- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Latino civil-rights group is calling on the federal government to investigate a Milwaukee frozen custard stand for discouraging patrons from ordering in Spanish.

“The League of United Latin American Citizens wants the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission to investigate the ‘policy’ at the restaurant … [which] its owner likens more to a[n] [unofficial] practice,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on the paper’s website Wednesday evening.

The complaint comes on the heels of a WISN-TV report, said the paper, explaining, “The report featured a Spanish-speaking customer who said he witnessed an employee tell another Spanish-speaking customer to place her order in English. The man, who speaks both English and Spanish, said when he placed his order in Spanish the employee said she was not allowed to speak Spanish to him.”

 “I’m trying to avoid (customers) getting used to Spanish and then one day finding no one here who can speak it,” Leon’s Custard Stand owner Ron Schneider told the Journal Sentinel.

However, “[Mr. Schneider] said if there is a Spanish-speaking employee on duty and there is no other way to communicate with a customer he would not prevent a Spanish language transaction,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

“[T]here is nothing in writing or any signs posted pertaining to an English-only policy,” and “customers can speak any language they want” with each other, the paper reported Mr. Schneider as saying.

Ten years ago, Philadelphia cheesesteak stand Geno’s famously posted their English-only ordering policy with a sign reading, “This Is AMERICA: WHEN ORDERING ‘SPEAK ENGLISH.’”

“They don’t know how lucky they are. All we’re asking them to do is learn the English language,” Geno’s owner Joseph Vento said at the time, The Associated Press reported. “We’re out to help these people, but they’ve got to help themselves, too.”

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