In an interview with MSNBC Sunday, Democrat presidential hopeful Julián Castro said the reason he can’t speak Spanish fluently is that his family felt internalized “oppression” to ensure he spoke English.
“In my grandparents’ time and mom’s time, Spanish was looked down upon,” Castro explained. “You were punished in school if you spoke Spanish. You were not allowed to speak it. People, I think, internalized this oppression about it, and basically wanted their kids to first be able to speak English. And I think that in my family, like a lot of other families, that the residue of that, the impact of that is that there are many folks whose Spanish is not that great.
He went on to say that speaking a second language is celebrated in America today, which is a sign of progress.