The War on Spanish

It’s not like this hasn’t been going on already, but it seems to be happening more frequently. Or maybe people are just feeling empowered to speak out. In restaurants, on public transportation, in retirement housing, it keeps happening. Some angry white person screaming “This is America, speak English!”

Well…why? This is the United States of America and we speak a variety of languages here. We have no official language. And while English may be widely spoken, Spanish isn’t far behind. Would these same people walk up to someone communicating in ASL and demand they speak English? Could it perhaps be a little…discriminatory to make demands like that?

I know, I know…it’s “rude” to have a conversation in front of someone in a language they don’t understand. Unless that conversation’s in English, amirite?

You know, maybe if a couple of women bump into each other in the grocery store and start chismeando in front of a monolingual English-speaker it has nothing to do with the monolingual English-speaker. Maybe the monolingual English-speaker needs to realize that not everything is about them. Maybe they need to realize the right to eavesdrop is not protected by the Constitution of the United States.

Or hey, maybe they could…I dunno…learn Spanish? If they’re that determined to think everything’s about them?

Because this is America! We speak Spanish here.

And Native American languages.

And ASL.

And Chinese.

And German.

And Polish.

And Tagalog….

This is not an “English Only” space and it does not exist to cater to people who want word-for-word translations so they can remain blissfully monolingual.

Gracias, if you’ve been here reading or participating on the blog or in the forums, for helping to push back against the English-only sentiment. I hope you continue to do so.

Author: 5ftLatina

Kat is 5ftLatina. She is really 5' tall (and probably shrinking) and Latina. She is not actually a cactus, but she is both prickly and cute. Mr. 5ft is actually married to Kat, but is not 5' tall or Latina. He is also not a form of plant life.

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Do I think a person needs to know English to function in this country? Yes. Maybe. We are a majority English speaking country and in many ways a person needs to be able to speak (or at least understand) a certain level of English. But no one should be made to feel ashamed for speaking their mother tongue when talking to friends. I don’t think that means that anyone should feel like they have to give up their mother tongue to live here. My abuelo considered himself American because he chose to come here. Unfortunately, he didn’t want his children… Read more »

Autora/ Author

And just to clarify… What’s your position on using Spanish in the comments?