That`s the question that Jose Baig and photographer Carlos
], two journalists for the British Broadcasting
Corporation`s "Spanish American section"
asked throughout their recently-completed journey across the
The trip`s objective, according to Baig, was to see if the
United States could be crossed "without
uttering a word of English
Team Makes US Spanish Journey
," Jose Baig, BBC Mundo
July 28, 2008]
The BBC must be
for stories. In fact, Baig`s story editor should
have kicked him out of his office when he was approached with
plainly propagandistic proposal
Why spend a whole bunch of money when everyone knows what the
findings will be? You don`t have to be a teacher of Spanish
(like me).Of course
you can travel the breadth of the U.S.
without speaking English
! Has the BBC never heard of
? The variable isn`t how much Spanish is spoken,
but how long you want to go between conversations.
And Baig confirmed as much in his blog. He wrote that he
could indeed speak only Spanish but that it depended on "las
circunstancias y de los lugares a donde uno vaya"
circumstances and the places that one goes to—
Read the blog
. Sorry—it`s in Spanish only!
To make sure the deck was stacked in his favor, Baig
east coast to west coast through "Occupied
"—St. Augustine and Tallahassee, FL., Mobile,
New Orleans, LA
, Pecos and El Paso, TX.,
., and finally
Los Angeles, CA
In Yuma, for example, the Hispanic population according to
the U.S. Bureau of the Census, is
, El Paso,
, San Antonio,
and Los Angeles,
Stop the presses! Baig was able to communicate in
by speaking Spanish only!
The bigger challenge—why doesn`t the BBC assign a reporter to
this? — would be to try to
in those cities with
admits in his blog
that his conclusions based on interviews
with five hundred people "would not presume to be
scientific—much less than that. We wanted to stimulate people to
tell their stories."
["no pretendía ser científico ni
mucho menos, sino estimular que la gente nos contara sus
wasn`t scientific or even
academic—everyone agrees—but it was a heck of a hyping of
Hispanic triumphalism, plus agitprop
A more complete title would have been: "¿Hablas español?
From Baig`s trip summary come these gems:
- "If you run into someone with thick
black hair, brown skin and a name tag that says `Armando,`
what would you bet that he spoke Spanish? Hold on to your
money because the `Armando` we met didn`t speak one word of
Spanish save for his name. But, as they say in the south, he
Mexican" (Implication: America is full of racists
who judge people by the color of their skin.)
- "If you
meet a soldier who has been in Iraq who tells you that the
two things he is most proud of are his Army service and his
language, what language would you presume he is referring
to? Well, the soldier is referring to Spanish."
an immigrant soldier who fought in Iraq yet many
anti-Hispanic Americans begrudge him the right to speak
- "Many people criticize Latinos for
not learning English and not assimilating. They should met
Rey Rodriguez whose ancestors came to America five
generations ago. Despite his college degrees and impeccable
English, Rodriguez is still called `Mexican`"
(Implication: More racism from ignorant Americans.)
[VDARE.COM NOTE: while the
Spanish version says "lo siguen llamando "mexicano",
English version has them saying he "still gets called "beaner",
the most disrespectful way of referring to an immigrant."
All, right, fair enough, that is
Unless it`s being used by a
Hispanic comedian. Then it`s
and his fellow illegal alien workers from
Honduras came to the U.S. to have a better life. The
three work for a company that refinishes homes in New
miss their girlfriends." (Implication: how can
Americans deny the important contribution to
post-Katrina reconstruction that these "better life"
seeking Hondurans are performing? Overlooked: New Orleans
residents, mainly black Americans, were
turned down for these jobs.)
- In Florida, Baig spent a full 50
minutes interviewing 16 people before he found one who spoke
Spanish—and that was as a second language. (Implication:
Florida isn`t as bad as
Tom Tancredo, he of the
"Third World" remark, thinks)
the most offensive of all: Baig wrote that "people must
consider the provocative effect on Latinos that signs in the
south on hotels and restaurants that read `American
owned and operated.` In other words, `We don`t speak
Spanish, we`re not Mexican and we`re going to treat you right.`
erroneously assumes that "American owned and operated
an exclusionary remark. But, in fact, it is instead a perfectly
appropriate advertising slogan in this "Made
" era that has angered many U.S. consumers.
a motel, "American
owned and operated"
doesn`t mean not Mexican, it means not Hindu—a
of America`s motels
are operated by people named Patel,
loans from the Small Business Administration
account of being "minorities"
series is a puff piece
. It implies, based on a handful of
interviews, that immigration is great.
personally know dozens of
immigration success stories.
But I wouldn`t create federal
policy based on them—because I know a larger number of failures.
equivalent to "¿Hablas español?"
pro-American side would be if I traveled to the same eleven
cities to interview Hispanic prisoners convicted of
and concluded that all Hispanics are
, the BBC
claims that "Trust
is the foundation of the BBC: we are independent, impartial and
take pride in delivering quality and value for money."
was a highly partial anti-Americanism that the
should be—but probably
the BBC plans a follow-up tour—or at least Baig hopes it does.
"On our second phase, we would
like to go to
Pennsylvania. On our first try, we wanted to go to more
traditional Spanish-speaking places."[BBC
Project Begins Here,
By Kati Bexley, St. Augustine Record, July 30, 2007]
As I wrote
above, the BBC must have
money to burn
As if we
don`t have enough
on this side of the pond.Joe Guzzardi [e-mail
him] is the Editor of VDARE.COM Letters to the Editor.
In addition, he is an English teacher at the Lodi Adult School and has
a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive