Following President Joe Biden‘s inauguration, the White House‘s official website has promptly re-instated a Spanish version of its website. ¡Por fin!
— Julio Ricardo Varela (@julito77) January 20, 2021
As noted by Julio Ricardo Varela of Latino Rebels the Spanish page is directly accessible from the White House website’s main menu, or at whitehouse.gov/es. There are new La Casa Blanca Twitter and Facebook accounts too.
You might recall that upon the Trump administration taking over the website, the Spanish version was promptly removed. At the time, then Press Secretary Sean Spicer blamed the removal on the fact the administration has “a lot of work to do.” He also noted that they would “continue to build out the website” and implied reinstating the Spanish page was “just going to take a little bit more time.”
Apparently, four years wasn’t enough time.
It may seem like a trivial distinction, but it highlights a fundamental rift between the outgoing and incoming administrations. Spanish is the second most common language in the United States — a country with no official language — spoken by an estimated 41 million people. Many of them use Spanish as their main language, and/or have better command of Spanish than English.
Both Bush and Obama had Spanish pages or sections, and the fact that Trump’s government thought they weren’t worth keeping emphasizes that administration’s lackluster consideration of its minority groups. That the official website and social media accounts for the country’s administration might consider reaching out to people who speak Spanish is but basic decency.