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Dori: Don’t hate on Spanish-speaking cafe, hate on government intrusion

Owner Amanda Reichert (left) with barista Marena Solorzano Bravo (Photo by Rachel Belle)

A story by KIRO Radio’s Rachel Belle features a cafe in Seattle called Olé Café where patrons sitting inside the shop are required to speak Spanish.

My reaction to that is what my reaction to that kind of thing usually is — when you are an adult, and you own your own business, you should be free to run that business however you want.

If you, as a consumer, want to patronize that business, go do so. If you don’t like the Spanish-speaking policy, then don’t go to that cafe.

MyNorthwest had to close the comments on the story because people were so furious. I’m telling you, that’s not the way to respond to something like this.

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A lot of people are saying, “What if it was the other way around? What if a business said, ‘You have to speak English or else go sit outside?’ The Human Rights Commission would swoop in.”

That’s true. But that doesn’t mean what this cafe owner is doing is wrong. It means that the Human Rights Commission is wrong. Is there a double-standard? Of course there is. But the way you fight the double-standard isn’t to say, “I disagree with the Human Rights Commission that would go after an English-only establishment, so I’m going to protest the Spanish-only establishment.” That’s not how you fight it.

If you believe in personal freedoms and liberties and sovereignty, business owners have the right to run their business however they want. If a business owner wants to have a Spanish-speaking-only cafe, they should be allowed to do so. If a business owner wants to have an English-speaking-only cafe, they should be allowed to do so. Government should not interfere with business.

Don’t protest the business. Flip it — protest the Human Rights Commissioners. Protest the people in government who are doing things unreasonably.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a cafe where everyone speaks Spanish. That’s a great skill to have. One of my daughters learned Spanish and did a full immersion in the Dominican Republic. It sounds like this cafe is a good place for people to go sharpen their Spanish skills.

Instead of hating on this cafe for exercising their freedom to run their business the way they want in a free country, hate on the ridiculous excess of government that would try to get involved with the free market. Hate on people like Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who tries to destroy businesses he disagrees with. If you want to be angry, be angry at government. Don’t be angry at individuals, at private, hardworking small business owners.

Let’s focus energy on government intrusion in our lives. Don’t be as bad as the side you condemn.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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