Slowly, over many years, I built a strong track record of serving the local Spanish-speaking community when they need tax or business services representation (in English language) to resolve problems with government even though I have often struggled to communicate with these clients. Years prior to this, my former business MedSave was a pioneering online provider of short term medical insurance to migrant workers and immigrants. I was recently a guest on our local Spanish radio station in Vineland New Jersey talking about personal finance. We are considering expanding that to other appearances. I made it my personal goal to learn to speak at least a little Spanish using one of the new phone apps as a tool this winter.
Recent mainstream news coverage of Univision – the nation’s largest Spanish language network – is revealing things to English speakers that we did not know. I was only slightly aware of the sharp political distinctions from my personal association with Cubans in Miami.
Three things I heard that surprised me this week:
– The majority of Spanish speaking adults in the U.S. listen to Spanish language talk radio at a much higher rate than English speakers. For many, it is the main source of news and information and their connection with the local community.
– Our concerns about misinformation and conspiracy theories in English media are mild compared to the concerns in Spanish language talk radio.
– The corporate decision of Univision to embrace Trumpism is based on an underlying premise that Trump will win the next election.
I am generally aware that the prevailing Spanish speaking culture in rural South Jersey is more conducive to radial right wing beliefs than might be the case otherwise, but it is difficult for an English speaker to understand more. I resist the prejudicial inclination to chalk it up to lack of information or lack of education.
I would welcome comment and insight from my Latino friends and clients, but I understand that most are too smart to jump into the public social media fray as I do. (On a different and wider topic, few of any of my friends and clients are active on social media anyway – probably for the same reason).