A friend of mine (who's a PoC latina) made a comment recently on tumblr about finding it annoying when white people speak Spanish (she doesn't know any Spanish). I'm white so I tend to accept that she's right when she's uncomfortable about ethnicity/race issues, but this made me feel weird. I understand that there's always danger of appropriation but this is the US and we live in NYC and speaking other languages, especially Spanish, is useful. Could you talk a little about your thoughts on this?
White people speaking a foreign language would be seen as “wordly” “cultured” and “cool”
latinxs or a (poc in general) are told to “speak english because this is america” called spics or other racial slurs, etc. People have been ostracized for speaking their native language and/or having an accent. This has led to some families not passing down the language or their culture down to their children in order to “assimilate” and to avoid as much harassment as possible. And then when we dont know anything about our culture or speak the language, we’re told we are not authentic, our identities are questioned, that we are ashamed of our culture, that we arent “really __” or people say stuff like “look shes white and she knows more spanish than you! shes more latinx than you!” and thats not a good feeling to have. -e
This explains a lot about what is so tender about my lifelong struggle with learning spanish, and the added layer of being mixed.