Near Julie’s house on the outskirts of Colosse there was a chiropractor that put up clever little jokes or insights on his sign to grab attention. It was successful as far as that goes. Had I needed a chiropractor, I knew where to go.
There is a hotel near where I work that puts up a different sort of sign. I remember the first one that I saw said “Made in the USA!” I thought it was a clever little joke because who the heck thinks that they’re mass-producing hotels in China to bring over here? The next one said something like “American-owned, American-operated!” I read that and figured that they were either simply playing up their American roots, though the thought was occurring to me that perhaps they were gently trying to say that you don’t have to worry about the hotel being one of those Indian-owned and operated outfits.
After that, the signs started to become more pointed. It went from “Serving Americans since 1957″ to “Serving Real Americans since 1957″. They’d also periodically have one about not needing to dial one to speak to someone in English in their hotel and another that was up for a while that said “America is for Americans”.
I am all about free speech and all that. I do not begrudge them the right to air their views with varying degrees of subtlety on their signs. It’s not particularly likely that I’m going to let the political views of an establishment’s owner (however indelicately expressed) affect my choice with only rare exception.
That being said, I do have to question the wisdom of expressing such views at a hotel. A hotel only a few hours from the Mexican border, at that. Patriotism is great for selling cars, but it is really such a good idea for the hospitality industry? The town where I work has Mexican police conventions, Mexican business conventions, Mexicans visiting relatives, and conventions that bring in people from throughout the world. Is taking jabs at people that are not Americans really a smart thing to do? I can’t imagine if I were in France that I would be drawn to a hotel that said “France is for the French” or some variation of “Speak French or go home!”
It’s really quite bizarre.