In the last week I have been called the ‘B word’, accused of hiring illegal immigrants, and told that Donald Trump is going to deport me back to Mexico. Yes, you guessed it. I am posting a job in Spanish on Craigslist.
The featured image (above and below) is the typical negative response that I receive if I dare post a job in Spanish on a public forum such as the local Phoenix job forum on craigslist.com. As you can see, the user is beside himself as he cannot fathom how somebody can use a language other than English to post a job in the United States of America. As you see from the second user’s posts (below) he is not alone.
Making Sense of the Ignorance
Trying to understand what would drive a job-seeker to post a response so negative and hateful instead of moving on to the majority of job posts that are in English, and actually applying for a job is a bit tough. Trying to sympathize (believe me this was really difficult), I thought that maybe he is upset because there are so many Spanish language job postings that someone who only speaks English struggles to find work. Could this be the case? To investigate further, I had my team do an analysis on Phoenix area labor gigs on Craigslist this morning and found that out of the most recent 100 posts, only 4 were in Spanish. Seeing that 96% of all posts were in English, I ruled out this theory.
One of the main issues we have today is that such a high quantity of Americans are influenced by anti-Latino rhetoric and automatically assume Spanish speaking people are illegal immigrants. In 2012, a study found that 30% of non-Hispanic Americans believed that the majority (over 50%) of all Hispanics are illegal (the actual number is closer to 18%, far less than half). Even though I owe no-one an explanation, the jobs I am looking to fill are for an employer that does require legal right to work.
Why do I post in Spanish?
When I first started posting the job I am looking to fill, I posted only in English and drew limited results. When I started posting in Spanish I received a much higher response which may be due to a level of trust/comfort that natural Spanish speakers feel with me by my posting in Spanish. Historically, I have also felt very comfortable with the people I hired and was always satisfied with their performance.
Firing Up the Internet Gangsters
From my experience over the past 7 years working in Hispanic digital and social media marketing, I have encountered many situations with what I call ‘Internet Gangsters’ that are anti-Latino, such as the dozens of racist comments posted on the Sears Facebook page a few years back when the brand decided to better serve its customers with a Spanish website. I have found there are many ignorant people who are exasperated by the thought that there could be another language used in their country, and use the most fearless of places such as a forum or replying to a Craiglist post to voice their opinions about the use of a language that offends them so. Do they think about their lack of abilities to comprehend another language? No. It is entirely the job-posters fault as how dare they post a job in a language that they could not understand, this is the United States of America after all. Right!
Moving Forward from Hate and Ignorance
I share these images and my experiences to provide awareness of the real racism and bigotry that people still have in 2015. What is worse, is that these same ignorant people feel empowered when a presidential candidate publicly equates Hispanics as rapists and his own party does not denounce him. It is sad as it feels like we as a nation are reverting not progressing. This is real stuff that occurs everyday, likely in cities across the country and not just Phoenix.
Lets move forward people.
A version of this article appeared on LinkedIn Pulse: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-happens-when-you-post-spanish-job-ad-phoenix-eric-diaz?trk=prof-post