Blue Heron in flight

Thursday, June 27, 2019


The first visitor to our continent from Europe was a man named Christopher Columbus. Although many think he was Genoan, he wrote his journals exclusively in Portuguese tinged Spanish and many experts believe that he was in fact from Catalan. Columbus of course sailed the ocean blue in fourteen hundred and ninety two.

On September 28, 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and his crew entered San Diego Bay, first known as San Miguel, the first Europeans to visit California. He claimed Alta California for Spain. Vizcaino followed him some sixty years later. Now there were many native peoples living here when he arrived and they certainly weren't speaking english but that is a subject for another day. More like Athabaskan, Takic and Shoshone.

Presidio de San Diego - Robert Sommers
Spanish colonization of "Alta California" began when the Presidio at San Diego, the first permanent European settlement on the Pacific Coast, was established in 1769. As you know, they created the Mission system which ran up and down the state. There were four districts run by Presidios, Monterey, San Diego, Santa Barbara and San Francisco.

The Missions were secularized in 1834, thirteen years after Mexico was granted independence from Spain in 1821. In June of 1846 a bunch of Californios proclaimed their independence in the Bear Flag Revolt.

They called themselves Osos and wanted no part of any foreign regime, Mexico, Spain or the United States. They were like we are today, a polyglot of colors and races. I am currently reading a great book about the revolt by Dale Walker. They occupied the Plaza in Sonoma and raised the Bear Flag. Would have been really nice if the Californios had held out, we would be in a lot better shape without the rest of the union.

Unfortunately with the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848 a bunch of yankees flooded the area and ruined things and we became a state of the union in 1850 after a few battles with Kearney, Fremont, Dick Owens and Kit Carson.

Arizona was also a part of Mexico from 1822 until the cessation. New Mexico also came on board in 1848 after the Battle of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Ditto Nevada, Utah, about a quarter of Colorado, and a small section of Wyoming. Oregon was a part of Spain until 1819. Texas was a part of Spain until 1836.

My point is this.

We have been speaking Spanish in this country for a very long time, certainly before we spoke English. When douchebags like Wayne Allyn Rootsmoocher say stupid crap like this I wonder if they ever opened up a history book?

The right wing internet has been full of similar protestations today, some of it just vile racism.

The stupidity and xenophobia of certain Americans is just mind boggling. Especially since the use of Spanish predates English.

I am happy to be a spanish speaker, however rudimentary my spanish is, it has served me very well in my life and I am proud to have spent the majority of my life in mostly bilingual border cities.

Only in America is one's facility in another language considered offensive.

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