The Latino Community and Judgment. The Lation Essay Example
In today’s modern era more and more people are choosing to speak English over their native language. At first this may seem to work for them, but what problems can they run into later? Many people can encounter both judgment and disadvantages of not speaking their language. This essay talks about how Latinas who do not speak Spanish are often faced with unwanted comments and are excluded for their language skills. Rather than embracing these differences they are met with judgment within their community. Whether or not their Spanish-speaking skills are due to their own decisions, Latinos everywhere are not shielded from judgment.
In “Non-Spanish-Fluent Latinas: “Don’t Judge Us”, bilingual freelance writer Tracy Lopez writes about the struggles and judgment that Latinas who aren’t fluent in Spanish face from within their community. Lopez discusses the possible reasons for them not being fluent or not speaking Spanish at all along with the treatment they receive from Spanish speaking Latinos because of this. This treatment includes being called “fake” and making them feel like they aren’t really Latinas. The article also mentions how this affects Latina celebrities. Lopez states that all the Latinas she interviewed seemed to be saying the same point: “I am proud of my Latino heritage and I have a desire to learn Spanish, but in the meantime, don’t judge me” (185). The conclusion proposes that the solution to this problem is for Latinos to accept each other despite their differences, as they vary so greatly from country to country, and to stop the judgment within the community.
Lopez wanted others to understand the judgment that non-Spanish speaking Latinas receive within their community. They are often excluded or even called “fake” and this kind of judgment could cause them to doubt their place within the community. Although for a lot of them their lack of Spanish skills is not due to them not wanting to learn the language. One reason for their lack in Spanish could be that their parents did not teach them due to the racism they faced when speaking Spanish. Another reason is that they never picked it up well enough to feel confident speaking Spanish in public and so they don’t pass it on to their children.
Some others have always prioritized English as they believe it will grant them more opportunities and so their Spanish skills may lack in comparison. However, not speaking Spanish has caused them to miss opportunities such as jobs that are targeted towards bilingual people and they also miss the opportunity to speak with and learn from relatives that may only speak Spanish. Not being fluent in Spanish, they are the subject of judgment from Latinos who are fluent. Even so, non-fluent Latinos want others to know that they are still proud of their heritage. In this article Lopez reports the experiences of Latina women who have felt judged by other Latinas and how even celebrities are aware of this.
Through interviews Lopez provides insight about Latinas who are not fluent in Spanish and how they are treated within their community. Throughout these interviews the problem is how a great number of Latinas are judged and excluded for not speaking Spanish or not being fluent in the language. One of the interviewees mentioned how she “never really fit in well with the Latina crowd” and on one occasion a woman “made me feel like I wasn’t really Latina” (183). This feeling seems to repeat among the other interviewees who have also experienced similar treatment. This article provides inspiration for those Latinas who do not speak Spanish.
For those who have felt trouble belonging in their community this article lets them know that they are not alone, and they do not need to speak Spanish to feel validated or part of the Latino community. Celebrities have also felt the same, Lopez uses interviews from Jennifer Lopez, Selena Gomez, and Jessica Alba, all of whom have felt some type of judgment or insecurity towards their Spanish skills. Through the article Lopez repeats the same point that speaking Spanish is not a requirement to be Latina, although Lopez does not interview Latinas who are fluent in Spanish this is appropriate as the article is not directed towards them.
I understood this article because as a Latina I have seen this in my family. Growing up I learned Spanish very quickly and so I have not felt judgment in that sense, but it has affected my cousins. Having parents who grew up in the United States, our family slowly began to adopt English as the primary speaking language and left Spanish for speaking with our grandmother. My cousins quickly forgot the basics of Spanish and are often teased at and ridiculed for their lack in Spanish. Some members of our family believe that by not speaking Spanish we are attempting to erase that part of our lives and our culture. I understand how they fear we are becoming too American and will eventually abandon our traditions that are so important to them. Our generation is learning to incorporate both our American traditions along with our Hispanic heritage, but that does not mean we are erasing our culture. We are proud of where our family is from and the sacrifices they made to give us this life.
All Latinos and Latinas are different, there is such a great number of Latino countries that we cannot all be the same. Many are blonde with blue eyes, many have dark hair with brown eyes, and even more are a mix of these traits. It is only natural that as their physical appearances are so different so will our language skills be. One cannot decide the validity of others in a community by a language when the most important part of Latino heritage comes from traditions and the time spent together. Not being able to speak Spanish does not make someone any less of a Latino than someone who is fluent. This type of judgment will not bring the community together but rather creates reasons for it to be divided. I believe it is important that, as the article states, we “accept one another for our differences instead of holding each other to certain standards” (185).