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Salon commentary cancels the term ‘Latinx’ as not inclusive enough

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Salon published an article on Sunday warning that the term Latinx is neither popular nor “inclusive” enough to be used anymore. 

“Latinx is used as an individual identity for those who are gender-nonconforming,” Professor Melissa K. Ochoa wrote, but said, after the term became popular only with academics and young Americans rather than Spanish-speaking people, it should be retired. The article, titled “Stop using ‘Latinx’ if you really want to be inclusive,” was republished from The Conversation. 

“When I first heard Latinx in 2017, I thought it was progressive and inclusive, but I quickly realized how problematic it was,” the Saint Louis University assistant professor of Women’s and Gender Studies wrote. 

“Individuals who self-identiy [sic] as Latinx or are aware of the term are most likely to be U.S.-born, young adults from 18 to 29 years old,” she observed. “They are predominately English-speakers and have some college education. In other words, the most marginalized communities do not use Latinx.”

People hold placards after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence addressed supporters at a Latinos for Trump campaign rally at Central Christian University on October 10, 2020 in Orlando, Florida.
(Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

BIDEN CRITICIZED FOR USING WOKE TERM ‘LATINX’

“The distinct demographic differences of those who are aware of or use Latinx calls into question whether the term is inclusive or just elitist,” she wrote.

In its place Ochoa suggested an alternative word, “Latine,” noting “it eliminates the gender binary” and “is not confined to an elite, English-speaking population within the U.S.”

Prominent figures within American politics have also battled over the use of “Latinx.”

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., schooled fellow progressives on the term in 2021.

“To be clear my office is not allowed to use ‘Latinx’ in official communications,” he wrote in a December 6 tweet. “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.”

He said using Latinx “comes off as performative” and “likely means they don’t understand the Latino community and is indicative of deeper problems.”

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) is seen during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on 'Department of Defense Authorities and Roles Related to Civilian Law Enforcement' in Washington, DC, U.S. July 9, 2020.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) is seen during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on ‘Department of Defense Authorities and Roles Related to Civilian Law Enforcement’ in Washington, DC, U.S. July 9, 2020.
(Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS)

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Gallego’s tweet was in response to a poll that found merely 2% of Hispanic and Latino voters recognized the term “Latinx,” while a massive 40% of participants felt offended by the word.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on the other hand, took to social media in June to defend the term.

“I want to have a note on gender inclusivity in Spanish language,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a video posted to Instagram. “People sometimes like to make a lot of drama over the term Latinx,” she said, later asserting, “Gender is fluid, language is fluid.”

In October 2017, Salon published a piece headlined “Forget About ‘Latino’ — why I’m all for ‘Latinx,’ and you should be, too.”

The mainstream media has largely given Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., a pass for mask "hypocrisy." 

The mainstream media has largely given Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., a pass for mask “hypocrisy.” 

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Freelance journalist Yessenia Funes explained then how the term defied “the patriarchy” and served a progressive purpose.

“Latinx is more than a middle finger to the patriarchy; it’s a word that demands inclusion, an addition to the lexicon that makes an unfamiliar person ask, ‘What’s that?'” Funes wrote.

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