Andreu Claret warned, in an article titled ‘El catalán, víctima del procés’ (El Periódico) that the outrages of separatism have caused the unfortunate effect that many Catalans now dislike Verdaguer’s language.
I think it is not entirely accurate. Catalan is a common heritage, and only the most irrational citizens and those most hurt by some yellow-bow impertinence blame the language for the outrages of politicians and the local bourgeois establishment.
However, Claret’s article touches on an interesting topic that is rarely covered by the press. It referred me to the case of the lynching of journalist Bimbi.
It is an interesting and meaningful case of the undercurrents of dogmatism that run through our society like a poisoned blood system. They remain below the surface intoxicating the whole organism and necrotizing the brain based on taboos, fear of the truth, xenophobia and other things dragged by this dirty fluid and that impoverish both the intellectual debate and the amenity of everyday life.
Sometimes someone appears who ignores the local codes of the unspeakable, the limits of the taboo, and like the child who points to the emperor and says that he is naked, he makes all hell break loose.
Bruno Bimbi is an Argentine journalist, teacher and author, leftist, LGTB activist, critical of South American totalitarianism and populism. So far, well, this profile falls within political correctness and as long as that Bimbi criticizes Bolsonaro or Trump, we like him and everyone is happy.
But Bimbi lives in Barcelona, it seems that he is also interested in local conflicts, especially if they affect him, and he has recently published, in the digital magazine CTXT, the article How do you say xenophobia in Catalan? I recommend the reader to look for it on the Net, before it is censored.
The article tells an anecdote about a postgraduate course taught in eleven groups at the University of Barcelona, nine of which are taught in Catalan and two in Spanish. Naturally, several South American and Asian students enrolled in the groups in Spanish, to verify, through the teacher’s mouth, on the first day of class –that is, the tuition was already paid–, that despite what was said in the official university propaganda also those two groups were in Catalan. Eleven out of eleven. Those who complained were told “this is what there is” and they were made to fall into their inferiority as upstarts, because, as Bimbi says elsewhere, “I lived in Brazil for ten years and I never felt like a foreigner. At the University of Barcelona they make you feel so right from the first day”.
He was immediately lynched by the pack of yellow-bows and bots, accused of making up the story, of being a provocateur in the service of dark interests or vanities, of playing the game with Vox, of collecting funds from reptiles…
“Don’t touch our soft fascism, you fucking Indian. The Catalan language is sacred. If you don’t like it, go away.
If that article, which has all the accent of lived experience and truthfulness, had been published by some organ of the Spanish right, it is evident that the pack would have let it pass for the benefit of inventory. The problem is that the public of CTXT is young people and of the left, and more Podemos than PSOE: a social target whose complicity or sympathy nationalism wants to have guaranteed. Hence, the insults to the journalist Bimbi were extended to threats of boycott of the magazine.
The taboo of the virginity of the Virgin of Montserrat must be respected at any cost. The truth of what really happens cannot be known.
We do not know what economic or political instances have taken action on the matter, apart from the thousands of hysterical yellow-bows and insulting bots (you should have to be a wimp to be intimidated by them), but the case – incredible, but true – is that the magazine has published an editorial literally asking for forgiveness, and two “official” articles, two, to deny its own collaborator and repeat that Catalan universities are the paradise of democracy and multilingualism. No comment.
–And let’s see if you find out, Bimbi, that what has happened to you never happened, and that everything is peace and harmony in the best possible country.
The truth is that the “Bimbi scandal” is one more anecdote about a problem that is common in Catalan universities, especially in postgraduate and master’s courses, but … you can’t talk about it. In high school and ESO the only official language is Catalan, except for a couple of hours of linguistic material … and although sometimes it is impossible to impose immersive regulations. But the official discourse, the taboo, is that there is no linguistic conflict in Catalonia.
However, despite the refusal, there must be some of that – right? – if there was such a clamor of anathema when the previous Government (that of Rajoy) wanted to institute three hours a week of Spanish, three, instead of two, in Catalan schools.
There must be a conflict, when ERC imposes to the reluctant Government that in the new Education law (the Celáa law) Catalan is the only vehicular language. An imposition that some (may God preserve their sight!) disdain as inconsequential because after all it is unconstitutional; but it should not be so insignificant if it is put as a sine qua non condition to support the general budgets of the State, which is the same as saying to allow the Government to remain in power.
There is no linguistic conflict, but to identify the merchants who, despite all the good words and mellifluous smiles of the authority, insist on labeling their stores in Spanish, we are all invited to expose them and a body of inspectors is enabled to fine the reprobate. With the most cynical and fun rhetoric, it is explained that what is punished and fined is not the use of Spanish but not using Catalan. Subtlety. Nuance!
There must be a conflict, if the salvation of the Catalan language is used as an excuse to finance the press of the regional power parties.
¡Even the mayor of Barcelona is lynched online by hitmen and raholas because one day she had the audacity to tweet in Spanish!
Remember that, Bimbi:
How do you say xenophobia in Catalan? It is said Immersió.