Julián Castro: ‘Oppression’ is why I do not speak Spanish


Julián Castro, the former head of Housing and Urban Development, explained he does not speak Spanish fluently because his parents felt internalized oppression to make sure he could speak English.

“People, I think, internalized this oppression about it, and basically wanted their kids to first be able to speak English,” Castro said Sunday in an interview aired on MSNBC. “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.”

Castro added that he is working to correct his parent’s mistake and is making sure his kids will be able to speak both English and Spanish.

“But today my daughter Carina goes to a bilingual program, and she goes there with people of different backgrounds. In other words, speaking a second language, whether it’s Spanish or another language, is celebrated today as something that we should admire and something that will help you maybe get — get paid more at your job and you know, is useful,” he said. “That also is a sign of progress. I’m proud to live in a country where we’ve made that kind of progress in just a generation or two.”

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