Thursday, June 03, 2010

Who's Afraid of the Mexicans?

Please enlighten me (and I'm sure Kevin has an answer!).

When you're in college seeking a degree that will lead you to a career in teaching, business, science, or when you already have a degree, what terrifies you about foreign languages? Why is it so alarming that sometimes, instructions and directions are also written in Spanish, causing you to cry out, "If you're in our country, speak our language"? What about your TV, your cell phone, your blender that came with instructions in French and German as well as English? Why are all Latinos "the Mexicans"? When you're not pursuing a career in landscaping or restaurant work, what is it that irks you about migrant workers? The taxes, you say. It's all about your tax dollars. If that's the case, then you ought to be outraged the majority of the time--park and school closings, squandered state budgets, government embezzlements.

What are you so afraid of?

1 comment:

Kevin Bahler said...

I don't know if I'm the Kevin, but I'm a Kevin and I do have some thoughts.

People hate what they don't know. And if you grew up in a very homogeneous world, then you hate everything that's different.

In America, we are incredibly homogenized, at least considering that we're the third-largest country in the world by landmass. Although we have little cultural enclaves, we are largely white-bred, English-speaking Christians. We don't learn any other languages because we don't have to, therefore all foreign languages are different and unknown and something to be hated. We also have the unfortunate problem of being a global superpower, meaning everybody learns English to accommodate us,, so we then assume and demand that everybody speaks English when talking with us.

As for our migrant workers, that's just the media pulling the strings of the ignorant. People need something to get their undies in a bunch. I we don't have a hot mess to complain about, one can imagine what atrocities could occur. And of course, let's not forget the money that can be made for every overhyped sensation. Honestly, I don't even remember the last time I heard anybody seriously complain about Mexicans (or any other Latinos). We've moved on to other pieces of yellow journalism.