NOVEMBER 6, 2019
Kuttner on TAP
How to Lose the Latinx Vote. The term Latinx is supposedly needed as a gender-neutral word to describe voters of Latino or Latina origin. For the most part, pressure to use Latinx comes from Anglo radicals and liberals, not from Hispanics.
Now, a reputable pollster has confirmed that most Latinos and Latinas—98 percent, to be precise—don’t like the word.
For starters, Latinx violates the architecture of the Spanish language. Spanish solves the gender problem in its own way—using a to indicate female, and o to signal male. You got a problem with that?
Moreover, Spanish seldom uses the letter x. When it does, the x is sometimes pronounced like the Spanish j, with the sound kh, as in the word xeres, meaning sherry; other times it is pronounced like a soft s, as in the famous floating gardens of Xochimilco.
There is also the problem of how to pronounce Latinx. When it first appeared, some people pronounced it la-tinks'; others pronounced it lateen'-ex, rhyming with Kleenex. Apparently, the preferred pronunciation is latin-ex', rhyming with Malcolm X. But there is no way to pronounce it that is consistent with spoken Spanish, which never ends words with the letter x.
Reports indicate that most Hispanic people experience the imposition of this ultra-PC word as culturally ignorant and insulting. Classic gringo.
In the Los Angeles Times, a Hispanic writer noted that outlets that used Latinx found their pages “flooded with negative reactions, with some calling the term ‘ridiculous,’ ‘stupid’ and ‘offensive.’”
Latinx was formally rejected by the Real Academia Española, the official committee of Spanish linguists that preserves the language’s integrity.
Meanwhile, President Trump, who characterized Mexicans as rapists and criminals, stands to lose the Hispanic vote big-time. Unless of course liberals screw that up with cultural condescension. Candidates, take note!
The great Mexican patriot Benito Juárez said, “El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz”: “Peace is respect for the rights of the other.” Latinx fails that test. ~ ROBERT KUTTNER
Robert Kuttner’s new book is The Stakes: 2020 and the Survival of American Democracy.