WMATA Multicultural Poetry

Here’s visual proof that we live in a diverse city. Or at least have an enlightened WMATA: the reader poetry up on Metrobuses – its in Spanish as much as English.

This little ditty came from Kiara Garcia. She’s in 4th grade at Key Elementary School, and already a poet.

While my Spanish is crap, it seems like she’s writing about the good things in life: family and food. No argument there.

But I can hear the chorus warming up to speak out against her, with many voices from Herndon. About how this is yet another erosion of “American” life. How WMATA should only have English poetry.

To quote another: can’t we all just get along?

2 Comments so far

  1. Don (unregistered) on December 8th, 2006 @ 12:41 pm

    I do wish they’d put up an italicized translation. My similarly crap spanish lets me vaguely get the hint and enjoy the rhythm of the words but not the sentiment, particularly since I had to look up the core word, pertenezco: Belong/be a part of.

    I wonder if including the translation so that the monolingual could understand it – and see how universal the content of 4th grade poetry is – would make them feel less threatened by it?

  2. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on December 9th, 2006 @ 1:22 pm

    Thanks for posting this. I had not seen this before, so it was a real joy! My Spanish is also crap but I kind of get most things I read.

    Yeah – lots of people simply want to live in ignorance and not learn about other cultures. That really makes me sad and fearful for our country’s future. Are we raising the next generation of isolationists or will we teach today’s kids to reach out to others both personally and politically?

    Funny – the people who seem the most troubled by foreign languages are the same ones who espouse a return to Christian values. I wonder if they really think that small-mindedness, hatred and fear are proper Christian values.

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