There are two major issues that are driving nationalism and the rise of Donald Trump. The first issue is the loss of jobs that many blame on trade agreements. The second, and I believe the more dangerous, is the fear of the Spanish language and Mexican culture in the United States. Some have equated it to “white nationalism.” In some ways it is, but the true underlining driving force is the fear of Spanish in many parts of the country as well as the rise of Mexican-centric culture in the US.

The problem is that both issues – jobs and Mexicanism are blamed on the immigrants, who because of their inability or unwillingness to vote are easy scapegoats for the nationalists. Like all scapegoating and finger pointing, it misses the true cause entirely.

Speaking Spanish in the United States is not driven by Mexican immigrants, nor Latin American ones, for that matter. It is driven by US citizens and voters who have the right to insist on their own public policy agenda.

That’s right, the issue of Spanish and Mexicanism in America is driven by legal US citizens who have rightfully asserted their voices on the political landscape.

The simple reality that nationalists want you to ignore is that Spanish has been spoken in the clear majority of the United States since the country was first founded. Yes, you read that right, Spanish has been part of the US since its founding. You just need to look at the map of the United States and see how Spanish dominated the country as the country expanded westward from the original thirteen colonies.

Just like Spanish, the Mexican culture has been a part of the United States as well. It was Mexicans who lived in the communities that were absorbed by the country’s westward expansion. None of this is new but self-identity has started to assert itself on a community that for centuries has viewed itself as the minority in a “white” dominated society. This rise of self-identity has given rise to the fear of change that has taken over the minority that used to be the ruling class, or the white nationalists.

That fear, the fear of Spanish and Mexicanism is what is driving today’s immigration demonizing and Mexico bashing emanating from the nativists who are hoping that they can hold on to power just a little longer.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

4 replies on “Fearing Spanish and Mexican-centric Culture”

  1. So in areas where French was spoken should be the language in that area?

    Following your logic, why aren’t we speaking one of many Native American languages ? Why arent we practicing Native American culture?

    Oh that’s right the Spanish discovered a land that was already settled. So they simply pushed the prominent culture out. Then when Mexico occupied the land it was still ok to ignore the orginal people. So the “white man” is wrong for doing the same thing? Isn’t that hypocritical ?

    Btw, the settlers weren’t all “white”.

    Why are people afraid of learning the language of the host country ? Is a common language essential for communication ? Learning or adapting to a new country is not betrayal of ones heritage despite that lie that is kept alive.

    Why aren’t Mexicans speaking or haven’t adopted one of the indigenous tribal languages after all weren’t they here first ?

    Instead wasting time blaming everyone else, get with the program. It’s like the US civil war forever, ITS OVER. Whether or not you like the results.

  2. This is ridiculous……You are sounding more Mexican nationalist. There should be mentioned how many who are Mexican fear the white and black people, or black people fear white and Mexicans, and Muslims fear any other religion, or any other religious person fearing Muslims. Pointing fingers at groups to create a fault or negative scenario doesn’t help anybody, especially when it is done in fear. Fear is relevant for the ignorant.

  3. Martin, loss of jobs is not exclusively trade agreements it also involves regulations. Second, the fear of speaking Spanish is bogus! 2016 proved not all Latinos agree with this administration on immigration but that was not the most important issue on their minds when they cast their vote. It was jobs, jobs, jobs! Millions also want our borders secure and has nothing to do with speaking Spanish. Someone please explain to me what is wrong with learning how to speak the language of the country you reside?

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