Hispanic figures reportedly push back on use of 'Latinx': Appeases 'white rich progressives'

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The gender-neutral term “Latinx” may be popular in diversity seminars, but it seems to be a dud among most Hispanics.

According to Axios, multiple Latino groups and advocates have cautioned against using the term, suggesting it’s more of a fad among elite White progressives.

“When Latino politicos use the term it is largely to appease white rich progressives who think that is the term we use. It is a vicious circle of confirmation bias,” tweeted Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., who leads the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. 

He announced last month that his office “is not allowed to use ‘Latinx’ in official communications.”

“‘Latinx’ has failed to gain buy-in from the people it’s supposed to empower,” the Miami Herald editorial board wrote last month. “It’s time to retire it from official use.”

President Biden delivers remarks on the debt ceiling during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 4 in Washington, D.C. 
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The board wrote: “Dear progressive politicians, pundits and media friends: Stop trying to make the term ‘Latinx’ a thing … You’re like Gretchen Wieners in the movie “Mean Girls” trying to turn “fetch” into the next cool slang. So, we’ll channel our best Regina George to say: Stop trying to make Latinx happen! It’s not going to happen!”

But the term has been used by groups like the Human Rights Campaign, which has come under fire for a purported lack of diversity. President Biden also used the term while discussing coronavirus vaccinations last year.

At the end of last year, HRC introduced “Latinx and Proud: A Queer Latinx Heritage Month Celebration” for Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. 

USA Today similarly reported on individuals and groups that endorsed the term.

“Having the term in existence is allowing for more inclusion. It’s not just for individuals who are nonbinary or trans, but also for when we have things that are written out,” Ernie Gonzalez of Palm Beach County’s LGBTQ+ Compass Community Center reportedly said.

Another activist, Andres Acosta of Contigo Fund, reportedly said that Latinx was “not something that we’re saying everybody has to use.” Acosta added: “It’s a way for us to make our own language and the way we refer to ourselves that’s inclusive.” 

The Associated Press similarly suggests media outlets use Latinx if a subject prefers that term.

Gallego’s and Acosta’s comments underscore differences within the Hispanic community, although polling indicates Latinx isn’t widely used. Data from Pew Research Center showed that only 3% of individuals who identify as Hispanic or Latino use “Latinx” to describe themselves.

Like Gallego, the League of United Latin American Citizens similarly told staff not to use “Latinx” in communications.

“The reality is, there is very little to no support for its use, and it’s sort of seen as something used inside the Beltway or in Ivy League tower settings,” President Domingo García said.

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