English only in this White House

Trump removes Spanish-language link from White House website


Newly installed president also closes government’s social network accounts directed toward Latino community 


Barely two days into office, Donald Trump seems to be sending a silent message to the US Hispanic community, his country’s largest minority. After announcing a Cabinet with no Latinos in it, the first time this has happened in three decades, the new team at the White house has closed the government’s Spanish-language accounts on social networks. Furthermore, nobody has yet been announced to replace the Obama administration’s spokesperson for policies or topics relating to the country’s Latino community.

At midday on Friday, while a newly sworn-in Trump was making his inauguration speech, the White House was changing hands, analogically and digitally. President Obama’s Twitter account was handed over to Trump, as was the White House website, which soon posted a photograph of the new incumbent. That wasn’t the only change: aside from removing the new government’s links to topics such as climate change policy, Cuba, or the Iran nuclear deal, the En Español option also disappeared.

This link not only provided a route to a Spanish-language version of the White House website, but also to topics of interest to the Hispanic community, such as Obama’s executive decisions to temporarily regularize the situation of hundreds of thousands of undocumented minors through the Differed Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Under the Obama administration, the White House also ran a Spanish-language blog that discussed topics of special interest to the country’s Hispanic community, ranging from immigration to normalizing relations with Cuba or the economic crisis in Puerto Rico.

Despite the incoming president’s predilection for Twitter – aside from his official, presidential account, Trump has kept his personal one – the White House’s Spanish-language version has been blocked. The last tweet in Spanish is dated January 13, and was sent by the Obama administration.

During the campaign trail, Trump highlighted immigration as one of the biggest problems facing the United States, promising to build a wall along the Mexican border and to punish US companies that continued to relocate to Mexico with high import tariffs. The only time Trump used a Spanish word while on the stump was during the last presidential debate with his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, when he talked about bad hombres in reference to the “dangerous illegals” he promised to deport.

Trump also criticized one of his rivals for the Republican nomination, Jeb Bush, for speaking Spanish during the campaign.

“We have a country where, if you want to assimilate, you have to speak English… I am not the first to say this…This is a country where we speak English, not Spanish,” he said during a debate with other Republican hopefuls in September 2015.

More than a year later and now in office, Trump appears to be sticking to his guns.

Comments

Anonymous said…
English only in this White House

Hi Graham, I won’t be the first person who protests against the withdrawal of the Spanish website in the White House. I think that the mostly of the political measures of this president are highlighted by a strong reactionary ideology based on the conviction that white race is the best, the Anglo-Saxon culture is superior and men are superior to women. However, I don’t think that Trump won elections because the people who voted him consider this ideology something essential in order to change la political and social situation in USA. I think that he won elections because, above all, electors thought that he could be more resolute to overcome the problems of the country. In summary, the ideology is important for one minority, but it will play an important role in the president’s political decisions.

Poor Trump... he doesn’t know that it’s impossible to change the course of history. Where to hide fifty millions Hispanic people, Mr Trump? Will they have to forget their language quickly and talk only English in order to be admitted in the plural American society? What a stupid thing!! I think that language is, especially, one communication vehicle and if one society can talk two or more language is richer, more plural, anyway, it’s better than one monolingual society.

José Luis professor
brigida said…
Hi, This is Brigida. I agree with the previous answer. During the campaign trail, I read some articles and I realized that a lot of people were disappointed with Obama's decisions and thought that Hillary was not a good candidate. Anyway, I don't think Trump could run the country for the four years. I think he may well be forced to stand down or he may well be killed
Graham said…
Hi José Luis,

Undoubtedly, there is a huge Hispanic population in the US. Should this mean that Spanish becomes an official language there?

I think all governments want immigrants to integrate into the life of their new country and that includes being able to communicate in the official language.

There I go again. Trying to defend the indefensible. LOL


... I think that most of the political measures of this president are highlighted by a strong reactionary ideology based on the conviction that the white race is the best, the Anglo-Saxon culture is superior and men are superior to women. However, I don’t think that Trump won the elections because the people who voted for him consider this ideology something essential in order to change the political and social situation in USA. ...

Poor Trump... he doesn’t know that it’s impossible to change the course of history. Where to hide fifty million Hispanic people, Mr Trump? Will they have to forget their language quickly and talk only English in order to be admitted in the plural American society? What a stupid thing!! I think that language is, especially, one communication vehicle and if one society can talk two or more languages, it is richer, more plural, anyway, it’s better than one monolingual society.

Graham said…
Hi Brigida,

The first three weeks of Trump's presidency have certainly been eventful. I wonder how long it can continue at his pace. So far, agree or not, he seems to be keeping his word.

I can't find any mistakes in your comment. Well done!