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View Diary: Who's Istook and why does he want your tax forms? (115 comments)

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  •  chill out em-dash (1.37)
    I work in the hotel business.   Just because its not politically correct doesn't make it less true.  Indians own my industry because they get an unfair tax break.  Because of cultural (cultural, not racial) biases, they tend to put more emphasis on flash than sustance (bigger signs, pretty lobby, less concern with housekeeping and no allotment for scheduled remodeling).  

    This is not because Indians are, pre se, less clean or interested in serving their clients...its because they but different cultural values on appearence vs new linens and matresses than Americans do.  That's why my quip (meant to be snarky) wasn't racist.  I wasn't talking about the color of their skin, but the culture that makes it okay to live in your hotel and cook on a hotplate (illegal in all 50 states) in your office.

    The truth is, if you walk into a hotel that smells like kurry, stay someplace else!

    "That government of, by, and for the people shall not perish from the Earth."

    by TheGryphon on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 11:03:15 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  you remind me... (none)
      of a certain Oklahoman's(?)claim to not being a 'racist' but instead a 'racialist' because your views on blacks are not based on your personal opinions but on the scientific facts of their inferiority.

      try to look objectively at what you just wrote, especially the 'racial vs. cultural' bits, and tell me you don't recognize the bigotry and racism inherent.

      if you don't see it, I'm sorry...

      •  Okay (1.00)
        I will admit there is an element of anger and frustration in my sentiments above.  I even admit that those are 2 of the 3 main hallmarks of racism.  The THIRD hallmar, however, is totally absent:  irroneously placing blames for your shortcomings on the racial/ethnic group your angry at.  I don't think black men smell funny when they sweat because I secretly want my penis to be as big as theirs.  I don't think chinese people are "inscrutable" because I am secretly sure they are smarter than me.  I KNOW I can run a hotel more effectively in the US than 1st generation immigrants from India who don't understand our culture AT ALL who have nevertheless received an unfair tax advantage that allows them to "front" for big corporations and buy up all the possibly profitable franchises and throught an "old boy" network control the only organs of complaint and redress inside the franchise system.  

        These people really do cook in their offices ... and use curry a lot!  It's not exactly a lie to say that if you smell curry when you enter a hotel, you should stay elsewhere.  Not because the proprietor is Indian (racially I mean) per se, but rather because of what it indicates about their management practices.  And yes, those practices predominate in properties run by 1st genereation Indian immigrants.  The difference is, (and I know the racists say this too) what I am saying is the truth.  And it is based ont on race, but on verifiable cutural factors.

        "That government of, by, and for the people shall not perish from the Earth."

        by TheGryphon on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 02:32:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Some details? (none)
          You say:

          I KNOW I can run a hotel more effectively in the US than 1st generation immigrants from India who don't understand our culture AT ALL who have nevertheless received an unfair tax advantage that allows them to "front" for big corporations and buy up all the possibly profitable franchises and throught an "old boy" network control the only organs of complaint and redress inside the franchise system. (Emphasis mine)

          Unfair tax advantage sounds like it'd be unconstitutional. Can you provide details?

          Isn't the legal system up to the task of handling the issues?

        •  A racist, by any other name ... (none)
          ... would smell as putrid.

          I spend approximately 40 hours a week doing volunteer work to preserve and promote historic businesses along Route 66.

          Because of my interest in the old road, I spend at least 30 nights a year in motels. As any Route 66 roadie will tell you, it is a point of pride to spend as much time as possible in small, vintage, mom-and-pop operations and as little time as possible in predictable, corporate-affiliated, cookie-cutter franchises.

          Just off the top of my head, I can list a dozen motels that are beautifully maintained, clean, comfortable, reasonably priced assets to the Mother Road. Rather than bore you with a list, I will simply refer you to my Web site -- http://www.route66motels.com -- if you want to find out more.

          I have never seen an Indian motel owner sell out his property to a developer so a tangible piece of American history and architecture can be torn down and replaced with another Walgreens ... which is more than I can say for some American-born property owners along this old road.

          I'm sorry, but based on my personal experience -- which I would hope is far more extensive than yours; all the truly conscientious motel owners I know don't have much chance to travel, because they're too busy doing their job -- I don't buy into the "if you smell curry ..." line.

          As CSNY once said, "You who are on the road must have a code that you can live by." Here's mine:

          If you smell xenophobic horseshit, leave in a hurry. And I am smelling it at your place.

          I smell it at every motel with a big ol' "AMERICAN OWNED" sign out front. You might attract a few travelers with your racist, me-first, screw-the-other-guy, my-culture-is-better-than-your-culture attitude, but you surely to hell will never see ME darkening your doorway.

          When I see the "AMERICAN OWNED" sign, I know everything I need to know about the owner. And the main thing I know is that the owner is a racist jerk. I'll sleep in the car and shower at the truck stop up the road tomorrow morning before I'll give MY hard-earned money to a racist jerk, thank you very much.

          I consider Jack Patel at the Desert Hills Motel a hero of the road. Many of Tulsa's historic motels have fallen on hard times; far too many have been torn down or altered beyond recognition.

          Jack bought the Desert Hills, remodeled the rooms, established some rules to ensure that the clientele would consist of law-abiding citizens instead of criminals, joined the Oklahoma Route 66 Association, put up a sign welcoming Route 66 travelers, and -- best of all -- had the motel's vintage neon sign restored this summer.

          Jack came to this country, bought a little piece of its history, and restored it so that you and I and everybody else in the United States could enjoy it. He could have bought that property and sold it off to Walgreens or somebody for a lot more money, but he didn't. He preserved it. And in doing so, he ensured that all of us have another tangible link to our history and our heritage. What more do you want from him?

          If your motel isn't good enough to stand on its own merits, your pedigree isn't going to tip the balance in your favor. Leave the xenophobia to Pat Buchanan. It doesn't become a Kossack at all.

          Emily "Sunday John" Priddy
          Tulsa, OK

          •  And I wonder ... (none)
            If you're so sure your motel is better than the Indian-born owners' motels, why don't you tell us all the name and location of this fine establishment so we can come and see for ourselves what a superior job you're doing, Mr. Coburn?

            Emily

            •  One more thing (none)
              You're snarking about Indian motel owners because they live on the premises. Are you actually suggesting that an absentee landlord is preferable to an owner who lives on-site and is available 24/7 to deal with emergencies if they arise?

              Before Econolodge and the rest of the cookie-cutter franchise outfits took over the lodging industry, all motels were built with living quarters, either attached to the motel itself or located in a separate structure on the premises, depending on the architectural style of the motel in question.

              That way, the owner, whose entire income is tied directly to the success or failure of the business, and who shoulders the entire responsibility for that success or failure, was on hand at all times in case his guests needed him.

              Anybody who's spent much time on the road understands the advantage of this. If a toilet refuses to flush or a light switch stops working or the thermostat gives out and lets the room temperature rise into the 80s (all of which have happened to me at motels over the years,) it's nice to have the ACTUAL BUSINESS OWNER on hand to deal with the situation immediately.

              A live-in owner is every motel's birthright. It's part of the industry's heritage. Absentee landlords are a later invention, devised by people who are more concerned with the bottom line than with the quality of their business.

              I don't think it's a coincidence that in most cases, the friendliest and most conscientious hosts are still to be found at those old motels built in the 1940s or 1950s. Business owners, by and large, tend to take a lot more pride in their work than people who "just work here."

              Emily

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