Outrage in Milford (Update: The Signs are coming down)

Filed in Delaware, National by on January 5, 2013

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Click through for a larger version

I saw this picture on Facebook, from a liberal friend downstate, who was sharing it via an original posting of the very nonliberal Dan Gaffney. It is nice to know that the outrage concerning this photo is bipartisan. And what is so outrageous about it, you ask?

Well, you can read what it says in English. In Spanish it says “You have to have a permit to play here or you will be arrested.”

So if you are a white English speaking “American,” you can play here at your own risk so long as you have a parent or guardian watching. If you are brown, if you dare play here without a permit we will arrest your immigrant ass. That is the fucking height of racism, and I will see to it that who ever is responsible for this sign will have their public careers ended immediately.

Update: Dan Gaffney, the conservative radio talk show host, has himself taken a whole bunch of new pictures to dispel the crazy and insane photoshop conspiracy theory. Here they are:

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The sign is real folks, now stop wasting your energy on conspiracy. But if you are still a doubter, the address is LuLu Ross Elementary School, 310 Lovers Lane, Milford, DE. Have fun.

Update 3:

A friend of mine just toured all the schools in the City of Milford. There are three parks/playgrounds at or near the Lulu Ross Elementary School and the new Misspillion school (which are adjacent to each other), and there are multiple offending signs there. This section on the South side of town is home to many Latino families. Indeed, it can be called the Latino section of the town. At other schools and parks in Milford, in the more predominantly white part of town, there are no signs. So this just gets worse and worse, and there is no mistaking the intent. This is not a mistake in translation. This is not a photoshop. This is real.

Here are more photos:

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FINAL UPDATE: The News Journal finally has a story up on this sign saga:

For the last year, signs at two Milford SchoolDistrict playgrounds tell English readers that adult supervision is required to use the facility, along with a warning to play at their own risk.

Spanish readers get a much stricter message. They are told they need permission to use the facilities – and that they could be subject to police action if they don’t have permission.

“It’s very intimidating and very threatening,” Lewes resident Margaret Reyes said.

Dan Gaffney, a talk-show host at WXDE radio, noticed the signs Saturday and realized the two messages were very different, even though he doesn’t speak Spanish. [...]

Today, Milford School District Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Kohel learned of the signs. She told her husband to grab his tools so they could immediately remove them. They were in the process of doing so this afternoon.

“I didn’t want to wait,” Kohel said.

Kohel said there are signs at the school district’s middle school and high school that tell visitors in English and Spanish that they need permission to use the facilities or could be subject to police action.

She said she doesn’t know why that message was only put in Spanish at the elementary schools. Kohel said the signs have been up for about a year. Kohel started as superintendent this school year, after the signs were installed.

“I certainly assume there was not an intent to discriminate,” Kohel said. “We have a great working relationship with all of the communities at the school, and there is absolutely an understanding that no ethnic group will be discriminated upon.”

So good on the Superintendent for taking action and taking down the signs. I hope this incident sparks other towns and cities to review their own bilingual signs to make sure they are saying the same thing rather than offering discriminatory messages.

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  1. pandora says:

    I am speechless.

  2. puck says:

    I think Milford has found its site for Cinco de Mayo.

  3. Jason330 says:

    “Whites Only” would have saved them a few bucks at the sign shop.

  4. Jason330 says:

    DD, Are you cross posting this at dkos?

  5. Andy says:

    Shared on my FB page

  6. JConnor says:

    Myself and 7 of my friends have shared this on FB, please make it viral!

  7. Jason330 says:

    If you have an account at Daily Kos, go recommend DD’s diary.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/05/1176645/-Outrage-in-Delaware

  8. Jake says:

    My understanding of Spanish is limited, so is there a possibility that someone really, really fucked up with Google Translate?

  9. JConnor says:

    No chance at all

  10. Aoine says:

    As a Spanish speaker – nope, no chance at all

    Not even close.

  11. Victor says:

    Do we know this wasn’t photoshopped? Just saying, it’s so outrageous, I can’t imagine a local government posting it. We may be being punked.

  12. Aoine says:

    The person that took the photo took it this AM themselves- translated it and posted it on FB- this person is well known and gave out the locations (multiple) where the signs are

    The poster is a local in the area and well known and has come forward.

    The rest was verified. The signs are verified

  13. Dave says:

    Doesn’t the Spanish word “permiso” mean “permission”? Babylon translates this as “You must have permission to play in this field. Violators will be subject to police action” I wonder if the interpretation of “police action” is an arrest, considering most police actions do not result in arrest?

    More importantly, why is there such a significant difference between the signs in English and Spanish? I wonder who we could ask for an explanation?

    I might be speechless once I understand why there were different versions. At this point I am interested in an explanation.

  14. Jason330 says:

    A great many kos commenters simply can not believe it. The photo shop comments speak to how appalling the sign is. But, I’m a little surprised about all the skepticism.

  15. SussexWatcher says:

    The Milford School District is going to have some ‘splaining to do on Monday …

  16. Jason330 says:

    SInce the spanish sign mentions a field, a kos commenter suggested that someone grabbed the soccer field sign instead of the playground sign. Careless not malicious. That’s possible.

  17. JConnor says:

    Andthey grabbed them 3 times put them in 3 places? this is totally intentional

  18. Sam Smith says:

    And that’s some very Espanglish Spanish. Not to help the racists but how about:

    Se necesita un permiso para jugar en este campo.
    Forsadas por la policia.

  19. JConnor says:

    SS: = A permit is required to play

  20. Aoine says:

    USTEDES- very rude and aggressive form of address. A friend put it like this: ” it’s like someone goes up to a groups and says, HEY, YOU ALL, YEAH YOU ALL, THERE, YEAH, YOU, while pointing their finger at you all, in the group.

    In Spanish the personal pronoun is only used with the verb for emphasis, generally the ending on the verb denotes the WHO, I.e. necessitas. One needs, or you ( plural form) needs.

    Babylon, babel fish, google cannot translate the TONE, the words yes, the TONE, no. And the TONE IS ALL WRONG.

    Plus the threat of police action., ? Where is the English version of that. These signs were posted in several different places, not just one, so seemingly, not just a mistake

    But yea, some one got some explaining to do

    Off course if they had a policy for this, maybe it would not have happened. And before someone says it, yes, they are required to have a policy on this, it is required by federal law, as they accept federal funding.

    Better yet; antes usando este equipo o campo, por favor obtenir permiso . Before using this equipment or field, please obtain permission

    Going to be interesting …..

  21. Davy says:

    When something this ridiculous happens, I think stupidity, not racism.

  22. Aoine says:

    Stupidity in a school district to this level doesn’t bode well for the school, or the future of the kids there either……

  23. Aoine says:

    Aren’t schools supposed to at least pretend to be places of learning and intellect with learned and intellectual people in charge there- or did I just go down the rabbit hole?

  24. reality check says:

    Milford? Isn’t that where Speaker Pete wanted to help build a casino. Guess they would have had a difficult time finding “appropriate” ethnic workers to clean the bathrooms in his little venture with that attitude of negativity and intimidation displayed so publicly by the inbreds.

  25. JConnor says:

    Read the History of Milford Schools circa 1953

  26. ray4ausa says:

    The person AND THE ONES INSTALLING THAT SIGN should be fired AND brought up on charges of public intimidation. This should not be allowed in America. This sort of trash is condoned in Pakistan and Iran, but not here. Fire them and prosecute them to the fullest.

  27. Paré Normale says:

    “I will see to it that who ever is responsible for this sign will have their public careers ended immediately.”

    YAWN.

  28. Linda says:

    I think it’s time to organize a play date!

  29. Paré Normale says:

    First intelligent post on the thread so far!

  30. I so doubt the validity of it. Can anyone find an address? Which park? If it is real than it is time for an organized play date with freedom signs every week until it is removed.

    If it is real, it is likely not the fault of the city. The likelihood is they would not purposefully order the signs that way.

  31. SussexWatcher says:

    RC: The casino was planned for Millsboro, you jackass.

    David: Give Dan Gaffney a call. He took them.

  32. Delaware Dem says:

    David, see my comments to you in the updated post above. You have some official statements of apology to write and action to take if you want to keep your job.

  33. puck says:

    Congratulations, DD! Not since Caeser Rodney has anyone made such a journey.

  34. OverProgressive says:

    There’s an easy solution to this, everybody.

    Find the park, find the sign, take a picture of yourself standing by the sign, post to Facebook.

    It can’t be Photoshop; it can’t be a conspiracy, if everyone is seeing the same thing.

    The link to a google map of the park, so everyone else can go there and see the sign for themselves, and take a picture also.

  35. OverProgressive says:

    Whoops.

    I just realised that you did post the park’s address, so I made a partial mistake in that respect.

    But it should be very easy for anyone to go see the sign, and take a picture, for themselves…..

  36. Truth Teller says:

    Now if we could only get signs like they have in Boston “Yield TO PEDRESTIONS”

  37. puck says:

    OverProgressive – click Refresh.

  38. puck says:

    In a way it’s too bad DD wasn’t punked by Gaffney. That would have been awesome.

  39. Paré Normale says:

    Republican David has nothing to write, nor does he have any task before him except to wait for the Milford school/town officials to investigate how the signs came into being. If that doesn’t happen, then it can move up the chain of oversight/supervision/outrage.

    The same restraint goes for washed up Delaware Way hacks like DD.

    DD, there is a reason you are no longer employed in the halls of government. It’s not the one you think it is. I suspect that reason plays out undesirably in other areas of your life. Good.

  40. Delaware Dem says:

    Pare Normale, I was never employed in the halls of Government, so whomever you think I am, you are wrong. That you are not outraged by this sign, and outraged by the excuses and doubt offered by a supposed public official like Republican David speaks to your true nature.

    Now kindly go fornicate yourself and have a good day.

  41. geezer says:

    I wonder how many employees of the city of Milford speak and read Spanish. Judging by the size of the fail here, I’m guessing zero.

  42. Delaware Dem says:

    Geezer, this is not a #fail situation. This is intentional.

  43. puck says:

    DD, I think that last photo tells the story.

  44. Delaware Dem says:

    Partly. What I need explained is why the white English version is not on the other yellow signs.

  45. puck says:

    Because it appears there are two policies – one for playing fields (permit required), and one for playgrounds (play at your own risk).

    The white signs were put up earlier and got it right.

    But when it came time to put up the new yellow signs, some Spanish-illiterate worker mixed them up and bolted the Spanish field sign onto the English playground sign. Most likely out of ignorance: “Hey Joe, put up the Spanish signs too.”

  46. geezer says:

    DD: You can’t, and therefore don’t, know that it was intentional. This happened in Milford, where the stupid burns strong and deep.

  47. Delaware Dem says:

    Then those ignorant workers need to get out there and remove the signs immediately. And the same needs to be done up and down the state. Because right now the effect of the yellow signs is discriminatory, whether through ignorance or not.

  48. puck says:

    There is still room for malice in the explanation but it is shrinking.

  49. JConnor says:

    Geezer the signs are done by the School District, it’s school property they TEACH Spanish there. This is NO mistake.

  50. bcg says:

    FYI the last pic of the white signs is at the feilds at the middle school. Totally across town from the other schools where the original pic was taken.

  51. KS says:

    I doubt the people putting up the signs are students taking Spanish. I’m very hopeful that this is a mix-up of the signs that can be easily fixed. But an apology is still in order for the appearance of intended discrimination.

  52. puck says:

    Which tells me the yellow signs are a new batch to go on the new schools. I wonder if when the printed the yellow signs, they also printed a yellow Spanish “play at your own risk sign?” Or was the “permit required” sign the only Spanish sign printed, leaving workers only one choice for Spanish signs?

  53. Jason330 says:

    It gives the bad actors an out anyway.

  54. Mitch Crane says:

    These fields are under the jurisdiction of the Milford School District not the City of Milford. LuLu Ross Elementary School is in the Sussex County part of Milford. The playground is the closest to the largely Hispanic neighborhood in southesast Milford. This school is the polling place for two EDs in the 36th RD. Dan Gaffney is a voter at this polling place, as was I when I lived in Milford.
    I forwarded the posting to the editor of one of the Milford newspapers.
    Concerned citizens should call the school district’s administrative office and protest. The number is 302-422-1600

  55. Aoine says:

    Exactly- the discriminatory signs are posted in the largely Hispanic, but also Sussex county side of town….

    Someone should call/write the Secratarty of Education, the superintendent, the school board on down the line.- whether or not it was intentional, malicious or dumb it needs to be stopped IMMEDIATELY and some form of punitive action taken.

  56. Aoine says:

    Wonder when Republican David will post his “apology” or an admission of …..stupidity?

  57. JConnor says:

    David has no need to admit stupidity :)

  58. CTaylor says:

    So, rather than just writing a blog post full of impotent rage, do you plan on actually–I don’t know–CALLING the parks department and asking them about the signs? The last picture you posted leads me to believe that it’s a SNAFU by whoever put the signs up. But either way, by asking questions of the people in charge and quoting answers, you’d actually have a newsworthy STORY, instead of just a bunch of foam-flecked whinging.

  59. Aoine says:

    Well seeing as it is not the PARKS DEPARTMENT that made the SNAFU, it was the facilities dept of the SCHOOL district…the answer is YES

    right after you learn to improve your reading comprehension skills and wipe the stupid off your chin.

  60. JConnor says:

    No sooner than David is disposed of CT arises. did you SEE the Phone # of the SCHOOL DISTRICT posted!?

  61. Jason330 says:

    CTaylor, your critique doesn’t sound very objective, so I don’t think you appreciate how well community based blog works in this kind of situation.

  62. Jim Westhoff says:

    Great job on this everyone.

    The past 24 hours have shown that while there are jerks out there, they do not outnumber those of us who will fight them.

  63. JConnor says:

    care to explain this Mr. Westoff?

    Jim Westhoff Great job, Margaret.
    My guess is that it’s a different custodial crew that works on the schools on the south side of town.

    about an hour ago via mobile · Like · 1

  64. D says:

    Perhaps the interpreter was Spanish Second Language: God forbid anyone in the United States learn a foreign language first! Ustedes is plural you, but in Europe it is formal, not rude. con permiso is permission, but it does not say supervision or guardian is required in Spanish. You are yelling at the wrong side of the sign! Vandals modified one sign. Notice nobody is playing on the grounds.

  65. WWB says:

    I got alerted to this earlier this morning from a Facebook post. Skimming the comments here I think I have to agree with Puck…somebody put the Spanish language signs up who had no idea what they said. The white signs that say the same thing in English and Spanish…I have seen them many times with my own eyes at the athletic fields. I suspect that this is due mainly to ignorance rather than malice, but hey, this is Sussex County!

  66. B says:

    I too agree that this is more of a language barrier issue. There is no explanation for the white sign below, but it clearly says the same thing as the translation of the yellow sign, but it sits in front of a soccer field. My guess is there is a permit required for the use of the soccer field. The same sign was used at the playground even though the English version clearly refers to it as a playground, but the Spanish sign still says “field.” I think it would be best to go to the school and point it out rather than crying racism, discrimination, etc. When you see it in the context of the soccer field sign, it makes far more sense than when you see it out of context at the playground. I don’t think spreading it around the internet is proactive, because too may people will jump on the bandwagon without doing any kind of research, then all these people will be all up in arms about it. Take it to the street level! Go directly to the school, it’s possible they aren’t even aware of what the Spanish version says!

  67. Aoine says:

    And there is the nut graph- thanks WWB!

    Because SUSSEX is well, infamous for this type of behavior , the CONTEXT, would lead one to believe that it is racism.
    No one is surprised when racism rears its ugly head in sussex , and that is the crux of the problem. if this were Arizona or Georgia, or Mississppi. It’s racism

    But say, Boston or New York, it’s ignorance of Spanish

    That says it all

  68. Laura Ivansons says:

    Here is the photo album for LuLu Ross School…look at the student composition. http://re.milfordschooldistrict.org/apps/album/index.jsp?dir=50085/72048&backLink=&backTitle=

  69. Aoine says:

    Seeing as they has the sign translated- an exact translation , I might add, shoes they DO know the difference.

    If they had the right policies in place this would not have happened at all

    Leading to a bigger question, why DON’T they have the proper policies in place, or why aren’t they following them?

    See, there is no easy ” it’s ignorance” slide out of this- which makes it more egregious.

  70. Linda says:

    Regardless if these were put up out of ignorance or just plain malice, THE FACT OF THE MATTER is, first and foremost, that they be removed immediately and a formal apology made. As a Mexican-American the hurt this causes is beyond words!!! This is a Title 1 school and this so called mistake is UNACCEPTABLE!! My call to the superintendent Phyllis Cole (sp?) has been made

  71. Jim Westhoff says:

    JP, I was suggesting a possible reason for why the signs are at some schools, and not others. I suggested that different crews are responsible for maintaining different schools.

    My comments in no way suggest that the people responsible are not racists and/or morons.

  72. Dave says:

    The people who put up the signs could indeed be racists and/or morons. But all we know at this point is that it appears they put up different versions of the English and Spanish signs. Assigning motivation, when no one knows why this happening is stereotyping people. It is wrong regardless of who is being stereotyped or who is doing the stereotyping. No one gets a pass on this. We don’t no why the apparent error was made period. Once we find out then we can call them racists or morons.

    I wonder what the response would have been if the messages on the signs were reversed? Would anyone have noticed and if they noticed would they have cared?

  73. Paré Normale says:

    I am glad this whole incident revealed the whack jobs on our state’s liberal front. You blow up an installation error, clearly proven by the exact-translation white-background soccer field signs, into Mispillion Burning.

    Thank the Lord almighty that none of you believe in guns! I can’t wait for Civil War II…;)

  74. Linda says:

    Dave seriously what are the chances of that reverse event would happen?? Nice try. I do agree with you however, until we know WHY this was done I will reserve my harsher comments as fighting ignorance or malice is better done in the court system. Working in the legal field I can say that this issue is ripe for the ACLU to intervene if this action is not remedied immediately.

  75. Paré Normale says:

    I am sure the $7.40/hour maintenance worker will NEVER FORGET the lessons you guys teach him!! Maybe you all could wear Guy Fawkes masks and hack into his dialup AOL account from his poorly insulated trailer home. Reveal his convenience store purchases!!! I bet he smokes Marlboro!!! You all know that’s CODE for……future lung cancer schmuck, same as anybody else who smokes, moron.

    Sometimes a cigarette is just a cigarette….;)

  76. puck says:

    On the contrary, it shows how far downstate Delaware needs to go before we can assume that the appearance of bigotry is just an accident.

    Bigotry is a reasonable suspicion at first. Plenty of election notices went out elsewhere with different (incorrect) instructions in Spanish, so it is a known technique.

  77. JConnor says:

    Paré Normale you have shown that sometimes an asshole is just an asshole

  78. Paré Normale says:

    Bigotry is a knee-jerk suspicion, with the emphasis on JERK. Always assume mistake first (very common among humans!), investigate and follow up, then pounce when mistake is not the case.

    Maybe liberals’ issue with guns is that even THEY know they couldn’t be trusted with them?

  79. lostinaustin says:

    It looks like the sign in the pictures is actually at Mispillion Elementary School (http://mes.milfordschooldistrict.org/). If you look at the webpage, one of the photos in the banner shows a group of kids and someone in a frog (?) costume with the playground in the background. The background is seen from almost the same line-of-site as in the photo above but I don’t see the sign (which I would expect to stand out, since it’s yellow).

  80. Miscreant says:

    It’s so outrageous that I refuse to believe it was intentional. Should that be the case, the person(s) responsible should be required to study the Spanish language, and be fluent by the end of the year. I predict that this will be corrected by close of business tomorrow.

    In my limited understanding of the Spanish language, I have noticed many bilingual signs that have been mistranslated. I especially like it when they have been corrected by someone with a Magic Marker.

  81. lostinaustin says:

    Sorry, that’s not a frog, it’s a terrapin.

  82. lostinaustin says:

    So what if you’re bilingual in English and Spanish? Which signs applies to you?

    So confusing.

  83. Yisus says:

    Translation is even worse than you think. “Ustedes” is plural, so it says “you all” or “you people”, therefore the sign is purposely targeted to an entire segment of the population.

    Now, “violadores” translates as “rapists”, I’m serious, look it up.. The right word to use in that case would have been “infractores”.

  84. lostinaustin says:

    Maybe the lower sign only applies to people who speak Spanish badly?

  85. geezer says:

    Perhaps we shouldn’t assume the maintenance worker/installation engineer is literate in either language, let alone both. It is Milford, after all.

  86. Linda says:

    If a comment, action, or policy is hurtful to a spefic culture or people, it is racism even if it was not intended to be. Such actions are part of the overall system of racism. This is posted at a playground where children play . . . you can only challenge what is seen . . . and that is exactly what is being done.

  87. Paré Normale says:

    Yes, the USA has a LOT of catching up to do with regard to multilingual communications. If its any comfort, Chinese shopkeepers poorly translated “Coca Cola” into “bite the wax tadpole” before the company was able to sensibly find the right characters for their branding there.

  88. Paré Normale says:

    FYI, Linda, “racism” is a *deliberate* act, requiring full intention to single out one or more groups.

    Anything less is some measure of insensitivity or ignorance. Those acts may follow in the footsteps of earlier racism by others, but they do not rise to the level of moral failing.

  89. geezer says:

    “If a comment, action, or policy is hurtful to a spefic culture or people, it is racism even if it was not intended to be.”

    Bullshit. Your individual feelings are the measure of racism? Only in your own mind. That’s not what the word means, and we have no reason to use your definition instead of the commonly accepted one.

    Racism is the belief that one’s race makes one inferior or superior to others of different races. Feelings have nothing to do with it.

  90. Dave says:

    @Linda, “Dave seriously what are the chances of that reverse event would happen?? Nice try.”

    Seriously Linda, what would have happened if the English sign had said violators will be arrested and the Spanish sign had said parent or guardian required? What would have been our first reaction? Speaking for myself, my first reaction on being made aware of the difference is that the parks department needs to have access to someone who is literate in Spanish to make sure that the English and Spanish signs were in agreement. Occam’s Razor and all that.

    I find it useful sometimes to reverse situations because I am sometimes prone to see things from only one perspective and need to force myself to look at things in different ways.

  91. Linda says:

    Excuse me this is written in Spanish for those of us who read Spanish. What part of that is not directed to singling out one group? Granted the placement of this sign may not intentionally be malicious but neverthless it is!! Too often when facing this “racism” in my youth the “oh it was just a mistake, sorry” sufficed. Not today sir!

  92. geezer says:

    A related question: In the last photo, why is there no Spanish sign to match the one in English listing all the prohibited substances and activities?

  93. geezer says:

    “Excuse me this is written in Spanish for those of us who read Spanish. What part of that is not directed to singling out one group?”

    “People who speak Spanish” and “people of Hispanic heritage” are not the same thing. You destroyed your own argument.

  94. Linda says:

    @Dave no my first reaction would have been to call the Superintendent and lodge a formal complaint. That is what I did. Dealing with things head on to find a remedy is my gut reaction . . . the damage has been done . . . fix it and move on.

  95. Linda says:

    @geezer. Please . . . do not qualify me . . . or my reaction!

  96. Sam Smith says:

    Who knows whether it was accidental or intentional but the bottom sign is still a nasty a$$ translation.

    Permiso can mean either permission or permit. They all have the same Latin root and the distinction isn’t made in Spanish.

    On a public notice, I’ve never seen ustedes (you, plural), its always been the reflexive “se” followed by the verb, even though it sounds really strange in English, “It is necessitated a permit to play on the field.” There’s no word in Spanish for playground so it gets translated field/campo or you could go with campo de juego (field of play) or with park (parque). If it meant ball field, the Spanish would probably say “cancha.”

    Bottom line, spend some money on a real translator instead of your brother-in-law.

  97. Paré Normale says:

    You’re giving liberals a bad name, Linda!

    What happened to the touchy feely Sesame Street liberals? Remember? I’m okay, you’re okay, everyone is okay. Except that blue muppet. Never trust a blue muppet. Dirty blue muppets.

  98. Paré Normale says:

    Sam, they clearly Google-translated the soccer field English.

    I blame Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Dirty nerds.

  99. Ars Skeptica says:

    Thanks for bringing this to the public’s attention. Here’s my effort to amplify the message and call for action.

    http://arsskeptica.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/simply-unacceptable-in-modern-america-milford-des-new-twist-on-whites-only/

  100. Sam Smith says:

    Pare Normale, which is kind of why its good to know what your’re doing. “Campo” is the root of “campesino” which usually gets translated “peasant.” It means “country” as in “out in the country” or “field” as in a farm field. The idea is a big open area not a place broken up and marked up to play a sport or even improved in some way to make a park “parque.” Where you play a sport is a chancha whether indoors or outdoors.

    Although you can get into a is it a “trunk” or is a “boot” argument. And the US has Spanish speakers from all over the world so its tricky to know what their local usage is back in the home country. But anyway you cut it, that’s a bad translation.

    “Ustedes deben tener” on a public notice is like fingers nails on a blackboard.

  101. Dave says:

    “@Dave no my first reaction would have been to call the Superintendent and lodge a formal complaint. That is what I did.”

    Actually, that wasn’t your first reaction. It was your first action. Your first reaction was about what you first felt and my question was what would your reaction had been if the signs had been reversed? It’s not a trick question, I am honestly interested. It would be ok to say that you would have reacted differently or felt nothing.

    My first reaction probably would have been amusement (with a snarky remark to myself about coming up on a STOP and YIELD sign on the same pole). My first action might have been to call someone at the parks department to let them know that there was a problem with the signs.

  102. Paré Normale says:

    Agreed, Sam, but Google isn’t racist.

    Though, according to Linda’s tinfoil castanet explanation, “If a comment, action, or policy is hurtful to a specific culture or people, it is racism even if it was not intended to be,” Google is clearly the binary incarnation of David Dukes.

  103. Sam Smith says:

    Oh, and here’s another mistake “Ustedes” is clearly plural and the verb form they use for “should,” “debe” is singular. Should have been “deben.”

    And this is a school?

  104. Linda says:

    My first reaction would not have mirrored yours. Simple as that. When you experience racism deep in the South then your perception of how you react to different stimuli would naturally be different. I am not saying your reaction is right or wrong. I just know that remaining silent is not what I
    Will EVER do again. That goes for any injustice I witness.

  105. Miscreant says:

    “Too often when facing this “racism” in my youth the “oh it was just a mistake, sorry” sufficed. Not today sir!”

    Why not today? Because there are more Hispanics in the population? Ignorance and racism are timeless. It’s no more, or less, offensive than in the past, perhaps, with the increase in numbers, people are feeling empowered to be more ‘sensitive’ to it.

    “If a comment, action, or policy is hurtful to a spefic culture or people, it is racism even if it was not intended to be.”

    I see Linda is in the same school of faux outrage as Del Dem. Wouldn’t it be ironic, if after this type of ‘justice’ is meted out, the person who put the signs up is a minimum wage minority.

    The only viable solution is to produce signs in one language. Yeah, I’m aware that’s likely to be perceived as ‘racist’.
    Tough shit.

  106. Linda says:

    Exactly why this debate is so important. Anything worth debating is controversial and this is the perfect forum Have a nice day.

  107. bcg says:

    The superintendent removed the signs this afternoon.

  108. Paré Normale says:

    Yay, where’s the microbrew party???? I’ll bring the six-pack of Stale Bitch.

  109. MartinNJ says:

    What, was the ‘Whites Only’ Sign already taken down?

    This is an absolute disgrace that those first two signs would be paired together. Threatening and intimating Spanish speakers about using a public facility. Has no one in Lewes heard of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing equal treatment and protection under the law?

    Do that have that much money in their general fund that they invite million dollar settlements against the county? Shameless!

  110. Paré Normale says:

    Harumph! Harumph!

    Hey….I didn’t get a harumph out of that guy!!!!

    HARUMPH!!!!!

  111. Aoine says:

    No on tell Pare normale,where the party is….

    They r such a kill- joy

    And we drink regular beer , no micro- brew bitches here, well with ONE exception….or u can just refer to us a Merlot sipping liberals like the rest of your buds do

    Bottom line, sign is down…. You side, your LILI WHITE SIDE, LOOSES. Again.

  112. Miscreant says:

    “And we drink regular beer , no micro- brew bitches here, well with ONE exception….or u can just refer to us a Merlot sipping liberals like the rest of your buds do”

    Merlot and Fresca… instant Sangria.

  113. Sam Smith says:

    Donde esta la cerveza? Blancos solomente. Or is that solomente blancos? ;)

  114. Linda says:

    Thank you Milford School District Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Kohel you are a class act for doing this yourself. I hope I have the pleasure of speaking with you tomorrow.

  115. cassandra_m says:

    Thank you, Paré Normale, you go find another place to be rude.

  116. Aoine says:

    Tengo cerveza para ti Sam Smith…..cuando tu lo quiere. Voy a pagar también

    The adults resolved the matter in so small part because the adults here and elsewhere made their voices heard, and other adults agreed.

    So Pare Normale- you didn’t do shit, except make yourself look like the crass bitch asshole you are

    Ahora, pinche verga, chinga su propia chulo… And don’t bother googling that, it won’t be there.

  117. Miscreant says:

    The real shocker here is that the signs were up for a year before they were discovered by a buffoon.

  118. John Manifold says:

    From the official rules of 43-Man Squamish:

    “The defending right Outside Grouch signifies that he is ready to hurl the Pritz by shouting, ‘Mi tío es enfermo pero la carretera es verde,’ a wise old Chilean saying that means, ‘My uncle is sick but the highway is green’.”

  119. Jason330 says:

    The other real shocker here is that the buffoon realized the signs were wrong.

  120. Jason330 says:

    “Regardless of what the signs do or do not say, if there is even a perception that we are discriminating against any group, I felt they needed to come down immediately,” Kohel said.

    Good for her.

  121. Republican David says:

    Good, no need for weekly play date/protests. As I said before I doubt there was any ill intent. The signs match the English signs at the ball fields where permits are needed. Issue resolved.

    It is fascinating that it took a year for someone to point it out though. I hope an offical apology goes out to those who were offended and future signs are quality checked by policy.

  122. kavips says:

    Now.. I cannot but wonder if other Sussex County Schools have similar signs? It is odd that a local signmaker would create this for one school.. Usually these things are bought in bulk and sit on a shelf somewhere in the County until needed. If not pre-bought, they usually come from one “official” order guide. Obviously this lasted simply because no one until recently, bothered to look…. I guess we have to wait till tomorrow to find out where the signs came from, and who ordered them…. It would be interesting to do a sweep from Delmar north to see what other surprises might be found…

  123. deannaram says:

    I dont think we are seeing the full picture here…the sign was placed in a predominately Latino area for over a year, why didn’t any Latino speak up? Does this not give us some idea of how they are treated? They expect to be treated that way and most likely had no one to turn to so it took someone who doesn’t even speak Spanish to bring this to the light. Can you imagine in what other ways the Latinos in this area are mistreated but too afraid to speak up?

  124. SussexWatcher says:

    kavips wrote: “Now.. I cannot but wonder if other Sussex County Schools have similar signs? It is odd that a local signmaker would create this for one school.. Usually these things are bought in bulk and sit on a shelf somewhere in the County until needed.”

    That might be the case if Delaware school districts were unified or shared business operations. But as everyone except you knows, they don’t.

  125. John Young says:

    SW, The signs are the schools’ signs or the county’s signs? the article makes me think they are the county’s signs. If so, then what Kavips is saying is that Sussex County may buy them in bulk and deploy them “as necessary” throughout the county.

    Whereas a school district would only use signs for their district, the county would have greater geographical reach. Technically, the super, who absolutely did the right thing, may have taken down signs without proper authority to do so.

  126. Republican David says:

    John, the school has absolute authority over which signs go up on their property. They are the ones that requested signs be put up. If the wrong one goes in the wrong place, they remove them.

  127. John Young says:

    If on their property then of course they have authority. It seems like the district is taking responsibility but I would like to see the source of the signs formally identified to ensure the scope of the problem is just Milford.

  128. Dave says:

    “why didn’t any Latino speak up? Does this not give us some idea of how they are treated? They expect to be treated that way”

    1. Because they are like everyone else and have a scotoma to signs that do not matter. Most people would have never noticed what the signs said. They would have noticed that there was a sign but nothing other than that.
    2. They were not treated differently. It is obvious that someone made a mistake with the signs. On the other hand, they were treated differently because they get a special sign in their language and other nationalities have to make do with English.
    3. I disagree that they expected to be treated that way. They probably ignored (as I point out in item 1).

    You know sometimes human error is simply human error and not a sign of blatant discrimination.

  129. socialistic ben says:

    I suppose just like how “some people” (see what i did there) claim stereotypes exist for a reason, we are more likely to believe that there was blatant racism because it was in an area with a very loud history of blatant racism.

  130. citydems says:

    glad it came down – use a qualified translator-

  131. SussexAnon says:

    The last picture shows a posting of the same sign in both english in spanish. Kind of pokes a hole in the the conspiracy theory about only brown people not being allowed to “use the park.” If the english version appeared at all the same locations as the spanish sign, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, would we?

    The sign, I think, relates to sports activities, not the jungle gym for kids. Meaning, you can’t host a soccer (or any other sporting event, festival, etc.) without a permit.

  132. SussexWatcher says:


    Comment by John Young on 7 January 2013 at 7:30 am:
    SW, The signs are the schools’ signs or the county’s signs? the article makes me think they are the county’s signs. If so, then what Kavips is saying is that Sussex County may buy them in bulk and deploy them “as necessary” throughout the county.

    Whereas a school district would only use signs for their district, the county would have greater geographical reach. Technically, the super, who absolutely did the right thing, may have taken down signs without proper authority to do so.

    Are you so dumb that you think county government has anything to do with education and schools? Besides, Sussex County has no parks.

  133. Roland D. LeBay says:

    @ Aoine-

    “USTEDES- very rude and aggressive form of address.”

    It depends on where you grew up.

    In the USA, “ustededes” is taught as the formal type of speech. That is, it is uncommon in SPEECH, but it is preferred in written communication. At least that’s how my Polish American, Irish American and African American Spanish teachers (and the textbooks–Nuestros Amigos was one).

    Here is an interesting discussion of Spanish and other languages spoken throughout the world. I found it very interesting.

  134. Aoine says:

    Okay, then explain why the next word. “Debe” is in the singular tense when the personal pronoun is in the plural .

    Even given that “ustedes” is ok – the following verb should have been in the proper form- “deben”.

    The signs did say different things to different folks- therefore discriminatory- whether malicious or an accident.- the effect was the same

    It also highlights the danger of any entity NOT. Ensuring the quality and appropriateness of their message or translation is said message.

    It can be debated all day- but this is a cautionary tale and one hopes a lesson was learned.

  135. Roland D. LeBay says:

    The signs did say different things to different folks- therefore discriminatory- whether malicious or an accident.- the effect was the same

    It also highlights the danger of any entity NOT. Ensuring the quality and appropriateness of their message or translation is said message.

    I agree. I commented on “ustedes” simply because you brought it up & it was also brought up in the link I posted in my reply. Language fascinates me.

    Peace.

  136. Aoine says:

    Ok. Cool. Thanks. Peace out….

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