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Acute Hispanic Accents A Grave Problem
A Fox News Latino headline this summer read: “Julián Castro: Son of Chicana Activist, Harvard Law Grad, Future U.S. President?”
That's not exactly true: the headline actually said Julian Castro: Son of Chicana Activist, Harvard Law Grad, Future U.S. President?
The difference is in the accent. Not the phoney-baloney pseudo-Spanish accent Mr. Castro speaks with(he insists on pronouncing his first name Hooley-ANN) but the acute accent in the "A" of “Julián".This is annoying.
Second, it's phoney—Julian is American-born, raised in Texas, and doesn't really speak Spanish. To quote a 2010 NYT profile of him:
"Early in his administration, Castro assigned his chief of staff, Robbie Greenblum—a Jewish lawyer from the border town of Laredo whose own Spanish is impeccable—to discreetly find him a tutor. Rosie Castro's son is now being taught Spanish by a woman named Marta Bronstein. Greenblum met her in shul."
But this accent over the a in Julian, like the accent John Derbyshire was making fun of last night, is symbolic—another symptom of reverse assimilation, of ethnic minorities identifying with something other than America.