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    "Meet powerhouse artist/activist Favianna Rodriguez — a leading voice in the movement of artists raising awareness about U.S. immigration issues."

    - I am OTHER

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    The Untold Story of Latinos in America “We are all Americans of the New World, and our most dangerous enemies are not each other, but the great wall of ignorance between us.”

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When Xenophobia is in the Family




You think you know someone. Then you find out that a couple of "liberals" in your family are just as xenophobic as your average conservative.

So I think I'm having this friendly conversation about how great it is that my daughter is in a dual-immersion Spanish-English school, when all of a sudden a set of parents (in my family no less) tell me that they moved to another city because they heard Spanish being spoken in the classroom when they enrolled their child in school. So much for integration. 

The concept of "white flight" I didn't fully comprehend until I saw first hand that even "liberals" embrace the fear of "other" when it comes to enrolling their child in a school with children of another background. 

I attempted to explain that speaking Spanish does not lower your IQ. In fact, being bi-literate, if it doesn't increase your IQ, it will at least increase your knowledge. And with the requirement of a second language for most college bachelor degrees, one would think that bilingual immersion is the only obvious choice for a serious academic path.

For another story about the fear on others, read about Ruby Bridges' first days as the only African-American child in an all European-American school.