Do you or will you identity as Latinx?

“I think ‘Latinx’ highlights the diversity within the community”

Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders ordered that all state entities review their official documents and submit a written report to her office about the current use of the term Latinx.

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In mid-January, the newly elected governor in state of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, thought it was time to do away with the word Latinx by signing an executive order banning the word from the state government documents. She believes the word is gender neutral term insensitive.
In a CNN report, the order, which she says was issued “to respect the Latino community,” says that “ethnically insensitive and pejorative language,” and the term Latinx specifically, “has no place” in government documents or employee titles.
Latinx, by definition, is a gender-neutral alternative to Latina or Latino that has been used for years.
“One can no more easily remove gender from Spanish and other romance languages than one can remove vowels and verbs from English,” the order says. “It is the policy of the Governor’s administration to prohibit the use of culturally insensitive words for official state government business.”
Sanders ordered that all state entities review their official documents and submit a written report to her office about the current use of the term. State offices and agencies have less than 60 days to revise all existing materials to replace any form of Latinx with Hispanic, Latino or other iterations of the two terms.
“In Arkansas, we will not tolerate indoctrination or [Critical Race Theory], we reject ‘Latinx’, and we will not aid in China’s data harvesting or exploitation,” Sanders tweeted in January “On day one, we set the tone for an administration that will empower Arkansans and defend our freedom at every turn,” said Sanders.
CNN report, Sanders cited 2020 research by Pew Research Center for her decision, which found that 3% of Latino adults use the term to describe themselves. Most of those who do are women between the ages of 18 to 29, the research found. And while the percentage of those who personally identify as Latinx is low, the research also shows that 33% of the Latino population believes the term should be used to describe the Hispanic or Latino population.
Jose Edgar Palacios of the Latinx Education Collaborative told Hispanic News, “I think it is a performative action. I think it rallies her political base and stokes the fire of the ongoing culture wars. I think there are greater issues facing the Latino community in the state of Arkansas and hopefully Governor Sanders can dedicate equal (if not more) attention to improving the lives of Latinos in her state.
Hispanic News asked if he has concerns that other states will follow Sanders lead, “I am not concerned. Ultimately, it does not prevent people from using the term if they choose. I think “Latinx” highlights the diversity within the community and the term elevates the conversation regarding what it means to be Hispanic/Latino. The word requires you to reflect on your connection to the Latino community.”
In many cities across the country it is safe to say not every Latino/Hispanic identity with the word Latinx and that includes greater Kansas City. “I think the conversation around the term detracts from the larger issues the community faces. For example, in the state of Missouri, the Latinx community is the least engaged voting demographic. And Missouri has passed legislation making it even more difficult to engage the Latino community in voter engagement and turnout. Our elected officials are not prioritizing the needs and wants of the Latino community.
According to Wikipedia, Latinx is a neologism in American English which is used to refer to people of Latin American cultural or ethnic identity in the United States. The gender-neutral -x- suffix replaces the -o/-a ending of Latino and Latina that are typical of grammatical gender in Spanish. Its plural is Latinxs.
Critics say the term does not follow traditional grammar, is difficult to pronounce, and is disrespectful toward conventional Spanish[ the Royal Spanish Academy style guide does not recognize the suffix -x.[ Both supporters and opponents have cited linguistic imperialism as a reason for supporting or opposing the use of the term.[
Latinx is a term for a group identity used to describe individuals in the United States who have Latin American roots. Other names for this social category include Hispanic, Latino, Latina/o, Latine, and Latin@.[9] Latinx is used as an alternative to the gender binary inherent to formulations such as Latina/o and Latin@ and is used by and for anyone of Latin-American descent who do not identify as either male or female, or more broadly as a gender-neutral term for such.
Hispanic News also asked Palacios if he feels Sarah Huckabee Sanders is on the wrong side of the word and if she needs to educate herself on the word Latinx? “I do not think there is a right or wrong side to the discussion. I think Governor Sanders should educate herself on the different terms our community uses and, more importantly, the issues most important to the Latinx community in Arkansas and I think it is important to recognize that the conversation on what we call ourselves as a community has been ongoing since the 1970s and even before then. There was tension around the word Hispanic, there’s tension around the term Latino, there’s tension around the term Latinx, and there’s tension around the term Latine. People can identify themselves as they want and the government should not be legislating terms.”
Sources Wikipedia and CNN