Jaume Reixach – 16/11/2020
Journalist by vocation and, for this reason, founder and editor of EL TRIANGLE since 1990. Member of the cause for a better world
After the mantra of the “right to decide”, which culminated with the 1-O referendum and the DUI drill, with the painful consequences that the “proces” has had for the independence leaders, now they want to make us share with them a new concept: we Catalans are a “national minority” and, therefore, we have the right to be recognized and protected by the European Union and the United Nations.
Once again, they are trying to deceive us with a clever play on words, as has already happened with the “right to decide”, which many have bought into. This supposed “national minority” are, in any case, the approximately two million people who vote in the elections self-proclaimed independence options.
But in Catalonia live 7.5 million people, of many origins and with many accents, each of them perfectly respectable, think whatever they think, and worthy of consideration, as long as they do not break the rules of collective coexistence. By democratic principle, the 7.5 million Catalans are equal, with the same rights and the same duties.
If Catalonia is a “national minority”, is it also Asturias, Aragon or Andalusia? And the Asturians, the Aragonese or the Andalusians who live here, are they a “national mini-minority” embedded in our “national minority”? If the indigenous tribes of the United States, which are confined to reservations, are the “national minority” par excellence, then do only people with all the genetic roots embedded, for generations, in this land have the right to be Catalan? Is a pro-independence fellow named Josep Rodríguez, in reality, an infiltrated CNI agent or a settler in disguise to spy and sow weeds among the true Catalans-Catalans?
As a true Catalan and on all four sides, I absolutely refuse to be part of a “national minority”. I do not want to go through life as a victim crushed by the weight of history, or feel permanently sulky and powerless over the defeat of the Austrianists in 1714, or be someone who needs special protection just because I was born in a place called Catalonia.
I don’t like being a member of a “national minority.” I want to be – and I am – a person who is part of the human community and the overwhelming majority that we constitute who, on this planet, aspire to live with dignity and peace with others, helping and being helped.
Being Catalan does not mean speaking always and only in Catalan. Turning language into a sign of national identity is, in the globalized and interconnected world of the 21st century, an insult to intelligence. Are only Peruvians those who speak Quechua or Aymara? Those who speak Spanish in the United States are not North Americans? Languages serve to understand us and the day will come when all humanity will have a common language, in the same way that it will use the same currency for commercial exchanges.
Catalan, yes. It is a precious heritage that we have to take care of and preserve to pass on to future generations. But also Spanish (600 million speakers), English (1,500 million), Mandarin Chinese (1,100 million) or Arabic (300 million). The Latin-rooted languages (Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Catalan, Romanian …), with which it is easy to practice inter-comprehension, number more than 1,000 million speakers.
The millenary history of Catalonia cannot end up being reduced to being a “national minority” that speaks in Catalan. Catalonia is much, much more than the pro-independence crew and much bigger and much more powerful if we do not insist on setting borders and raising flags and linguistic and essentialist walls in a world that wants to break forever and ever with the errors / horrors of the past.
This is what the elections of this next 14-F are about. To democratically confront those who have a closed and exclusive vision of Catalonia with those who want a country open to the compass rose, where the priority is the improvement of the lives of the people who live here, without mafias or corruption.
In fact, this is the meaning of all the elections that have been held in the Parliament of Catalonia since 1980. So far, the result is that the proto-independents and the independentists have held the presidency of the Generalitat for 33 of the 40 years of self-government. The consequences are what we see and have: the ruin, division and desertification of Catalonia.