American Politicians and NRIs
"Now when I have trouble with
my DSL service,
I won't have to listen with an Indian accent,"
El Paso Times
AT&T asked for and got a small tax break from the City
Council on Tuesday for a big project that will mean 424
new jobs and a $10 million payroll. The communications giant
wants to establish a new technical support center in El
Paso to help its DSL broadband Internet service customers.....Read
the Mayor's remarks hurting the Indian Community in the US?
California, Feb. 14, 2007
When the Texas NRI’s (non-resident Indians) of the
EL Paso area read the news, they became very upset that
Mayor Cook did not want to hear the "Indian accent".
They were worried that they would have no place to get jobs,
promotions on their jobs, and business opportunities in
the El Paso area.
After getting numerous emails from our NRI (non-resident
Indians) readers, Mr. Singh of NRIpress approached the Mayor's
office for a response.
Mr. Robert Andrade, assistant to Mayor Cook, a gentle and
polite man, described that Mayor Cook's statement was meant
to convince AT&T to keep all service jobs in his city
and not to get services from India directly.
Mr. Singh asked Mr. Andrade what the Mayor meant by saying,
"I won't have to listen
to an Indian accent". After hearing
such a statement, Indian residents felt outraged that someone
in his position could make such a stereotyped statement.
Mr. Andrade agreed and said, "we apologize for this
statement". He also said that the Mayor was on vacation
and was just about to land in Los Angeles. He was going
to request that Mayor Cook call NRIpress as soon as possible
with an official response.
Exactly 10 minutes later, Mr. John Cook, Mayor of El Paso
telephoned Mr. Singh and discussed the issue in detail.
Mayor John Cook said, "I am sorry to hear this."
This statement may have come from him because the one time
he had a DSL problem and he telephoned the DSL company to
fix the problem. After waiting a long time, his telephone
was connected to India and a gentleman tried to help him
but it was very difficult for him to understand the conversation
due to the language accent.
He said that he is married to Vietnamese Girl. His department
hired all kinds of foreign qualified personnel.
Mayor John Cook was born on February 27th, 1946, Brooklyn, New
York, and graduated from Immaculata High School in 1964. John
married his wife, Tram, in 1970. He attended the University of
Texas at El Paso and earned a degree in business in 1977.
Mayor Cook has lived in Northeast El Paso for most of his life
where his family has owned and operated several Northeast businesses.
He served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1970, seeing
service as a Special Agent Military Intelligence. He served as
the distinguished City Council Representative of the 4th District
of El Paso from 1999 to June 2005 prior to being elected as City
Mayor. He has been deeply involved in El Paso's community affairs,
as a businessman, a teacher, coach, founder and member of the
board of many civic and veterans' organizations.