Speak English!

speak english.jpeg

Maybe this bothered me because I am the son of 1st and 2nd generation immigrants to this country. Or maybe because I am sensitive to the fact that my Dominican born and raised mother, who graduated from college in the United States, is still chided constantly about her accent and occasional lack of syntax.  

Or maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and was ill prepared for the long commute to work today. Maybe.

I couldn’t ignore the fact though, that I saw this sprawled in a part of Queens that was able to successfully alter the development of a public housing project back in the early 1970’s. A housing project that was intended to bring folks in primarily of minority races. Bringing in minority and new immigrant people into this section of Queens, into Forest Hills. People that potentially did not speak English.

While I’m a huge fan of Forest Hills and the various cultures it is surrounded with, there is an air of exclusivity that you cannot shake. I understand that I have been privy to many varied facets of life in Queens, (partly due to the platform I created), but I also understand innately, that I will never attain the privilege of the folks from here, of here.

Or maybe, just maybe, this inflammatory statement was written by some passing fool who didn’t understand or appreciate the impact it could cause, or how it would affect the minds of thousands of proud and diverse Queens residents, including myself for the remainder of their day. #Qnsmade

words and photo by Adolfo Steve Vazquez