Unless I'm still jet-lagged, today is not April Fool's Day and this is not a joke:
Former Major League Baseball pitcher John Rocker is starting a campaign to encourage English-speaking Americans to start demanding respect from legal and illegal immigrants who do not speak English.
Rocker is also pushing for immigrants to respect the customs, heritage and culture of the United States.
In a news release, Rocker said the "'Speak English' campaign is to encourage people to promote and support the sustainment of the American heritage and the American culture. This campaign is in no way intended to degrade or demean the cultures or heritages of others' nationalities or races, but instead to bolster American nationalism and promote pride in the American culture."
To further his cause, Rocker is selling "Speak English" T-shirts on his Web site....
Which is true.
(Mr. Rocker is accompanied by that noted immigration expert Alicia Marie -- "fitness athlete, freelance writer, and Ms. Bikini Universe 2004.")
In the past, Rocker has been called a racist and anti-homosexual for comments made during interviews and drawn heavy fire from New York Mets fans after comments about the city of New York....
Which is also true. Here's the legendary Sports Illustrated article from 1999 in which Rocker demonstrated convincingly that he in no way intends to degrade or demean the cultures or heritages of others' nationalities or races:
"So many dumb asses don't know how to drive in this town," he says, Billy Joel's New York State of Mind humming softly from the radio. "They turn from the wrong lane. They go 20 miles per hour. It makes me want -- Look! Look at this idiot! I guarantee you she's a Japanese woman." A beige Toyota is jerking from lane to lane. The woman at the wheel is white. "How bad are Asian women at driving?" ...
* On ever playing for a New York team: "I would retire first. It's the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the [Number] 7 train to the ballpark, looking like you're [riding through] Beirut next to some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It's depressing."
* On New York City itself: "The biggest thing I don't like about New York are the foreigners. I'm not a very big fan of foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?" ...
My favorite line from his Speak English Campaign Mission Statement:
In my own personal experiences, I have lived abroad for over a year of my life, three different times in Puerto Rico and once in Venezuela.
Puerto Rico is "abroad." This guy is so ignorant it's a wonder he doesn't have his own show on CNN.
By the way, Rocker has apparently been conducting this campaign for a couple of months, according to his publicist's blog.