On Friday, Ben Zimmer of The Atlantic, outlined how President Donald Trump’s use of mock Spanish is racist. Trump has often used words such as “loco” and “hombres” during campaign rallies and interviews.
“There was a time last fall when Trump couldn’t stop using the Spanish loanword for crazy in speeches and interviews. As the Factba.se database of presidential statements reveals, from late September to early November, Trump used loco at no fewer than 10 different events,” Zimmer wrote.
However, linguistic experts noticed Trump’s overuse of mock Spanish and deemed it as an example of racism.
“Trump’s use of ‘hombres’ and ‘loco’ illustrates what the late linguistic anthropologist Jane Hill termed ‘Mock Spanish,’ an anglophone appropriation of Spanish words that, she argued, can serve as ‘a site for the indexical reproduction of racism in American English,'” he wrote.
He added that professors are even using Trump’s use of language to pinpoint his racist vocabulary to students.
“When Trump referred to ‘bad hombres’ in the 2016 debate, Adam Schwartz, a specialist in Spanish-language education at Oregon State University, wrote that ‘Donald Trump just made it a hell of a lot easier for me—and for all of us who teach about language, race and racism—to talk with students about Mock Spanish and the power of covert racist discourse,'” he wrote.
Zimmer added, “Schwartz observed that while ‘hombre itself might not be a racial slur,’ Trump’s use of it crystalized ‘the scope of that word’s injury, its offensiveness, its oppressive potential.'”
Read the full column here.