Can’t Speak Spanish? Sucks For You.

I was so happy to move to Miami. Ecstatic might actually be a more fitting word. Coming from Los Angeles to Miami, I was so excited about going from one diverse city to another. I’m studying Asian Studies, which is Asian Culture and Languages. Even though Miami’s Asian population wasn’t as high as I wanted, I still loved the thought of learning the Spanish and Creole culture. Going to Miami was a new adventure for me.

I moved here in January of 2010, moved into my house with 3 male roommates, and decided to look for a job. I went to malls, restaurants, businesses that needed a secretary and was basically told I couldn’t be hired nor did I stand a chance because I didn’t speak Spanish. The Spanish population here is so large that any Non-Spanish speaker trying to get a simple job like retail or waitress will have to go through obstacles to find a job willing to hire them. It took me 4 months to find a job, and my last job didn’t really want to hire me because I lacked in the language.

There’s seems to be discrimination between the Non-Spanish speakers and the Spanish speakers due to the fact that some on both sides lack the patience to try and communicate.  People here automatically start speaking to me in Spanish and most days I’m okay with it. But I do get to the point where it irks me to see that when I go to a restaurant or grocery store or to the mall some people don’t take time to speak English. Then they try and make you feel stupid because you don’t speak Spanish. It was either that or avoid me all together. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that most of the people who immigrate here are long past their twenties. Which means that in their country they are already set in their ways and feel that trying to learn another culture and language is a waste of time, especially here in Miami where they don’t need to learn English to get by.

You also get people who have a sense of patriotism in the US, whether it’s slight or large. They feel that this is America and these people stepping foot on “our land” should learn our culture and assimilate. But here we are bending backwards to get on the level of newcomers who refuse to pick up some kind of culture and/or language of the new land. So naturally borders are being put up between different ethnicities and races and patience is running low.

But with this generation, Generation Y, we tend be more accepting to minorities and different cultures and hopefully the country will follow these footsteps. Especially with education boards that put culture and language requirements in schools. The world is large and there are many different people here that live their own way, and we can’t force them to change it just because we as Americans want to feel comfortable. No matter what we feel, in our history we are all immigrants. Though it might not be so recent in your family history (like my mom’s side who immigrated here in the 70s from Belize, making me 2nd generation) , knowing that will show you that there really isn’t a true American culture because we’ve always been a country that’s full of many types of people.

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