Monday, July 1, 2019

Language Barrier

Steve M reminds Republicans that speaking Spanish isn’t a deal-breaker.

Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker, and Joaquin Castro spoke Spanish in the first Democratic presidential debate this week. The response from Bret Stephens: Speak English or die.

Amigos demócratas,

Si ustedes siguen así, van a perder las elecciones. Y lo merecerán.

Translation for the linguistically benighted: “Democratic friends, if you go on like this, you’re going to lose the elections. And you’ll deserve it.”

Channeling Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson, Stephens continues, decribing the Democrats as

a party that makes too many Americans feel like strangers in their own country. A party that puts more of its faith, and invests most of its efforts, in them instead of us.

And who exactly are “they” and “we”?

They speak Spanish. We don’t.

Yes, it’s horrible when candidates speak Spanish in debates. Regular Americans are morally offended by it, and it instantly seals a candidate’s electoral doom. No Republican would ever do such a thing, and any Republican who did would lose the party’s nomination instantly….

And then he points out that George W. Bush spoke Spanish on a regular basis, as did his brother Jeb.  So the only people who might be turned off by those quien hablan español are those who are already pre-disposed against anyone who doesn’t talk like a real ‘Murican.

Living and working in a place where Spanish is often heard is old hat to me.  I heard it when I lived here in Miami 45 years ago and in other places as well like Denver, and of course in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.  (In New Mexico, having Spanish as an official language was part of the deal when it became a state in 1912.)  And it doesn’t scare me or put me off at all.  In fact, I admire people who have come to a place where they have to learn a new language and still make it.  I work in an office where Spanish and English are used interchangeably and we not only get our work done, we do it well.  I’ve brought in my own Mexican-flavored Spanish and picked up some frases utiles.

Once upon a time, Republicans went after the Latinx vote.  But that was before they decided it was easier to go after the xenophobes.  A white hood doesn’t need a translator.

2 barks and woofs on “Language Barrier

  1. In my part of town (the far North Side of Chicago), if I’m paying attention, I hear not only Spanish being spoken, the Russian, Vietnamese, Arabic, and maybe one or two African languages.

    Oh, and English.

    I think it just adds to the fun.

  2. Did you hear about the 13 year old Pentecostal Christian whose turn it was to speak in
    tongues? He chose Klingon.
    Source – E. A. P.

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