Legislation has been introduced in the Senate to ban federal employees and agencies from using the term “Latinx” in their official communications.
The legislation is sponsored by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and co-sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), both of whom are “proud Hispanic Americans” as they described it in the press release about the bill.
Known as the Respect for Hispanic Americans Act (S. 2310), the bill is short and concise. It states, “The head of an agency and any employee of the agency may not use the term ‘Latinx’ in any official communication or form of the agency.”
Cruz said in a statement about the legislation, “Hispanic Americans overwhelmingly oppose the term ‘Latinx,’ and I want to make sure our government does not bow to woke activists in our federal departments or agencies by insisting on ridiculous terminology like this. It has no place in official government communication, and I’m proud to work with Sen. Rubio to keep it out.”
Rubio added, “Hispanic Americans don’t need fabricated woke terminology imposed on us. The term ‘Latinx’ has no place in our federal agency’s official communication as it’s a degradation tossed around by progressive elites.”
What is “Latinx”?
According to CNN, “‘Latinx’ has emerged as an inclusive term to refer to people of Latin American descent, encompassing those who don’t identify as male or female or who don’t want to be identified by their gender. It’s been used by journalists, politicians, corporations, colleges and universities. In 2018, it even made it to the dictionary.”
Pew Research Center states, “Latinx is a gender-neutral or nonbinary term used to describe people who are of or relate to Latin American origin or descent. It has emerged as a pan-ethnic alternative to Latino, Latina and Hispanic in recent years.”
Merriam-Webster states, “Latinx was originally formed in the early aughts as a word for those of Latin American descent who do not identify as being of the male or female gender or who simply don’t want to be identified by gender.” It also notes that it would probably be pronounced “something like \luh-TEE-neks\.”
What Do Hispanic Americans Think of the Term?
Apparently, Cruz is correct in saying that Hispanic Americans aren’t fond of the term.
In a 2021 article titled, Many Latinos say ‘Latinx’ offends or bothers them. Here’s why., NBC News wrote, “…recent national surveys of Hispanics/Latinos show that the term Latinx is highly unpopular. Influential media and advocacy groups have started dropping the term or even arguing against its use to avoid offending those who dislike it. It might have been intended to be more inclusive, but it actually can feel exclusionary to everyday people.”
A 2020 Pew Research Center study found that about one in four Hispanic Americans surveyed have heard of the term but only 3% actually use it. 65% said it should not be used; 55% of those were women and 77% were men.
In contrast to this, another Pew Research Center study from 2020 found that the number of lawmakers in Congress using the term “Latinx” had increased substantially between the 114th and 116th sessions of Congress. The number of Democrats using the term went from 6% in the 114th Congress to 47% in the 116th. Among Republicans, the figures were basically flat and sharply lower at just 1% of lawmakers.
The study did note, however, that despite the sharp increase in the use of the term among lawmakers, there was not a corresponding decrease in their use of the terms “Hispanic,” “Latino,” and “Latina.”
Do People Get Offended Too Easily?
Perhaps Americans in general are growing tired of the constant political correctness that tries to appease everyone at all times that is so pervasive in the country today.
Another Pew Research Center study from 2016 found that Americans think that people are too easily offended nowadays.
59% of respondents said, “Too many people are too easily offended these days over language.” Independents (68%) and Republicans (78%) were the most likely to have this position; only 37% of Democrats surveyed concurred.
Also, Americans are more likely to say that people get offended too easily when compared to other countries. Pew Research Center published a 2021 report which showed that 57% of Americans agreed that people get offended too easily, but only 53% agreed in the U.K., 52% in France, and 45% in Germany.