Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Spanish Response to State of the Union

One less remarked upon aspect of the State of the Union is the Spanish-language response. While Joe Kennedy gave the regular one, Elizabeth Guzmán, a Peruvian-American Representative from Virginia, gave one in Spanish. Importantly, it is her own, not a translation of his. This is important both from gender and ethnic perspectives. And she is more blunt:

"Él ha remplazado la igualdad por la intolerancia, el respeto mutuo por el racismo", dijo la legisladora estatal, quien acusó al presidente de insultar "a las personas que tengan una ascendencia diferente a la de él".

That's quite different from Kennedy, who didn't even refer to Trump specifically, much less openly call him racist.

At this point, we're asking the same question that's been sitting there for years. At what point will the "sleeping giant" of Latino voters become decisive? The stakes are high in the 2018 midterm elections, though of course they were even higher for the 2016 presidential election, and it didn't happen. Let's see how many leaders like Guzmán get a national stage.

Update: one problem with Kennedy's response: he says he wants to talk directly to DREAMers and then starts speaking a bit in Spanish, giving everyone the impression that they can't speak English.


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