The director of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language spoke here Tuesday of "a Hispanophobic movement" in the United States.

Gerardo Piña, who was in Santander for a forum at Menendez Pelayo International University, told Efe that in Washington there are organizations that finance campaigns and publications that refer to Hispanics in a "racist" manner.

The 65-year-old Spaniard believes that behind it is a mentality hostile toward Hispanics, who are seen as "people who come to undermine the values the United States stands for."

These movements sometimes target the Spanish language because to attack Hispanics as people "would be politically incorrect," said Piña, a professor at the City University of New York.

"I don't know if what's behind it is fear or hostility toward the increasingly overwhelming presence of Hispanics," he said.

Piña envisions a future of college-educated U.S. Hispanics who are "completely bilingual."

That's what the North American Academy wants, and whose director thinks that in the United States, bilingual education has been "a failure."

Attempts have been made to have children "forget" the Spanish language in order to learn English, while the teachers "are sometimes frankly bad," he said.

As an alternative, Piña defends dual education, which consists of providing instruction in all subjects in both Spanish and English.

But doing that, he said, "takes money," and "now the Obama administration is generally not very interested in it." EFE