March 5, 2007

Celebrating Latino culture through expensively insulating one's child from real local Latinos

In the Wall Street Journal:


The Million-Dollar Kid
Government figures put the total cost of raising a child at $279,000, but some increasingly common expenses can send the number soaring over $1 million.
By EILEEN DASPIN and ELLEN GAMERMAN

"Irene Smith, an attorney and property manager in San Jose, Calif., has … decided the most important thing for [7-year-old] Amelia's future success is fluency in Spanish. To that end, Ms. Smith transferred Amelia from public school to a $13,500-a-year private academy where Spanish is taught daily. She also signed her up for a $900 weekly class with Berlitz, hired a private tutor, and has taken Amelia out of school for up to two months at a time to travel to Costa Rica and Mexico to perfect her foreign-language skills."


Considering that the San Jose Unified School District is 51% Latino, I would suspect there are cheaper ways… I guess that Ms. Smith wants little Amelia to learn Spanish so she can make enough money when she grows up to be able to afford to insulate her daughter from all the Latinos in San Jose, and so on and on until the family eventually dies out from the expense of insulating their children.


"Rebecca Young, a musician in Seattle, recently enrolled her 6-year-old daughter, Eva, in a $150, five-hour course on Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Though Ms. Young had her doubts about the Early Masters program, by the end of the weeklong class, Eva could discuss Ms. Kahlo's painting style, place her in the context of art history and do a decent job copying her work.

"On the last day of class, Eva asked to wear a Mexican-style dress and used Ms. Young's makeup to draw a thick, single eyebrow across her forehead, one of Ms. Kahlo's signature features. She even asked for lipstick to smear on her dress to look like blood -- a prominent detail in Kahlo self-portraits."


Perhaps, little Eva learned to copy one of Frida's last paintings, "Stalin and I," which the loyal Stalinist painted despite having slept with Trotsky shortly before Stalin murdered him. Or how about "Little Deer," in which Frida painted her face on a stag that has been pierced, like a four-legged St. Sebastian, by nine arrows, which represent her husband Diego Rivera's nine most intolerable infidelities, such as sleeping with Frida's sister?


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Diversity is Strength! It's also Million Dollar Babies!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, my comment.

tommy said...

Damn. I hate the way this thing defaults back to anonymous for some odd reason. Both of the comments above were mine. Third times a charm....

1488 said...

Steve, why have you not posted a Vdare article in over two weeks?

Anonymous said...

> Considering that the San Jose
> Unified School District is 51%
> Latino, I would suspect there
> are cheaper ways

Many of the Latinos in the SJUSD were born in America, and don't speak Spanish (or don't speak much beyond "chingate puto").

Their parents or grandparents worked hard picking produce or hanging sheetrock, wore cowboy hats, spoke Spanish, and listen to that oom-pah-pah music ("Banda"). The kids themselves however wear the crooked baseball hats, call out each other "s’up, n*gga", and have the in-your-face rap music blaring out the open windows of their car.

Ian

P.S. I second 1488's question.

vanya said...

I'll second Ian's comment. If I wanted my kid to learn Spanish, I'd prefer he learned literate Spanish - the Castilian of Vargas Llosa or Borges, not the heavily anglicized street slang of San Jose latinos. And a white kid speaking that kind of Spanish would sound as ridiculous as, say, a Serbian learning English from rap tapes (to pick a real life example I have actually met), and certainly would have difficulty operating in the Spanish speaking business world.

Arch Wiebe said...

Mexicans speak Spanish, but only the upper classes speak the kind that's useful in the business world. And they do not come here except as tourists.

In international business, Spanish is less useful than French, simply because Spain and Argentina-the major players unless the product is dope or illegal aliens-are not as important as France, Belgium, and Switzerland. Germany and Austria are, but like Scandinavians and Dutch they have no issue with speaking English.


I've made it a point to discourage my kids from taking or otherwise learning Spanish, for the same reason that the white South Africans least impacted (a relative term, it must be firmly understood) by the fall of white rule have been the Boers who speak Afrikaans-a deliberately odd created dialect of Dutch-exclusively and shun English. Their kids can be little corrupted by the natives if the two can not talk to each other.

Anonymous said...

Slight midification of the title of a book wriiten by late historian Christopher Lasch:The Revolt of the revolting Elites.

In the future, the revolting rootless cosmopolitans will have to choices:1)have their throats slit by Mexicans or 2)have their throats slit by ORDINARY NATIVE BORN WHITE AMERICANS.

Most ORDINARY NATIVE BORN WHITE AMERICANS do not need to learn a second language....unless they are reduced to a racial minority in they very nation they founded...by post 1965 immigration policy.

warm regards
Jupiter

Udolpho said...

Probably the reason they want their kids to speak Spanish is not so they can do major deals with Spanish moguls but so they can communicate with their servants. Illegals always make better servants than their Americanized kids, that is why we need to keep them coming. They do the work their Mexican-American kids won't do!

daveg said...

That's why I took my kids to Spain for a year!

I wanted them to learn the Castilian accent, but we are living in (v)andulacia and I think they are picking up that accent, which I think is like a southern accent in the US.

Oh well.

But the and andulacians are more friendly and fun, and my daughter is learning the flamenco. (and Antonio Bandaras has this accent as well.)

jody said...

sorry, i just don't understand how american indians that are 2nd and 3rd and 4th generation US citizens and that are native english speakers are "latinos" or "hispanics". i'll complain about this every time, until i get bored or i get banned i suppose.

i don't get this magical "latino transfer rule". how does angloism not transfer similarly?

as long as american indians and blacks that speak spanish and have spanish names are latino, american indians and blacks that speak english and have english names should be anglo. any other classification is contradictory and makes no sense.

english speaking blacks are especially weird, deserving of their own seperate "black" category, in the US and in the UK, but they magically become "latino" if they grow up south of texas. i wonder if french speaking blacks are black, or do they magically become not black the second you force them to take names like jacque and speak french?

Gary said...

Unless and until you can get a secondary education, go to college, and obtain a baccalaureate speaking nothing but Spanish, that language is and will remain primarily a medium for poor Mexican immigrants to communicate with each other. But I do not underestimate the ability of our politicians and the system they work within to take a perfectly reasonable idea, i.e. that it's advantageous for an individual to speak more than one language, and corrupt it into compulsory Spanish instruction for all school age children under the threat of loss of federal education funds for any school district that does not go along. Once that happens, we're on a slippery slope that will probably lead to Anglos and Blacks relocating en masse to the Midwest and South (i.e. self segregating), and a partitioning of our country along ethnic and linguistic lines. Will there still be a USA? Sure, the government will what it takes to hold it together by force. Will it resemble the USA of the 20th century? Nope. Too bad too...I was kinda fond of the place.

Anonymous said...

"sorry, i just don't understand how american indians that are 2nd and 3rd and 4th generation US citizens and that are native english speakers are "latinos" or "hispanics"."

It's about voting blocks and identity politics.

---

And the kids I actually saw learning to speak Spanish in high school were those who worked in food service. My sibling took a full four years of classes (at a public, not fancy private, school) and didn't seem to get nearly as fluent as the ones who stayed at one food service establishment for those years. (What's 5 hours a week in a public school class compared to 10-20 plus in an natural linguistic environment?)

But, I get the point that that isn't the Spanish spoken by the elite Mexicans an elite American would make money doing business with. Still, I'd think learning from native speaking classmates is a great start for kids, and dialect can be honed later.

So I'm not buying for a moment that this is the real reason the woman is spending 13.5k per year for the education of her precious. The money is for a good school, the Spanish (and the vacations) are a bonus.

1488 said...

"i don't get this magical "latino transfer rule". how does angloism not transfer similarly?"

Angloism can't transfer because to the "one-drop rule".

Anonymous said...

"Once that happens, we're on a slippery slope that will probably lead to Anglos and Blacks relocating en masse to the Midwest and South (i.e. self segregating), and a partitioning of our country along ethnic and linguistic lines. Will there still be a USA? Sure, the government will what it takes to hold it together by force."

And further partitioning on cultural lines; the places a liberal would tend to relocate to are somewhat different from those a conservative would relocate to.

Now, consider that this will be happening at the same time that the Baby Boomers go on retirement, and the funds for their socialized care will be extracted from relatively smallish (compared to the size of the population supporting the previous generation of oldsters) population of young people.

This will also contribue to discord between state and fed, on the grounds of much more limited tax dollars to go around.

The feds have the jails and the sheer military force to keep things in line with how they like it, but the whole "government of the people" deal is going to become more and more a joke.

If we're lucky, we'll eventually have something like Rome's fate, insofar as that involved a slow weakening of federal power (due to poor governing and extravagant overseas adventures) and the slow emergence of the supremecay of more local centers of power.

The dept to China is a big issue, though. Federal debt is backed by land.

1488 said...

"Will it resemble the USA of the 20th century? Nope. Too bad too...I was kinda fond of the place."

Well, thank the Jews. They were the ones who pushed hardest for changing the immigration laws.

agnostic said...

I've noticed a shift in recent years toward romanticizing Spain more than France among well-to-do people, and Barcelona is a more popular tourist destination now than Paris. So I don't think the private Spanish lessons necessarily reflect hypocrisy among those living in heavily Latino areas -- their pronouncements about how great diversity is, obviously that's bull.

But since Spanish is far less utilitarian for well-to-do people (Japanese, French, etc. are more useful), maybe it's a marker of conspicuous waste.

Anyway, from your blogroll, Dennis Mangan and I both learned Spanish to a high degree and are Hispanophiles -- I'd wager a fair amount of those paying for private lessons are as well.

Anonymous said...

The woman in the story clearly is paying to put her kid in a better school (meaning, a school where the rest of the kids have similarly motivated parents, so the culture of success is reinforced). Spanish lessons are pretty common in public schools, so I can't imagine that was the main reason for switching schools.

As for the utility of learning Spanish, it is one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world, so it would have utility for both business and travel. Fluency in Spanish, all else being equal, could help someone get a job with a German, Japanese or French company, as all three countries' have firms with operations in Latin America.

Anonymous said...

Agnostic,

Castilian Spanish is one of two official dialects in Barcelona, but the native dialect there is Catalan. As for the popularity of Barcelona, it's probably due to a few factors including:

1) Barcelona has a sunny Mediterranean climate.

2) Barcelona has beaches.

3) Barcelona has a long history of civilization and lots of museums, etc.

I'd venture that the movies "Barcelona" and "L'Auberge Espagnole" might have increased Barcelona's appeal.

Anonymous said...

Jody,

"Latino" is a linguistic and cultural designation in the United States; many "blacks" and "Indians" (as you describe them) who speak Spanish are also have some Spanish blood in them.

You don't like that? Blame Spain for spreading its language and semen throughout this hemisphere.

As for your being perplexed by English-speaking blacks in America, let me help you with that: They are Americans.

Fred

Anonymous said...

What I found interesting was Kahlo and her reaction to her husband's infidelities. Sleeping with her sister was gauche even by Latin American standards (where men seem to be often unfaithful to their wives). And Trotsky? Ick that's like sleeping with Abe Vigoda.

Funny how feminists don't mention Kahlo's mutually icky marriage and sex life. Or her Stalinist beliefs. Or her self-pitying ways (one wonders why she didn't simply divorce Rivera if she found his conduct so unbearable). Even in the 1930's as a wealthy woman and internationally famed artist she had resources.

tggp said...

"Rootless cosmopolitan"? What is this, Stalinist Russia?

By the way, when the NATIVE BORN WHITE CHRISTIANS take over in an orgy of throat-slitting, what are you going to do to NATIVE BORN WHITE ATHEISTS (not ethnically jewish, in case that's what's damning)? I'd just like to know if I have to flee to New Zealand or something.

agnostic said...

Castilian Spanish is one of two official dialects in Barcelona, but the native dialect there is Catalan.

Si, ja ho savia -- he aprengut aquell idioma sensual tambe!

But according to local estimates, only about 40% of Barcelona the city speaks Catalan, since a lot of people are transplants from other parts of Spain in search of work. Most of the Catalan speakers are in the suburbs, or in the less gigantic cities like Girona. It's like trying to hear a thick Noo Yawk accent in lower Manhattan.

Also, Barcelona has always had those three things you mentioned, so why the romanticization now? Who knows, really. L'Auberge Espagnole is part of, not cause of, this recent fascination with Iberia, I think.

joshrandall said...

Barcelona is beloved because of its...museums? Wel,maybe for some;but what of the mujers????:)

Rafa the Gaffer said...

Barcelona is also famous for its football team. Pity that Liverpool just knocked them out of the Champions' League :)

Anonymous said...

We call them Latinos and Hispanics because that is a non-racial category. Mestizo, cholo, or indian would be more accurate but that is something that they find offensive, just like when they call me an angelo. That is not what I choose to call my self. It is time we reclaim the English language.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that Mexican Spanish is to Spanish what "Ebonics" is to English. I.e., broken ungrammatical slangy barrio talk of the lower class.

Unless a corporation is going to have a large lumpenproletariat customer base, what would be the reason for its employees learning the Spanish that Mexicans speak?

How many international tycoons prefer speaking Castillian Spanish to English?

Anonymous said...

I was looking at a school in Barcelona for their MBA program (rated one of the top ten international programs by Business Week). They expect you to learn Spanish while you are there, but all classes are taught in English. Same with the top B-schools in France, Switzerland, etc. English is now the EU's official language for business (of course it was the unofficial language for a long time).

Same is true internationally. My local paper had a profile of a German business executive who works for a multi-national here. His previous position was in Japan, where he and his Japanese colleagues communicated in English.

It's still nice to be able to speak a little of the local language -- demonstrates cultural sensitivity and all. I try to learn enough when I travel to at least exchange greetings and ask permission to speak in English.

Helgar

Michael Farris said...

"My understanding is that Mexican Spanish is to Spanish what "Ebonics" is to English. I.e., broken ungrammatical slangy barrio talk of the lower class"

That's not your understanding, that's your total mis-understanding.

Anonymous said...

That's not your understanding, that's your total mis-understanding.

Yes, you're entirely wrong. All the ladies and gentlemen of East LA speak mellifluent, entirely grammatical Mexican.

--david.davenport.1@netzero.com

Michael Farris said...

Whatever kind of Spanish spoken in East LA =/= Mexican Spanish spoken in Mexico

Also, the kind of division between 'correct' and everyday spoken grammar that is a feature of English is largely non-existent in Spanish.

There are such divisions of course but mostly revolve around finer points of usage of the subjunctive, some object pronoun trivia (especially lo vs le) and/or vagaries of local pronunciation (like s-dropping, d-dropping, dropping the -r from infinitives etc).

Anonymous said...

Mexican Spanish is a lot closer to literary Spanish than the mongrelized dialects of the carribbean, and in some ways purer than a more prestigious dialect like Argentinean which has a lot of Italian influence. Mexican has also preserved some words and expressions which are now archaic in the home country. On the whole Mexican is a fairly useful dialect if you want to be able to communicate across the Spanish speaking world. The problem with the European dialect is that if you are a man and speak it in the Americas people will assume you're gay (shades of "Idiocracy"?)

Michael Farris said...

Also Mexican usage preserves the distinction between the preterite (dije; I said) and present perfect (he dicho; I've said) while Iberian usage has blurred the distinction with he dicho being used for both.

green mamba said...

Speaking of different versions of the same language: Whales Have Accents

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