Colonialism

People-Places-Things is acutely aware of linguistic and cultural imperialism in the domination of English across the globe. Many people from the U.S. with a social justice perspective often feel that developing their Spanish skills is a way to counter U.S. global hegemony and the exploitation of Spanish speakers in the U.S. But indigenous inhabitants of Mexico, Central, and South America still speak Spanish as the colonizer’s language. We think it’s important for U.S. citizens to develop their linguistic competence by learning another language, and Spanish would help them connect with Spanish speakers. But we have chosen to focus on English for the simple fact that improving one’s English skills brings more opportunities. Those opportunities are power. Simón Bolívar was able to nearly unite South America because the Spanish had imposed their language everywhere, giving him a tool to unite millions of people. Language can be used to build walls or bridges. We build bridges.

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