Friday, April 6, 2007

Newt Backtracks from Suggestion that Spanish is a "Ghetto" Language

We have previously reported on Newt Gingrich's insulting statements about bilingualism (here) and the protests of Asian American groups (here).  CNN now reports (here) that Gingrich is trying to assuage Latinos over the recent comments by delivering a video statement -- in Spanish and English (here) -- in which he concedes his word choice was "poor." In the statement, posted Wednesday on YouTube, Gingrich said his comments were not an "attack" on Spanish, and he revealed he has been taking Spanish lessons "for some time now." "I know that my Spanish is not perfect, but I am studying so it will be better," he said.

One is left to wonder what Gingrich really thinks about Spanish speaking in the United States.  He evidently sees potential political gain in him speaking it.  But, by suggesting that Spanish was "ghetto," he seems to think that Spanish is somehow inferior to English.  And, in stating that his word choice was "poor" but not apologizing, Gingrich  brings to mind the racist who claims that his "best friend is Black."


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