“Fracture” is the word of the day in Spain, where the Catalonia
region's bid for independence
and the Spanish government's response are not only pushing the country into uncharted political territory but also sowing the seeds of hate.
Many are warning that the crisis is giving rise to an “us versus them” mentality that is dangerously inaccurate in its simplism and uncomfortably familiar for a country that only four decades ago was under a fascist dictatorship.
If you don't support the October 1 independence
referendum, which was suspended by Spain's Constitutional Court and deemed illegal by the central government, you must be anti-Catalan. If you don't applaud the actions of the central government, including the police violence
against Catalan voters, you must be anti-Spain.
Spanish is the only acceptable language, or Catalan is. There is only one Spanish identity and one Catalan identity. All or nothing.
Messages like these abound. But is the situation truly so binary, and Spain
so uniform? Judging by the popularity of one woman's Facebook post about what it means to be Spanish, the answer is no.
In a viral missive, Laura Moreno de Lara describes a Spain
that not only celebrates the many distinct cultures, customs and languages contained within, but defines itself by that diversity. A country not of disdain and violence, but of solidarity and love.
Her post was originally published on October 2, and from there was widely shared on WhatsApp. It seems to have resonated deeply with people throughout Spain, attracting more than 324,000 likes and 37,000 comments so far.
Moreno de Lara told news site Verne that she had wanted to “humanise” the concept of being Spanish after seeing so many speak about identity through a political lens. Below is a translation of her message with annotations for those not familiar with Spain: