No Hablo Trash in Lynchburg
In today's News & Advance, an article was printed regarding a supposed trash-tag violation problem in Lynchburg City. Apparantly, "Since Oct. 1, 445 residents put trash out without the proper tags." According to the article, three of those residents were brought to court. Two of them were fined $50. One of them was dismissed without penalty. The reason? "...She only spoke Spanish and could not read the violations, which were only printed in English." Furthermore, "...the violation notices are now printed in both English and Spanish."
I must admit, I was a bit taken aback by this. Two people who are educated at least well enough to read the notice were penalized for failing to comply to a city regulation. One person who isn't educated in the native language of the people amongst whom she lives is rewarded because she's uneducated. She can't read English? In Virginia? For a moment I had flashbacks to California before I regained my senses. They now print the violation notices in Spanish? In Virginia? Would they also be willing to excuse illiterate people, or do just the Spanish speaking get the privilege? What did she do, receive the notice in the mail and throw it away because she couldn't read it? Does she pay her electric bill? Her water bill?
The city may just gloss over the incident and chalk it up as an oversight on their part, which is evident by the fact that they now print the notice in Spanish. But this is no technicality. It seems from the article that the city has just wrongly discriminated against people who can read English. Is this not a problem? Is this the direction in which the city is headed? The waste management department doesn't seem to have a problem with it. I suppose next time you get that city bill in the mail, plead ignorance. They'll understand.