“Why wouldn’t you want your whole country to speak one language? Why is that bad? Isn’t that the goal?” Carlson said.
A lawsuit against Albertsons alleging the supermarket company violated federal law by prohibiting employees from speaking Spanish prompted Fox News host Tucker Carlson to question why English isn’t the official language of the U.S. and that it’s a “core weakness” of the country that it isn’t.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s suit filed Thursday claims the supermarket created a hostile work environment for Latino employees in San Diego, California, and subjected them to harassment by reprimanding them when they spoke Spanish around people who don’t understand language, even if they were on break or customers were Spanish-speaking. The suit alleges that the conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 barring employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion.
“Targeting a particular language for censorship is often synonymous with targeting a particular national origin, which is both illegal and highly destructive to workplace morale and productivity,” Anna Park, a regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office which covers San Diego County, said in a statement.
Friday on Tucker Carlson Tonight, the host called that an “insane interpretation” by the EEOC, and asked California radio host Ethan Bearman to weigh in.
“Yes, it becomes discriminatory because why else would a manager say you can’t speak Spanish here? Why not to say, ‘Hey you can’t speak any language other than English?’” Bearman said. “But remember, English is not an official language of the United States, Tucker.”
Tucker then interjected, “Well, I know, and that’s one of our core weaknesses, that it’s not the official language.”
“Is there a single country in the world you know of, that’s bilingual or multilingual, that’s not at war with itself?” Tucker continued. “There is no country that I’m aware of, on Earth, where you don’t have an overwhelming majority of people united in a language, except those countries like Belgium, like Canada, that are riven by these cultural and linguistic differences.
Tucker concluded, “Why wouldn’t you want your whole country to speak one language? Why is that bad? Isn’t that the goal?”
— Ethan Bearman (@EthanBearman) May 5, 2018
The debate on whether English should be the U.S.’s official language is not new. Some conservatives believe it is the true American language and have pushed President Donald Trump to make it official. But a recent poll by TyIt showed that the majority of Americans, 57 percent, are opposed, while 42 percent want English to be designated the official language.
Albertsons in a statement denied that it requires its employees to speak English only and said it “serves a diverse customer population and encourages employees with foreign language abilities to use those skills to serve its customers.”