With the Spanish-language version of the White House website gone and a Twitter account that sits largely dormant, Latino and other Spanish-speaking Americans are criticizing the Trump administration for what looks like intentional neglect and overt indifference to their communities.
More than five months into Trump’s presidency, the White House’s Spanish Twitter account, @LaCasaBlanca, has tweeted only 41 times. More than half of the account’s communications have been written in English. “On Cuban Independence Day @POTUS extended warmest wishes to Cuban Americans & all Cubans who yearn for freedom – La Casa Blanca (@LaCasaBlanca) May 21, 2017.”
The lack of engagement with Spanish-speaking Americans doesn’t stop at Twitter. While the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations offered robust Spanish-language versions of the White House website, WhiteHouse.gov/español went dark just after Trump was inaugurated, and the Trump White House has yet to unveil the new website.
The apparent disinterest in the needs of Spanish-speaking Americans follows a presidential campaign that featured aggressive anti-immigration rhetoric from Trump.
The White House also no longer employs a director of Hispanic media outreach, as it did in previous administrations. Luis Miranda served in the position during Barack Obama’s presidency.
“For us it was important that all of our constituents across the board were getting as much information as possible about what we were doing,” Miranda told the Associated Press.
The apparent disinterest in the needs of Spanish-speaking Americans follows a presidential campaign that featured aggressive anti-immigration rhetoric from Trump. The president infamously cast Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers in his speech announcing that he was running in the 2016 election.
He also criticized one of his opponents in the Republican primary, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, for occasionally speaking Spanish on the campaign trail.
“[Bush] should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States,” argued Trump at the time.
Julia Conley is a staff writer at Commondreams.org.