"Spanish is a loving tongue," so the song tells us, "soft as music, light as spray."
Indeed, Spanish is a lovely language, and I keenly regret not learning to speak it when I was young. I told myself I had no facility for languages, but I realize now that I was merely slothful.
I was surprised to learn, then, that Jessica Bridges, a doctoral candidate at Oklahoma State University and a woman who taught Spanish for nine years in Kentucky, stated publicly that she stopped teaching Spanish because she is white.
As reported in Post Millenial:
[Bridges] decried the horror that children she taught had to "learn Spanish from a white woman. I wish I could go back and tell my students not to learn power or correctness from this white woman. I would tell them to stand in their own power. "White isn't right," she said.
I am confused. Does Ms. Bridges believe only people of color should teach Spanish?
If so, I disagree.
First of all, the people who inhabit the Iberian Peninsula (Spain) are Europeans, and although many Spanish people have a multiracial heritage, they are basically white people.
So how does it promote racism to have white people teaching Spanish?
Secondly, in my opinion, the transmission of knowledge should not be segregated by race, which is what Bridge's decision not to teach Spanish implies.
After all, the English language developed in Great Britain, chiefly inhabited by white folks. Should only white people teach English?
I think we would be a better country--a more inclusive country--if all Americans were bilingual--facile in both English and Spanish. I also believe our universities would advance diversity and equity more effectively if they would require their students to learn Spanish instead of obsessing on critical race theory.
Further, in my view, our universities should teach American history so that all students learn to appreciate the Hispanic contributions to our American heritage.
For example, educated Americans should know that the nation's oldest continuously inhabited town--St. Augustine--was founded by the Spanish.
They should know that the Spanish settled the upper Rio Grande Valley twenty years before the English set foot on Plymouth Rock.
And they should appreciate the fact that many of California's major cities have Spanish names--names given to them in the eighteenth century by Father Junipero Serra, born in Spain.
But to argue that white people shouldn't teach Spanish is--in my opinion--kinda silly.
|Hey, buddy, are you teaching Spanish?