Connecticut Hispanic Democrats Want “Latinx” Banned From State Docs

Connecticut Hispanic Democrats Want Latinx Banned From State Docs

According to a group of Hispanic state legislators in Connecticut, the term “Latinx” is “offensive” to Spanish speakers and should be banned from all official government documents.

Five Hispanic Democrats in the state have introduced a bill to criminalize the use of the gender-neutral term for people of Latin American descent.

Rep. Geraldo Reyes Jr., the bill’s primary sponsor, said the term “Latinx” is offensive because it is “woke,” referring to the large Puerto Rican population in Connecticut.

“I’m of Puerto Rican descent and I find it offensive,” Reyes said.

Still, proponents argue that the term is more welcoming to people who don’t identify with a particular gender. In Spanish, the masculine plural “Latinos” can refer to either a group of men or women.

Reyes argued that the term “Latino” already embodied a broad definition.

“The Spanish language, which is centuries old, defaults to Latino for everybody,” he said. “It’s all-inclusive. They didn’t need to create a word, it already exists.”

When fighting the so-called “woke” crowd, Republicans have also targeted the term.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Republican governor of Arkansas and a former press secretary for Donald Trump, took one of her first actions in office last month: she ordered state employees to stop using the word “Latinx” in official documents.

However, it appeared that the move was made more for political shows than for actual action. It would appear that “Latinx” is not commonly used by Arkansas state employees.

A search for the term on Connecticut’s government portal yielded 945 results across different types of documents, such as news releases, blogs, and reports.

Numerous Latin Americans, especially those of a more senior generation, have publicly rejected the term.

The League of United Latin American Citizens, the nation’s first and longest-running Hispanic civil rights organization, said in 2021 that it will stop using the term “Latinx” in its name.

Professor David Pharies of Spanish at the University of Florida remarked that native speakers would be confused by the usage of an “x” in place of an “a” or “o,” as this goes against the normal syntax of the language.

“Latinx was clearly a solution that was proposed outside the Spanish-speaking world,” Pharies said.

In addition, he said that “Latine,” another name for the same person, is more natural for Spanish speakers to use.

Contrary to popular belief, the phrase was coined by Latin American youth and LGBT culture in the 1990s, according to Boston University assistant professor of “Latinx and Multiethnic Literature” Maia Gil’Adi.

She explained that many people’s “x”s symbolises their indigenous heritage.

“The word Latino is incredibly exclusionary, both for women and for non-gender conforming people,” she said. “And the term Latinx is really useful because of the way it challenges those conceptions.”

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