The letters to the editor, “Language Barriers and Santa Ana Fire Tragedy” (Jan. 24), were interesting and compelled me to respond to writer Janet Barlow from Costa Mesa. She states, “I find it outrageous that people come to this country, refuse to learn the language. . . .”
When the English came to this continent in the 1600s, the language was that of the indigenous peoples that inhabited it. Did the English bother to learn that language of the people whose land they occupied? The Spanish came even earlier, occupying one-third of the continent. Like the English, they did not learn the language of the people whose land they occupied.
By the time the westward movement began, the Spanish had been entrenched in that one-third of the continent for 2 1/2 centuries. Not only was the populace Spanish-speaking, the area was part of la Republica de Mexico. Did the Americans bother to learn the language of the people whose land they took by force? Could it be that history is repeating itself?