T Nation

Spanish in the United States


Here is an argumentative research paper on the case for the recognition and acceptance of Spanish in the United States. Tell me what you think. I thought it was quite interesting, long, but very interesting.

Some time ago, foreign nationals illegally crossed the border into the sovereign territory of another nation. They flooded into territory that was not theirs and took advantage of the arable lands, speaking a foreign language and practicing an oft antagonistic religion. The government of this sovereign nation offered these would-be invaders amnesty on the condition that they learned the language of the nation, gave up activities considered illegal and did not invite anyone else to come without permission. In order to deal with this influx, the government instituted a visa process that would limit the number of aliens coming in and filter them out, so only the best and most suitable would be permitted. Some time passed, illegal immigration did not cease, the guests did not learn the national language, they became increasingly antagonistic to the local population, and maintained cultural practices entirely abhorrent to the national one. These illegal immigrants eventually threw a violent insurrection, seceding from the nation, subjugating the traditional populace, robbing them of their fertile lands and instituting the immoral practice of slavery that they had been secretly maintaining for years. This account does not describe illegal immigration to the United States, but rather, the violent illegal immigration to Mexico by Anglo-Americans and the subsequent formation of the Republic of Texas that followed. This account gives us a point of moral comparison for those who view the position of the Spanish language in the United States in the United States as an invasion. The Spanish language in the United States is not an invasive force, but rather a well-established language of the subjugated people of this country. Hispanic people have the right to communicate in their native tongue and must be permitted to exercise it freely in education, business and government; taking full advantage of the Bill of Rights and ancestral treaties with the US government.

Read the rest at...


While there is some truth ,Winston Churchill said "History is written by the Victor"


I am sure the American Indians could say similar things , except they were not as organized like Mexixo


This oversimplifies Spanish and Mexican immigration policy in future Texas (and parts of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado and Wyoming). It also ignores the existence of enclaves in Texas that until very recently spoke other European languages, for example, German, Swedish and Czech.

I agree with Pittbull about the grievance Native Americans could/may have against Europeans in general, including Spanish control of Mexico.


Also a very good description of what the Spanish did to the Aztecs. So in reality that land doesn't 'belong' to the Mexicans either, except via violent conquest.


I can tell none of you made it through the 15 pages this paper constitutes as you have used the argument of 'Native Americans' that is directly addressed within it. I've pasted it below so you can read it.

"The illegality of crossing the border without permission cannot be argued, and could be the Achilles? heel in the case for the validity of an expanding Spanish language in the United States. However, a different light can be placed on the issue of border integrity in itself. As an American, imagine in the year 2015, if China were to invade the Eastern seaboard of an economically depressed United States. They would take it over, populate it with their citizens, use Chinese and expect Americans to learn it. Fast forward 100 years, and the reader is an American living in Nebraska. He wishes to travel to Washington DC but cannot get his visa from the Chinese government to do so. He views the land as stolen, and this is what he was taught in school, so instead he just crosses the border and goes there. He speaks English with people who still speak English 100 years later, identify as American and generally have not assimilated. Is this wrong? Why would he respect the territorial integrity of a country that did not respect the territorial integrity of his? Why would the conquered population care to adopt the language or cultural morés or conquerors they see as illegitimate? This is a glimpse of the moral viewpoint of Mexicans, and many Chicanos in the USA on the issue of border crossing. They are unmoved by the ?crocodile tears? of the Americans who believe their country is being invaded. From their view, it already happened to them, and thus they have no respect for the legality of a border that was created in an unjust, violent and illegal manner.

While two wrongs do not make a right, another extremely compelling counter argument also actually bolsters the prior argument in itself. This would be that all Americans regardless of specific European origin are invaders of a Native American land, and thus no group has any right to truly be here. Expanding this logic, if we were to grant a special privilege for any language it would have to be a Native American one. This argument is fantastic as obviously no one is packing up their bags and heading back to Europe. It doesn't weaken but actually strengthens the argument for bilingualism, as well as justifies undocumented Mexican immigration. Firstly, in the relationship of bilingualism with the Amerindians, many don't realize that it is indeed maintained. The Indian reservations have their native tongue as the official one and usually English alongside it. Further, in counties where there is a substantial Amerindian population, services are provided in those languages, as well as the Bureau of Indian Affairs offering communication in Indian languages should it be desired.
Secondly, within the Mexican population, an overwhelming majority (80%) are of mixed race descent, European and Amerindian ancestry. With the mean ancestry of Mestizo (Mixed-Race) Mexicans as genetically 58.96% European, 31.05% "Asian" (Amerindian), and 10.03% African [Zolezzi NP]; of this, the most substantial Amerindian ethnic contribution is Aztec descent. The term 'Aztec' is synonymous with Mexican identity itself, even the name Mexico is derivation of term 'Mexica' which was the Aztec language term for the Aztec civilization [Andrews 500]. Native Americans and First Nations people in the United States and Canada are given the right to inhabit in either country as the borders of each are artificial to them. This is further justified in that indigenous language groups in Canada are also found in the contiguous United States, confirming a shared lineage and rights of residency in either country. If this right is granted to the Native Americans of Canada and the USA, how could the right of 'Aztec-Americans' in the form of modern Mexicans to travel between either side of the border be rejected? Especially considering that only 2.5% of Anglo-Americans carry any native blood [DNA TRIBES NP], compared to the overwhelming majority of Mexicans. Further, the ancestral birth place of the Aztec people is Aztlan as defined in their oral traditional and codices. Many scholars suspect Aztlan was located in the modern Southwestern United States and not in modern Mexico. This would be confirmed by the fact that Native American linguists found the widest distribution of Uto-Aztec speakers nearly one-hundred miles north of the US border, distributed between Southern California to mid Oregon, East to mid Idaho and South to Colorado; while the language was virtually non-existent south of this region until the deserts of modern Sonora down to its highest concentration in the region that surrounds modern Mexico City then known as Tenochtitlan. (In Search of Aztlan NP)
This being the case modern Mexicans have a greater ancestral right to inhabitance of or passage through the American Southwest than Anglo-Americans do, and this right would be consistent with the current policy of the US administration towards Native Americans. In addition, it is a far more recent and genetically based claim to an 'ancestral homeland' than that of Israel, whose populace is far less semitic than the Mexicans are Aztec [Katnelson NP], as well as being more than 2000 years separated from their ?homeland?. With the United States' shameless support for Israel on board the UN Security Council and geo-political military map, it would seem an aversion to recognition of a historical right to Aztlan as entirely hypocritical. Such an aversion would be logically inconsistent with two current policies, and thus an illogical rejection of it, may reflect the rising anti-hispanic prejudice described previously."


Actually you are entirely incorrect. The Spanish allied with competing Aztec nobles to overthrow the principality, the first administrators of the new nation were mixed race of Conquistadors and Aztec Nobles. The Spanish also did not institute slavery, as it had existed prior, and indeed their rule actually introduced a more humane and just society. It was mroe humane and just because the Aztecs had practiced serial murder and mutilation of people even women and children as a form of public spectacle - the Spanish forbade this.


I would wager the residence of Cholula in 1519 would disagree with you. My point stands that the Mexicans who claim to be the original residence displaced by violent conquest, are not the original residence and were there only through violent conquest.


And the Aztecs conquered the Mixtecas. You obviously have not even read the article because it is not about 'who is supposed to be there' it's about the validity of Spanish language within the USA. Further, if you read the part where the author speaks on Native Americans. He crushes your argument of validity by blood quantum by the fact that Mexicans are 80% Mestizo with the mean average of Amerindian descent being about 40% vs White Americans at 2.5% Mixed-Breed Amerindian. According to your argument of being Native giving you the right to inhabit North America...the Mexicans just got to jump you in line, sorry bub.

Will you actually read the article before forming a response to it?
At the very least, read my last response where I quote the section specifically addressing Illegal Immigration and Native Americans.

What is the point of debating an article you didn't even read?

It's *Residents btw.


So I'll support speaking Spanish in the USA right after you support speaking Mextican in Mexico. The point is Mexicans speak Spanish because they lost their war with Spain. Texans speak American for the same reason. Live with it.


Mexico actually does recognize over 60 regional indigenous languages as valid for government communication in their respective regions.

And yes, in the State of Mexico, province where Mexico city resides, that Aztec language is the official one alongside Spanish and some others...

A little bit of research goes along way.
So you support recognition of Spanish now?

I'm hoping your response is not going to fail to take into consideration the actually objectives as described in the argumentative research essay. Which simply asks that Spanish be recognized as a valid means of government communication in its respective region.

Which would coincide with the situation in Mexico. :wink:


I think that many Americans' opposition to the recognition of Spanish as a valid means of government communication stems from the fact that (surprise) they don't speak a word of Spanish. And learning a second language when you're already grown up can be a b*itch.
For this recognition to occur, I think Spanish education would need to be established more comprehensively at much younger ages... and then wait a generation or so.


Only since 1992. Between 1700 and 1992 there was a concerted effort to hispanize the indigenous people. The US gov't has been printing material in both English and Spanish for years, so to me that means that it is recognized as valid.


The Author doesn't expect Americans to learn Spanish lest for whatever reason a Spanish language community requuire that for residence.


You have been pwned.


Forgive me if I missed something Rohnyn(I went through the article quick since Im at work) but where isnt the Spanish language not technically "welcome"? Maybe Im so used to the Texas culture that this article just doesnt seem...necessarily. I forgot who but someone once said that Mexico won Texas back without one gunshot. The Mexican population(or hispanic, whatever you like) has exploded where its ridiculous to even call that group a Minority. Along with that population explosion are social programs and benefits. Im not sure I am seeing anything that isnt "accepted" other than just opening the damn borders. At least that seems like a next step.


Right. That's not what I'm saying either. However, I feel that the majority of this country hears "Spanish should be recognized as a valid means of government communication" and they immediately think "shit, that would mean I need to learn a new language!"
I think that is this cause's main opposition. That paper does make interesting and valid points, but English-only speaking Americans are likely still scared shitless by the thought of a language they don't understand or speak "taking over."


I'd tell the author that we want an english speaking community which requires fluent english for residence. That community being the US.


Sure, if you say so....


Time to come clean...

Yours truly wrote the article and it is getting publish in an academic journal quite soon. :slightly_smiling:

Thanks for reading.