Yeah, so the USA game didn’t go so well. And by not so well, I mean that we proved that, without question, we are the least qualified team in this year’s World Cup. Losing 3-0 in socer is like losing 31-0 in American football. Humiliating. But the good news is that Italy is on now, and it’s so easy to root against the Italians. I mean, after all, Geno’s Joe Vento has Italian ancestry. And he’s the guy who thinks Mexicans are dirty. Man, I’m starting to like the new Inky, who have a policy of, as Philebrity says, “Blow us off and we’ll use the money quotes in the follow up article.” This is the article where Joe Vento says, “A lot of diseases are coming in” with illegal Mexican immigrants. Yeah, diseases like workaholism. Oh, and remember how Vento told Good Morning America that he’s doing this for the Mexicans, b/c they need to learn the language to assimilate? Yeah, well quizzo player Chris R. sent Joe this email a week and a half ago, and has yet to get a response. You’ll really enjoy this one:

Dear Mr. Vento –

As a fellow resident of South Philadelphia and life-long Philadelphian of partial Italian descent whose ancestors arrived here around the same yours did, I’ve been reading about your pro-English activities with interest. It’s always good to see local business leaders involved in the community.

It seems that you feel pretty strongly that people in the United States speak English. I’m not sure how you feel about the Dakota Sioux or Lancaster County “Dutch” or Louisiana Cajuns, but I’ll restrict my comments to Philadelphia (a Greek word for an area settled by speakers of Lenape, then Swedish, then Dutch and finally the English.)

I also feel strongly that it would be very positive for immigrants to this country to be able to speak English. For that reason, instead of posting signs addressing them specifically in English – which, as you might well be able to guess, they might not be able to read – I volunteer as an English teacher at the non-profit Nationalities Service Center at 13th and Spruce Sts.

For about 6 hours/week not including prep time I teach an eager group of about 20 immigrants from around the world English grammar, vocabulary and conversation. These people work similar hours to your own, many of them in kitchens or as au pairs, and after their 10-14 days still find the time to attend a 3-hour English class two days per week. These are not free classes but are offered at reduced cost owing to donations from generous citizens, many via the United Way. Many of the students are not well educated in their own languages. When I ask the
students why they are learning English I always get the same 3 answers, which should be familiar to you as an Italian-American: they want to be able to work in the majority language (for they are here to work and do work hard), they want a better life for their children and they want to be able make American friends.

Seeing as you feel so passionately about the subject I was wondering if you and/or members of your staff would consider volunteering at the school. Although this is uncompensated work I feel I get a lot out of it.

As a successful businessman – I know those Harleys aren’t cheap – I was also wondering if you’d like to make tax-deductable donations to NSC. It is a non-profit and anything you could spare would be greatly appreciated. This is the website: I would direct your attention to
the “Getting Involved” portion of the site, especially the following:

You might consider making a donation to the Richard Steel Scholarship Fund for English language education. That money would go directly to assisting immigrants who have asked NSC about learning English but can’t afford to take classes right now. The best part is that the more money you give, the more immigrants get to learn English! I bet they’d become Geno’s customers who order properly in no time! I hope you’re as excited about the possibilities here as I am.

Another way you could help would be by donating some of your delicious food to the end-of-term parties which occur four times per year for students graduating from various levels of the program. They are very proud to receive their certificates- in English – and we like to have a little celebration at the end of the term as people work hard. In fact there’s a term ending the first week of June and I know anything you could spare would be greatly appreciated.

Please do contact me via the attached email address should any of this appeal to you. And thanks again for being so vocal in your beliefs, else I would never have known to write.

Chris Randolph
South Philadelphia