If you’ve seen the term “Latinx” popping up in a vast amount of media coverage over the last few years but have rarely heard it uttered by any actual Hispanic people in real life, that’s because the people to whom it refers don’t really use it, don’t identify with it, and a lot of them find it downright insulting.
As Politico reports, while Democrats have expended a lot of energy trying to find gender-neutral ways to address Latin voters, a new poll Miami-based Democratic consulting firm Bendixen & Amandi International—which specializes in Latino outreach—strongly indicates that they should not have bothered.
Just 2 percent of respondents refer to themselves as Latinx, a term that’s gained ground among far-left activists and academics but which has apparently garnered few fans elsewhere. Of those polled, 68 percent call themselves “Hispanic,” while for 21 percent “Latino” or “Latina” is still the phrase that pays.
Even worse for Dems, 40 percent of those surveyed say they find the Latinx label to be offensive in one way or another, and 30 percent say that they’d actually be less inclined to vote for anyone who hurls the trendy sobriquet at them.
The results, pollster Fernand Amandi says, illustrates that Democrats are experiencing a failure to communicate with a large portion of their base—although the Hispanic vote still did a lot of the heavy lifting when it came to getting President Joe Biden into office.
“The numbers show that using Latinx is a violation of the political Hippocratic Oath, which is to first do no political harm,” Amandi tells Politico. “Why are we using a word that is preferred by only 2 percent, but offends as many as 40 percent of those we want to win?”
The term is an alternative to “Hispanic,” which for some has negative ties to Spanish colonization, and avoids referring to an entire group of people with the masculine “O” in “Latino.” But Spanish words don’t end in the letter “X”—pronounced “eh-kees”—and many Spanish speakers say “Latinx” can be a hell of a tongue-twister when said in their mother tongue.
Jason Miyares, the Republican Attorney General-elect of Virginia—who will be the first Hispanic ever to hold the office there—concurs with respondents who find the term off-putting, while shoveling some nonsense phraseology of his own.
“By insisting on using the incorrect term Latinx, progressives are engaging in a type of cultural Marxism, a recast of societal norms,” he tells Politico. “Latinos don’t use the term—only upper educated white liberals who hardly interact with the Latino community. I believe that every time they use the word Latinx, they lose another Latino vote.”
If that sounded like a lot of hot buffoonery, the term Latinx can be traced back to Latin America and Latin American Americans. Wikipedia says it first appeared online around 2004 and was used “in a Puerto Rican psychological periodical to challenge the gender binaries encoded in the Spanish language.”
Still, a poll from August, 2020, had already warned Dems that few voters favor the term, but some in the party seem wedded to the idea that winning is for other people.
Democratic strategist and former Bernie Sanders advisor Chuck Rocha believes it’s “overblown to say the word is the reason Republicans made inroads. The only reason they made inroads is they actually started communicating and talking to Latinos, who they just never took the time to talk to in years past.”
That’s a pretty big “only reason,” but the poll does show that 57 percent who answered are not “bothered or offended” by the term, while just 20 percent were bothered “a lot,” and 49 percent said they don’t care either way.
Univision founder Joaquin Blaya tells Politico that the main problem with the newish word is that it’s just “too weird. It’s dumb. It’s foreign. It’s not Spanish.”
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