As I sit here watching Jose Diaz-Balart, I’m struck yet again by a leftist dynamic that’s as painfully annoying as it is divisively pandering.
Jose’s English is impeccable, but when he says words that have a Latino origin…he uses a Spanish accent.
And he’s not alone.
A quick Twitter search reveals at least a few instances over the years of me calling leftists out for their selective Spanish accents. To the best of my ability in 140 characters, I’d propose a relevant challenge…
And while it’s not exactly the same as the selective Spanish accent, I was thrilled when Jonah Goldberg correctly cited Obama’s rendition of the word Pakistan as “POCK-ee STAN.” (Though I’d argue “BOCK-ee STAN” might be more accurate.)
Still, the outliers from other languages aside — it’s the selective Spanish accent that’s far more prevalent.
Is this a critical dynamic that merits a ton of focus? Not yet, but as 63.2 million people in America are non-English speaking (at home if not entirely) — it’s an ingredient in what’s becoming a critical dynamic that merits a ton of focus.
And as noted in a previous piece called “Appreciation For English Is RACIST!“…
There is no greater conduit to shared values, expressions of organic diversity and ultimately unity than that which exists amid linguistic communication.
In the United States, that conduit exists foremost as the English language.
Valuing a single language with which a nation’s people can communicate, understand each other and ultimately unite if not evolve based on shared understanding…is not racist. In the US that language is English. If others want it to be Spanish, cool. But let’s agree on one and then not apologize for lamenting the inability or unwillingness of some to adhere to it.
So whether it’s just annoying because they’re pandering, or potentially destructive as an ingredient in the larger conversation about having a single language in the US — I don’t know.
But any time I hear Obama say “Llllllatino” instead of just “Latino,” or Jose Diaz-Balart say “Telaymmmuundo” instead of just “Telemundo”…it grates on me.
If English is your second language, of course there’s often going to be an accent. But when people who have perfect English selectively employ a Spanish accent, well — I’ll let a fantastic, hilarious and very appropriate old Saturday Night Live skit finish that thought and this piece for me…