Opinion: Liberals Have Never Criticized My Children for Speaking Spanish

Walter Rhein

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My family is an immigrant family. That’s also true of the previous president. His hypocritical followers will criticize me, but they never criticize him. That hasn’t been the case in my experience. We’ve been harassed and threatened frequently since the presidential primaries leading up to the 2016 election.

We went through all the proper channels and did everything appropriately, but there are still people in the United States of America who assume anyone who doesn’t look like them must be doing something wrong.

I think it’s odd that the same people who claim they want to have “freedom from a tyrannical government” also think it’s a good idea to have authorities check the immigration status of children at public schools. Do you want to give the government that power?

That doesn’t make any sense to me.

Also, we’re talking about children here. Too often there are those in our society who become all self-righteous and forget that their suggestions will lead to human suffering. They want to respond to every perceived affront with violence. These people also call themselves “Christians.”

Whatever happened to turning the other cheek?

My family speaks Spanish in public. On more than one occasion, men have approached my wife and kids and shouted, “This is America, we speak English!”

This happened once at the drive-in movie theater. I was coming back from concessions when I heard it, so I went over to have a chat with the “tough guys.”

It’s funny how these extremist “patriots” crawl right back into their shells when they have to talk to a man. “Do we have a problem?”

“Uh, no sir.”


They’re really tough when they’re talking to women and children, but they stop the saber-rattling when a man shows up. That’s the way it always is with bullies.

The most disappointing thing about the United States of America is that bullies have had the floor for the last seven or eight years. Even now that we have a decent man for president, the bullies scream profanities at him every time that he talks.

Where’s the decency? Where’s the respect? Where’s the sense of propriety?

Our current president is one of those people who knows what it feels like to lose a child. I’ve known quite a few people like that in my life, sadly, and they all exhibit a deep combination of kindness and sadness.

Can’t we at least show some respect for the feeling a parent has for his or her child?

In this brief life that I’ve had the good fortune to receive, I want to dedicate myself to progress. I’d like to dismantle mechanisms of oppression. I’d like to leave a better world for my children. When I’m in the presence of children, I want to make sure they are safe and healthy.

The opposite of people like me can be seen in the brutes and bullies who stomp up to a child to criticize her about the language she’s using.

“This is America, we speak Spanish here!”

Can we all agree that the type of person who would do such a thing is a horrible human being? Leave little kids alone. It’s not liberals who are doing this.

I’ve had people tell me, “Well when I can’t understand you I assume you’re talking about me and that’s rude.”

No, I’m not talking about you. Get over yourself. You’re not that interesting. Just put your head down and get back to work. Try to use your life to add something to this country rather than take it away.

The United States of America has had a hostile atmosphere since 2016. Entitled people run around thinking they can dictate what language people speak. They run around thinking they can dictate what religions they believe. They run around thinking they can dictate what medical treatments they can receive.

The hostility isn’t helping anything, but it’s particularly deplorable when you direct that hostility at innocent children. Children don’t have the power to defend themselves. It’s time that conservatives learned they don’t have a right to intimidate and oppress anyone they cross paths with who doesn’t look like them.

The entitlement is disgusting. Our country needs to do better.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI

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