Recently, Julián Castro opened up about not being fully bilingual. In an interview with MSNBC, the presidential candidate explained that the generations before him were discouraged from speaking Spanish.
“I guess the best place to start is to say that there are Latinos who have lived here for generations,” he said. “My grandmother that I grew up with got here almost 100 years ago in 1922. In my grandparents time, in my mom’s time, Spanish was looked down upon. You were punished in school if you spoke Spanish. You were not allowed to speak it. People, I think, internalized this oppression about it, and basically wanted their kids to first be able to speak English. And I think that in my family, like a lot of other families, that the residue of that, the impact of that is that there are many folks whose Spanish is not that great.”
After his poignant words, many came out and shared similar experiences of being shamed for speaking the language. While things have certainly improved since his mom’s and grandma’s times, there are still some educators who have frowned on students’ usage of Spanish in the classroom. Check out a few people who were chastised or punished for speaking Spanish in school.
As a Texan from Brownsville, I can relate, I have clear memories of my kinder teacher warning us that if she CAUGHT us speaking SPANISH she would slap our hands. #truestory It was diff because at home my mother only spoke Spanish so naturally my hands were slapped.
— Nydia Gutiérrez (@nyds007) July 1, 2019
I was raised in Corpus Christi. You weren’t even allowed to speak it during recess. ☹️
— Veronica (@ranchera71) July 1, 2019
We were put in the corner for the day or faces were slapped in Texas for speaking Spanish in the classroom during the 70’s. A 2nd “offense” for speaking Spanish led to suspension. A 3rd infraction led to expulsion. #racism #physicalabuse #oppression #conditioning #colonization
— Dave Anzuelo (@DaveAnzuelo) July 1, 2019