Tuesday, June 06, 2006
It's been so easy not to learn it. It's easy being lazy when you already speak and write the language of the ruling class and race.
And where I come from no one learns Spanish, or even considers it. Only one member of my extended family has ever graduated from college (and it's not me).
The recent hostile arguments from our esteemed Washington leadership for making English the official language, meaning a requirement for the privilege of citizenship, has me as angry as I am embarrassed.
Angry because the racism and classism handed down from the pearly top. Embarrassed because I do not know Spanish, but want to better support those who LIVE in the language.
So I've decided to be as vocal as I can be about learning Spanish this year. Mainly because I want to say as often as I can, "I am NOT learning a foreign language, but another American language!" Because this IS TRUE!
Learning Spanish and being confrontational about NEEDING to learn it has never seemed more important. Solidarity with the Latino community in their (our) present and future crises needs to be met at the very least with making an effort to communicate. That and knowing more about a culture and a community than what and how to order off the menu.
Also, this crisis of language in Washington might just be the very thing needed to make more Americans aware of Chavez and the amazing revolution in Venezuela. Such awareness can only make Americans angry about what we LACK!
May the backfiring begin, and soon!
It will also be good to read poetry in Spanish, to finally see if I agree with all those translators, CAConrad