Rebeca Cardenas-Salinas

As interviewed by Christian Salinas, March 17, 2014
"Well, as a child I was treated as a person that was limited in English. Especially because I was raised, or actually went to school during a time when there was no bilingual education and so I feel like I was treated differently because I only knew Spanish and so the system was trying to teach to English as fast as they could but somehow it was like a sink or swim situation if you learned English you would swim and if you didn’t you were going to sink. "
Rebeca Cardenas-Salinas

Introductory Profile: About Rebeca Cardenas-Salinas

My interview carries the name Rebeca Cardenas-Salinas. She is extremely passionate about equal rights in education and about bilingual education. As a child her inability to speak English and the lack of bilingual education led her to be discriminated in the first grade by her teacher. This type of discrimination is known as Linguistic Discrimination and felt throughout the world. This discrimination led her to be “scared to go to school".

My interview stands at 5’2” and is a middle-aged Hispanic woman. She was born in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico in 1965. She grew up in Laredo, Texas and was a valedictorian at her high school despite her bad experiences in elementary. She received a masters from Texas State and has worked at a mostly minority elementary school for 25 of the last 26 years. She is an optimistic woman and tries to understand and help solve problems.

The topics of the interview flowed easily back and forth. My interviewee tries to make a difference and has no tolerance for racial discrimination. My interviewee remains calm and relaxed. The interview was extremely lax and informal. The interview has many stories and ideas to pick from.
Linguistic discrimination cast a dark shadow on my interviewee’s early years in the public school system. She just want everyone to get a good education and fair treatment no matter their race or language. My interviewee just doesn’t want anyone to be “scared to go to school”. My interviewee was my mother and the interview took place at home.