White Progressives, Enough With 'Latinx'

Giancarlo Sopo says it's actually offensive to many Latinos
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2019 2:10 PM CDT
White Progressives, Enough With 'Latinx'
Members of the Ector Junior High Mariachi Band perform while riding on a float Saturday, May 3, 2014 during the Cinco de Mayo parade on Crane Avenue in Odessa, Texas.   (AP Photo/Odessa American, Edyta Blaszczyk)

"Latinos" and "Hispanics"? OK. "Latinx?" We'll pass. That's pretty much what Giancarlo Sopo argues in USA Today about an increasingly popular progressive term. "What began in the 2000s among activists has now gained currency among marketers, media personalities and progressives," he writes. "The intentions behind 'Latinx' may be benign, but as the son of immigrants who grew up in a community with 'English-only' ordinances, I am among the many Americans who consider it an absurd Anglicization of a language that generations struggled to conserve." He notes that for progressives, the word "fixes" the gender issue in Spanish that seems to demote women and exclude people who don't identify as female or male.

Even Sen. Elizabeth Warren used the term "Latinx families" to mark Hispanic Heritage Month on Facebook. But for many Latinos who speak Spanish at home and treasure family traditions and memories in Spanish, Sopo says, the term is actually offensive. "Taken to its logical conclusion, a push for gender-neutral Spanish nouns requires dismantling a language spoken by 572 million people across the world," he writes. "...Ultimately, what Hispanic Americans who take pride in our heritage see in 'Latinx' is progressive preening attempting to solve a nonexistent problem." While he respects "gender-nonconforming Americans," he says "the last thing" Latinos need is "progressives 'wokesplaining' how to speak Spanish." (More Latinos stories.)

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