Biden’s White House website is in Spanish on day one
On the first day his predecessor took office, the Spanish version went offline.
It may seem like a small preparation by the Biden administration to have a Spanish version of the White House website ready on day one, but it speaks volumes of the difference in opinion between the incoming and outgoing administration in regards to the U.S.'s growing Spanish-speaking population.
Four years ago, when the Trump administration took power, the Spanish version of the White House website went dark, and then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer only had to answer for its absence after enough Spanish-language news services had expressed outrage to capture mainstream attention.
Going into office, Trump had constantly bashed the U.S. Latino population, focusing most of his ire on the immigrants coming across the U.S.-Mexico border.
In most cases, Spanish is their native language. For that, Trump preached a message of assimilation into the country, citing learning English as a key component of the process.
Spicer’s answer a week into Trump’s presidency about the lack of a Spanish version of the White House website was that the administration was still in the process of building it.
It’s an answer that reporters, both mainstream and Spanish-language, would hear from the Trump administration over the next four years, whether it was about up-to-date guidelines surrounding COVID-19 or the barren Spanish-language Twitter account for the White House.
While the verdict is still out on whether the La Casa Blanca will see a revival on Twitter, the Spanish-language White House site is a good place to start for Biden in regaining much of the trust lost between the U.S. Spanish-speaking population and the federal government.
The reality is, having the White House website or any federal site in Spanish is no longer a courtesy, but a necessity.
The 2020 presidential election was a prime example of that need.
Latino voters, some who undoubtedly only spoke in Spanish, were part of the historic push from the demographic to get involved in the political process.
Those voters showed out in record numbers to support Biden and help him flip states like Arizona and Pennsylvania.
In coming elections, those voters will only play bigger and bigger roles as the U.S. population shifts away from its white, English-speaking majority.