Hispanic Democrats in Connecticut want to ban ‘Latinx’ from state documents
A group of Hispanic lawmakers in Connecticut are trying to ban the use of the word “Latinx” in official government documents, claiming the term is “offensive” to Spanish speakers.
Five Hispanic Democrats in the state have proposed legislation to ban the gender-neutral alternative to “Latino” or “Latina” that describes people of Latino descent.
The bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. Geraldo Reyes Jr., called Latinx a “woke” term that insults Connecticut’s large Puerto Rican community.
“I’m of Puerto Rican descent and I find this offensive,” Reyes said.
However, proponents say the descriptor is more inclusive of both women and people who don’t confirm their gender. The masculine plural “Latinos” is used to refer to a group of men and women in the Spanish language.
Reyes said “Latino” is already inclusive.
“The Spanish language, which is centuries old, is by default Latino for everyone,” he said. “It’s all inclusive. They didn’t need to create a word, it already exists.
Republicans also came after the term in their war against the so-called “woke”.
Last month, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders — a former Trump White House press secretary — banned government officials from using Latinx on state documents in one of the first actions the Republican took a few hours after taking office.
However, the movement seemed to be more for political spectacle than action. “Latinx” doesn’t seem to be widely used among Arkansas government officials.
In Connecticut, a keyword search for the word on the state government portal returned 945 hits in documents including press releases, blogs and reports.
Many Latin Americans rejected the descriptor themselves, especially older generations.
In 2021, the oldest Hispanic civil rights group in the United States – the League of United Latin American Citizens – announced that it would no longer use the term Latinx.
David Pharies, professor of Spanish at the University of Florida, said that using an “x” to replace an “a” or an “o” breaks with the typical grammar of the language and is not familiar to native speakers.
“Latinx was clearly a solution offered outside of the Spanish-speaking world,” Pharies said.
He added that “Latin” which is sometimes used for the same person is more intuitive for Spanish speakers.
However, Maia Gil’Adi, assistant professor of “Latin and multi-ethnic literature” at Boston University, said the term actually originated from Latin American youth and queer culture in the 1990s.
The “x,” she says, is a nod to many people’s Aboriginal roots.
“The word Latino is incredibly exclusive, both to women and to gender non-conforming people,” she said. “And the term Latinx is really useful because of how it challenges those conceptions.”
With post wires
New York Post