Rich Lowry: The Failure of the ‘Latinx’ Project

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What the elite of progressive culture want they usually get. Single-sex bathrooms turn overnight into mixed or single-sex bathrooms? Do. Illegal immigrants become undocumented? But of course.

So when it was decided in the halls of popular opinion that the term “Latino” would be withdrawn in favor of “Latinx”, one could have forgiven oneself that this hideous neologism was going, as so many ‘others in American life, disappear. of a marginal cause to be integrated early enough.

But a funny thing happened on the path to Latinx ancestry – Latinos rejected the term, while a big GOP shift among those voters highlighted the dangers of an authoritarian cultural policy. for Democrats.

Latinx may end up being a failed waking experiment, showing the vast divide between the politics and identity obsessed progressives who talk to each other seriously in seminar rooms and on social media and the Hispanics they claim to speak for. .

Latinx is a project cut from the same fabric of the endless extension of LGBTQ, which, at the time of this writing, is now rendered more correctly and comprehensively as LGBTQQIP2SAA.

The alleged problem that Latinx was invented for is that Spanish has gender names. This means that using the Latin masculine as an adjective to describe men and women of Latin American descent, not to mention transgender and non-binary people, is meant to be exclusive, hateful, and downright dangerous. As a manual on terminology written by a Princeton scholar explains, “by default the male gender promotes interpersonal violence against women and non-binary individuals.”

Latinx was born from the ashes of its predecessor neologism Latin @, an attempt to merge -o at the end of Latino and -a at the end of Latina. But no one knew how to pronounce the word.

He was deemed insufficiently awake because the “o” was supposed to graphically dominate the “a” (yes, that’s what some people think).

And it has created confusion on social media where the at sign is used to tag someone.

Enter Latinx, which is only slightly less ridiculous.

As The Daily Wire’s Giancarlo Sopo, who has led an individual crusade against the rise of the term, points out, Latinx is incomprehensible to any Spanish speaker without some knowledge of English.

Most Spanish speakers don’t think there is anything hopelessly flawed in their language, or that Spanish grammar is a proto-hate crime. The Real Academia Espanola, the official Spanish institution responsible for maintaining the integrity of the language, has spoken out against appendix -x.

In the real world, “Latinx” polls even worse than Joe Biden. A Politico poll found that only 2% of Hispanics prefer the term, while 68% opt for Hispanics and 21% for Latinos or Latinas. The term is considered offensive by 40% of those polled, and 30% said they were less likely to support a politician or group who used it.

Representative Ruben Gallego, an Arizona Democrat, tweeted in reaction to the poll that he was banning his staff from using Latinx in official communications. “When Latino politicians use the term, it is largely to appease wealthy white progressives who think this is the term we are using,” he wrote. “It’s a vicious cycle of confirmation bias.”

Yet elite media and other institutions sensitive to progressive influence, as well as many elected Democrats, dutifully honored the mandate. It is one thing if an individual prefers to be called Latinx (or, even more avant-garde Latina / o / x or Xicanx), it is quite another to apply the term to a large group of people who have no no interest in being called a name that makes no sense to them.

The setback is an encouraging sign of the limits of the cultural power of elites and the lack of interest of most Latinos in being pawns in the increasingly tense and obscure progressive politics of perpetual victimology.

Rich Lowry is editor of the National Review.

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