Poll Finds Latinx People Don't Like to Be Called Latinx

Comments

1

"Clearly, the progressive media establishment and the Democratic candidates for President have a lot more educating to do."

Right... Bend the world to their view. These old white people know what best for all those brown people.

Better step up the wokesplaining...

2

Are you trying to tell me that Latino's don't like a made up American word that you can't even pronounce in Spanish? Some very woke white folks at Yale worked very hard on that word.
So ungrateful.

3

Shocking that a group of people are resistant to the nonsensical and culture-destroying names that a different group of people want to force upon them.

4

It reminds me of all the people calling Puerto Ricans "Brown" after the hurricane.
68.9% Puerto Ricans self-identified as white Hispanic on the US Census.

The Republicans do not have a monopoly on racism. The racists on the left just have a different way of showing it.

5

No one can offend you without your consent.

6

Just as long as we can keep calling white people ‘crackerx’.

7

Ooh, a weird hot take on race

checks author

Yeah, that's what I expected.

8

Hi Katie,
Interesting. I just found out about that word, Latinx this year. Thought "What the heck?' Reminds me of Manx or a person from the Isle of Man, an island located between mainland Britain and Ireland.

Yeah, it's getting confusing. Yesterday I read a piece by Andrew Sullivan about young women "detransitioning" from being male to back to female. Evidently it too, is a new word. The process is also problematic:

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/11/andrew-sullivan-hard-questions-gender-transitions-for-young.html

9

@7
What's "weird" about reporting that 97% of "Latinx" don't like the term "Latinx"? How is that a "hot take"?

The weirdly offensive thing to do would be to continue to use a label that is rejected by 97% of the people it is applied to.

White progressives wokesplaining to Hispanic people that they are calling themselves the wrong thing is the hot take.

10

The poll is asking people how they self-identify though, not how they identify latin/hispanic/[insert nationality here] people as a group. I could be wrong but I’ve always understood the X as a placeholder for a/o — which they were asked about separately — and not a way that people would identify themselves personally (unless they identified as nonbinary). It’s meant to avoid male-gender as the default for groups of people.

Anyway I fully expect the X to go the way of the even less pronouncable latin@ in a year or 2 before moving on to the next attempt at degenderizing a language that genders everything.

11

I hate the term, for reasons that have nothing to do with gender identity and everything to do with language imperialism. If you’re a Spanish speaker, you’ll immediately understand why it doesn’t work in Spanish. It can’t be pronounced, it breaks the Spanish grammatical rules, and it can’t be used with any gendered noun or adjective. Spanish is a gendered language; English is not. The intention is good, but it’s unwieldy, and frankly obnoxious to impose English language sensibilities onto Spanish speakers. That’s a form of cultural imperialism. Yes - Spanish is/was an imperialist language too, and it eradicated hundreds of indigenous languages and continues to do so. But in the context of Spanish speakers living in an English-language environment, they are a linguistic minority. Of course they resent being told how to speak their own language by people who mostly don’t even speak it themselves.

12

If our concern is to avoid being "extremely problematic due to its imperialist origins," then why the hell are we using terms that begin with "Latin-"?

One of the reasons "Latino/a" replaced "Hispanic" in the 1980s was that the latter excluded people who speak Portuguese. So far so good.

But "Latinx," like Latino and Latina, excludes people who still speak native languages of the Americas. I'm pretty sure there are still a lot more of them than there are gender-fluid people, so why aren't we using a term than includes them?

How do you suppose a native Tzeltal speaker in Chiapas, with a deep Mayan heritage, feels about being called "Latin-anything"?

13

It’s generally a good idea to call people by the name they prefer, imperialistic or not.

14

@6 for the win!
call me anything you want - just don't call me late for dinner!

16

@8 "Detransition" is not a new word. In fact, Katie wrote a long piece about detransitioners in this very publication more than 2 years ago.

17

@15

Does that include French, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic. Aramaic, Hindustani, Gujurati, Kurdish, Romanian, Welsh, Irish, Punjabi, and Manx, boy?

18

Duh.

It's like when they were doing this survey on Hispanic people, and they presumed they were immigrants from other countries.

Dudes: my Latinx or Hispanic relatives didn't move here. They've been here (Cali and Texas) for longer than the US was a country.

They like to be called Citizens. Heroes is acceptable too.

19

17 do the speakers of those languages also not understand sarcasm?

20

It's a good thing there aren't any real problems in the world so we can waste lots of time on something like this.

21

@19

They understand tact and irony.

22

21 but no sarcasm tho

24

Why are you so patronizing and oblivious to the Latino community Kate? There is literally hard evidence in front of you that states we (Latinos) don’t like to be called Latinx and yet you insist on using it? You’re a typical self-righteous white woman who thinks you know better than us. What a crap article.

-a proud LATINO

25

@23

I thought you were against cancel culture.

28

@25 When absurd policy chains reality, it's easy to blur the lines of an ambiguous dog whistle with a jest in context. It's also good clickbait, like this article, and that in and of itself makes it harmful when it softens the reality for those who would enable it by passivity and semantics.

29

@27** (numbers are Al Bhed to me basically)

asdfuiahfaifhuruighureiegiaernaiunbrea dang ol uoergoijgeoijasdfsdfag

30

@11, the actual Spanish grammarians who are proponents of "latinx" are pushing for a whole new neutral case to go along with it. So, yes, the word latinx makes no sense in current Spanish, but if it actually caught on it would have its own set of conjugations. In addition to the issues with non-binary people, a neutral case would also fix a lot of the other sexist grammar issues (i.e. using masculine for mixed groups) that Spanish-speaking feminists have been grousing about for decades.

That said, it's way early days on this change in the language, and I tend to agree that it's a little tacky for non-Spanish speaking journalists and such to be using it when it really isn't part of the language in any meaningful way as of yet. Hopefully someday though!

31

Remember when Esperanto made the rounds in news circles?

The nazis oppressed them too.

Gonna actively ban me for a month again for pointing out that furniture is female?

Making these languages gender-neutral would go miles regarding ease of use, however.

32

“Non-binary people“

Not a real thing.

33

@32

I'll bite.

Any regional and socioeconomic gender role notwithstanding based on arbitrarily selected sexual dimorphism,

the intersex,or those born with ambiguous or multiple primary or secondary sexual characteristics, aka hermaphrodites, must either select a gender or monolithic sex-based identity and behavior and thought patterning based on different reproductive appendages and hormones, or else construct an independent self.

For most people contained by their most base and childish coping mechanisms of raw instinct, they will never see outside a single ego or into a mind and essence unconstrained in potential by the perspectives and limited physical senses of the structural vessel, such that you are capable of tangible abstract thought.

This makes the idea of being a self without an identity much more difficult, but is also the key to being truly free to make choices as an individual, irrespective of conditioning, and to accept no limitations insofar as the common good and right of all to pursue happiness and accept no limitations in their search for personal honesty and truth.

Who you are is what you do with what you have, not your vessel itself. If you are constrained by your mirror image you will always be a slave to the works of the flesh and the dark side of the force.

34

Some humans are born with 12 fingers.

Question: how many fingers do humans have?

35

@34 Usually, as many as they need.

Ever been to the VA?

36

33 you mean I’ll actually have sex?

Sign me up.

37

@36

Sure. Your current tier of service options are: self, quickened robotic constructs, and inorganic implements. To reach higher service tiers, with any hope of mutual consent with a fellow organic meatbag, you must put your faith in my herpes-curing CBD cream and accept join my pyramid scheme. Are you a faithful man? Can Rock and Roll save your soul?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwClLPuiuN8

38

I am reminded of the time I asked my new boyfriend whether he preferred to be called "Black" or "African-American". He looked at me and said "I prefer to be called John" (that was his name). Lesson learned? People do not like to be lumped together in labeled groups regardless of who assigned the label.

39

Resistance is futile.

https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Bible-Verses-About-Flesh/

40

@39

It's not about enforcing strict punitive Roman concepts of universal morality based on Paul's accounts of the fruits of the flesh vs. spirit, but instead respecting somebody else for who they are, instead of who you think they are based on what they look like. This entire body of work and thought is encompassed by far more advanced thinkers in gender studies than myself. But I'm just sharing my one insular perspective, insofar as I can see it without being blinded by my biology (at least that's my self-assured hypnosis).

And I think showing respect for the common good and another's boundaries allows them be tested much more substantively and meaningfully and enjoyably than simply satiating a drug-like addiction to and internal chemical and physical release and energy transfer.

42

First and foremost, what @13 said, without many exceptions. It's as simple as learning to pronounce someone's name correctly.

Also, just an outsider observation, but I never mistook Latinx as a substitute for Latin(o/a), or Hispanic (which I don't think I've heard in years), but rather an indication of progressive/leftist/young/queer etc.

43

@41

One individual's wokesplain is another's red pill.

44

I's be saysin it once, and I's be saysin it twice, and I's be saysin it again.

One individual's wokesplaining is another's "red-pilling."

That's a joke, spawn!

45

An example of the gender police making everything about them. It's really dumb when the Seattle Times and others try and re-label a whole population of people based on the fact that 0.00001% of them think gender is "icky".

46

It's funny that most of these new labels come from white people.

47

@46 Well, some of them do, I'll give you that. But:

"Black" was an objection to "Negro," and it didn't come from white people. "African American" was an objection to "black," and it didn't come from white people. Neither "Latino" nor "Latina" came from white people, who were entirely content with "Hispanic." "Native American" and "First Peoples" didn't come from white people, who had no problem with "Indian."

And we've got a lot to puzzle out if we want to shine a light on how "Wops" became "Italian-Americans," and what it means to be "white" to begin with.

48

Latinx doesn't work because you can't say it in Spanish (la-teen-eh-kees?), the gender neutral term in Spanish itself is "Latine" but I've heard some have a problem with it since it technically would refer to "either male or female" as opposed to "any gender" and this difference seems less subtle if you are NB.

I suspect most people answering that poll just have never heard Latinx, can't think of how you'd say it in Spanish, and have other things to worry about moreso than anyone hating it.

@robotslave

The problem is that Latin America is an ethnically and linguistically and racially diverse region, but Americans usually just want a word to mean "brown people who come from places where they speak Spanish" so they don't have really clear categories. Whereas in Latin American countries themselves, people are indigenous (from various groups/languages) and of all races etc. Neither Latino nor Hispanic has anything to do with the color of your skin or the language you speak. Hispanic refers to places that the Spanish colonized, but loads of people there speak languages other than Spanish. It doesn't work for many countries in Latin America because they were never colonized by the Spanish. Latino refers to people from Latin America regardless of ethnicity or language, hence why it works for people for whom Hispanic does not. As such, Hispanic should include Texans and Californians of all races though Latinos should not refer to anyone in those states regardless. In Texas, there's also the word Tejano to refer to people who have lived in Texas since back when it was under Mexican rule- they are usually brown, often have Spanish names and speak Spanish, and their families have been living north of the rio grande since before any white people came to Texas so, the whole thing gets complicated. This all before we get into "race"- none of these words refer to race, it's not even a legal category, hence why we have white and then white not hispanic to differentiate. Because what race are Hispanic people or Latino people? White, Black, Indigenous, Mixed, any of the above? Is Fujimori Hispanic? etc

It's almost like regional/linguistic classifications change with time and race is a social construct. What to do?

49

@48 I think there's a larger problem in your assumption that one can fairly describe all inhabitants of the non-north Americas as "Latin American" to begin with. The prefix "Latin-" is inescapably loaded; it implies acquiescence to (if not always identification with) a European heritage.

That heritage simply does not exist in substantial geographic regions of the Americas today, or in migrant populations throughout the diaspora. Many migrant farm workers in the US today do not speak Spanish, nor Portuguese, nor any other European-derived language. They are not, in any sense, Latinate.

This idea, that "Latin-anything" ought to apply to peoples who have no ties to indo-European languages or heritage, should be on its face offensive.

I do not understand how on earth you have managed to convince yourself that "Latin" somehow indicates a sort of generic origin in the Americas, and does not in any way refer to the legacy of Rome. That's bonkers, Emma.

Our current discourse is impoverished. We do not have a good inclusive term yet for people descended from the natives of the Americas. In the US, "Native American" is understood to describe only descendants of North American populations, which is ridiculous, but the historical baggage attached to the term can't just be magicked away.

We can do better, and we should. Don't you think?

I realize I'm not offering any helpful suggestions for a new nomenclature here, but then maybe it might be better if someone other than a north American descendant of Europeans came up with the new terms, you know?

50

We could simply assign every person a 7-digit designator based on their genetic haplotype, but even this neutral system would be gamed by our species of tailless apes resisting all attempts to evolve. In the service of a system of "everyone is equal yet should not be viewed uniformly," we could adopt a digital designation based on our intestinal flora: eg. this person can digest dairy but not kelp. A significant but intimately non-judgmental distinction unlike IQ, Gattaca-like robustness, sexual desirability, etc.

51

97% prefer "anything" else? Sloppy wording by Ms H.

52

@robotslave, FWIW I'm not claiming something should or shouldn't be this way, I'm just saying what these words mean. Yes they are English words created and used by culturally hegemonic Europeans to describe lands according to how they were colonized, but most of our identifying words are. Indians (from India) did not call themselves Indians nor their place India before the British did. Middle Eastern, same. The Orient, the East, The West- these words are all Euro centered.

It's just a fact that "Latin America" refers to lands that were colonized by the Spanish and the Portuguese and they include a very diverse range of ethnicities, races, and languages. "Latino" is used to name people from Latin America. "Hispanic" is used to name people from predominantly Spanish (former colonies of Spain) people from Latin America- most of those people speak Spanish but certainly not all of them as indigenous languages are very common once you leave the cities. And people in any of these categories may be of any race, hence why neither of these words "Latino" nor "Hispanic" appear on a census.

Also this isn't what I've convinced myself, robot, this is what these words mean.

53

I was referring to your post @12 which- from my interpretation- indicated that you thought Latino and Hispanic meant the same thing as one had replaced another and then accounted for the language distinctions.

Regardless of how we feel about words being Euro-centric in origin and problematic because they apply labels of an other that do not encompass the reality of the people there, your description (as I interpreted it) of what Latino and Hispanic mean are not correct.

Latino refers to people from Latin America. And yes, it's called Latin America because the countries that have Latin languages (Romance languages as you point out) colonized that region. Hispanic refers to people from Spanish speaking parts of the world, which in Latin America means former Spanish colonies.

Therefore, you can be Latino without being Hispanic, but you cannot be Hispanic without being Latino (unless you are from Spain).

None of these descriptions refers to an individual person's language, ethnicity or race. There are white, black, indigenous, asian, etc Latinos and Hispanic people. This is why, on American legal forms (such as the census) neither Latino nor Hispanic are available as racial categories- they are not. A person from these regions may be of any race. If you've ever had to help the public fill out forms that require this distinction, you will find that Latino and Hispanic people are frequently themselves confounded by their choices- there is only white, black, indigenous, asian, etc to choose from. While black, white and indigenous Latinos find their "category" pretty easily, the majority of immigrants and descendants of immigrants from these regions in the US are mixed- they are of both white and indigenous ethnicity. This has prompted the census and most official documents to include the category: white (not hispanic), white (hispanic). This is problematic for a whole slew of reasons, but that's how it currently is.

And, as I tried to point out, if you apply these words according to these definitions, then you will run into problems in the Southwestern United States which, by definition, should be considered part of Hispanic Latin America. Many of the people living there, in fact, consider themselves that way. Tejanos are people who came to Texas when it was still a Spanish colony or while it was still part of Mexico after independence. They are a separate voting bloc in Texas, have distinct culture from other Hispanic people in Texas who are mostly descendent of immigrants after Texas became a part of the US. Likewise, there are indigenous people who consider themselves a tribal identity rather than a national one, and some of those tribes are Texan in origin, others are Mexican or Central American and they are the descendants of immigrants.

So while I agree the whole thing is muddled and confused and came about due to cultural hegemony and imperialism, that doesn't change the fact that these words have meanings. Likewise meanings of words change. But if we are going to start getting very nit-picky about it, then we'll deconstruct the entire thing and we'll have no ethnic nor regional descriptions that accurately describe any peoples- as race itself is a social construct and falls apart when you examine it closely and using descriptors that refer to nations cannot accurately account for indigenous nations nor the people placed in these categories under imperialism but do not identify with them.

This is not a problem unique to Latin America (as I tried to point out both with the Texan and Indian examples)- it is literally a problem all around the world, and in the end you come down to the question of whether or not it's useful to describe people according to race and ethnicity at all and how you go about doing it.

I think it's probably smart to ask most people themselves, and most people- anywhere you go in the world- usually have other things to think about. They usually have a language that matters among themselves and then that they use in a general sense in the greater world. For example, Indians are content to be referred to generally as being from India, but within Indian culture itself, it matters quite a bit if you are actually Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil, etc. But for the most part, everyone understands that this clumsy historically-inaccurate umbrella term "Indian" is a useful handle to describe people from this one nation on the subcontinent, despite the fact that this designation is a product of British imperialism- Indians did not think of themselves as Indians in India before the British called them that.

So that's why I said, what are we to do about it? Language changes with time, it's a slow process and must be organic. It's unlikely that whatever we choose now is going to have a longer shelf life than anything else. Identities with deeper roots tend to persist- you trace the roots of Latin back to the Romans of course, exactly despite that being an empire from centuries ago. It's indigenous movements leading the fight against capitalism and climate change and imperialism right now throughout Latin America- those deeper identities persist despite the fact that we know what we mean when we say "indigenous people in Latin America". Etc.

54

@24: An older Crackerx here. Reading the article I found myself wondering exactly the same thing. It struck me as very odd and I am not sure if the author was trying to be wry or ironic, or perhaps she is just obtuse, or maybe intentionally offensive. Still confused.

55

So conservatives believe that Spanish speakers in the U.S. should speak English, and progressives believe that Spanish speakers in the U.S. should speak Woke English.

56

This headline reads like an Onion piece making fun of condescending white lefties but, what a shock, it’s totally real. I mean if you’re some elitist white lady like Katie Herzog telling folks who CHOOSE to identify with the Hispanic label that “someone should probably tell them about the term’s imperialist origins”, you’ve kinda shown your hand as the real imperialist/racist/straight up jerk in the room. This story also kinda reveals the reality that “Latinx” is just an abstraction created by a tiny group of transgender-obsessed activists who shouldn’t be telling a massive ethnic group how they should verbally identify themselves. You wanna go by Latinx, whatever; again THEIR CHOICE. But if this label or language doesn't apply to you don’t start telling other Spanish-speaking people how they should refer to themselves. That’s not up to you.

57

It's incredibly amusing how many people who have never spoken - let alone studied - a romance language are chiming in on this.

Many Indo-European languages - not just the Romance languages - are gendered. Why, it's almost as if people tens of thousands of years ago did not subscribe to woke notions of gender identity!

McDonald's Brazilian subsidiary tried to hop on the woke language train on Twitter, and floated "amigX" to see if that worked with Lusophones.

Not so much. Brazilian feedback was "fuck you, and stop trying to fuck with perfectly unbroken Portuguese, dickheads".

What hath wokeness wrought?