On Saturday, Los Angeles Times journalist Jean Guerrero openly complained about “English-language supremacy” in the United States during an appearance on a National Public Radio (NPR) podcast.
Fox News reports that, while on the NPR podcast “Consider This,” Guerrero addressed the issue of some foreigners or minorities having their names mispronounced, which she claimed “can signal criticism or exclusion.” She then claimed that her Puerto Rican mother faced “English-language supremacy” while living in the territory.
“The thing is that she came from Puerto Rico, where they also have, you know, this English-language supremacy, like decades of U.S. colonial policies that cast English as a superior language,” Guerrero said. “So she would speak to me in Spanish because she still, you know, struggled with English. But I would respond in English, and she was okay with that.”
“For example, my Mexican abuelita, my grandmother on my dad’s side, she didn’t speak any English at all. And so it became very difficult for us to communicate,” Guerrero continued. “And just – this internalized English-language supremacy. Like, what it did was, like, it created, like, a real – I don’t know – like, this, like – almost like self-hatred.”
She also claimed that the prioritization of English during her childhood led to her physically harming herself, saying that “this practice of forcing children to stop speaking their native language and to see it as something bad also causes children to internalize this disdain…And for me, what that did is it created a lot of self-destructive behavior where I was, you know, cutting my wrists as a teenager.”
Guerrero now says that when pronouncing her name and other Spanish words, she deliberately rolls her R’s in order to defy “White supremacy.” She has since released a book titled “Hatemonger.”
Guerrero has a history of making racially-charged statements that often lead to widespread ridicule. In August, she complained about how the term “Latinx,” an attempt to reduce the heavily gendered Spanish language to “gender-neutral” terminology, is not more widely used by Spanish speakers; a recent poll showed that a mere 3 percent of Hispanics use the label to describe themselves, as opposed to the more common terms of “Latino” or “Latina.”
She was also mocked for claiming that, during the California gubernatorial recall election last year, Republican frontrunner Larry Elder, a black conservative radio host, was a “very real threat to communities of color.”