogative. It is also my problem if I turn business away because I was offensive. Other businesses actually thrive on such things. It is NONE OF THE GOVERNMENT'S BUSINESS!!!