Being an immigrant seems to have made Gene Simmons think he’s some kind of expert on becoming an American, and he’s definitely not putting it gently.
“I’m actually saying the thing that needs to be said, because the politically correct climate is bulls***,” the Kiss rocker told HuffPost Live on Monday. “You don’t want to upset anybody by saying, ‘Learn to speak goddamn English.’ So, as an immigrant, I’m telling you: Learn to speak goddamn English. It is the key that will unlock the keys to the kingdom. If you make the effort, then all the possibilities of this culture will open up for you and give you all the rewards that I’ve gotten.”
Simmons said he moved to the U.S. with his family more than 50 years ago at the age of 8, and that others should handle a move to the U.S. just like he did: by getting a handle on the language as quickly as possible.
“I wasn’t born here and America’s enabled me to become a team owner,” he continued. To have reality shows, to be in a rock band and to have licensing and merchandise and a restaurant chain.”
And Simmons has another, equally strong, message for those who might be offended by his remarks: “Too bad.”
“Learn to speak a language correctly!” he yelled.
Simmons did add that learning a new language isn’t easy and, “By the way, you don’t have to.”
And then there’s his standard for proper English.
“How about this: If Siri can’t understand you, you’re in trouble,” he said.
Simmons hasn’t seemed worried about ruffling feathers lately. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, he sided with Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, whose racist remarks got him banned for life from the NBA. Though he said Sterling’s remarks were “heinous,” Simmons added that Sterling’s private remarks should have been protected and that the lifetime ban was too harsh a punishment.
“And if, because you say an off-color joke or make a racist rant privately, that causes you to lose a job — nobody would have a job,” Simmons continued. “Black people do it, Jews do it, Christians do it — everybody does it. It’s called America. Free speech. Even if free speech insults other people. Privately. Publicly, that’s different. I’m on the side of free speech in the privacy of your own home or privacy of the situation. Big brother has finally crawled in bed with us.”
Do you agree with his advice for incoming Americans?