Conversations on “Speaking English” I’ve Had with Racist Relatives

#mixedkidproblems #sehablaespanol

I would really enjoy more amor, but you being silent is the next best thing. Photo by MCML ➖XXXIII (steal my _ _ art) on Unsplash

(Confused Mexican tourists looking at a map in NYC)
Me: “Eso es el tren para la estatua…necesita downtown.”
RFM: “Why are you speaking to them like that? This is America. They need to learn English.”
Me: “They’re lost. I’m just helping them.”
RFM: “Help them in English!”
Me: “That…wouldn’t be helping?”

RFM: “I hate when the automated voice tells me to press 2 for Spanish. There shouldn’t even be a Spanish option!”
Me: “Pero porque no? Hay mucha gente que habla español.”
RFM: “I don’t know what you’re saying.”
Me: “That’s too bad. Because you can actually learn Spanish without forgetting English. See, I’m doing it right now!”

RFM: “How did the interview go?”
Me: “Good. The guy who would be my boss is actually from Spain, so we spoke in Spanish for a bit.”
RFM: “Spain? That’s good. So you can learn real Spanish. Not like, that Mexican Spanish.”
Me: “…What is that supposed to mean?”
RFM: “You know. Like proper Spanish.”
Me: “Sure, there are regional differences in the language…but the Spanish I speak is still Spanish.”
RFM: “Well, whatever.”

Me: “How was your trip?”
: “Good, but it was hard to get around. Not a lot of people spoke English. I wish more people would have.”
: “Weren’t you in Italy? Don’t they speak Italian?”
: “Yeah, but I got the impression that they really did know English, and they were just pretending.”
: “What gave you that impression?”
“Just a feeling. I mean, really, who doesn’t speak English in a tourist area these days? And with how much I spent, someone should know English.”
Me: “Wow.”

RFM: “I don’t want to call and get someone from India. I can’t understand their accent.”
Me: “You really can’t understand when an Indian person is speaking English?”
RFM: “I mean, I can, but when I hear it, I know they’re not American.”
Me: “But you can actually understand them and get the help you need? You just literally don’t like their accent?”
RFM: “Don’t make this into a big deal.”
Me: “I’m just trying to understand the problem.”

RFM: “Forget I ever said anything. I can’t even express my opinion around you. I just won’t talk to you if that’s how you’re gonna be.”
Me: “Okay.”
(blissful silence)
RFM: “…So that’s really how you’re gonna be?”

Always and never the same🖤🕸 Buy me an iced latte: Links: 📚

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store