A sizeable plurality of Hispanics has rejected the Democratic Party over its use of the genderless term “Latinx,” according to a new survey.
Not only is the use of the term not effective outreach to the Hispanic community, but it simply turns off a large portion of Hispanic voters, a Democratic polling firm, Bendixen & Amandi International, has found, according to Politico.
According to the survey, just 2 percent of respondents said they use the word to self-identify; 30 percent said they are less likely to support any politician or political organization that pushes or uses the term.
When they were asked to identify terms they use to describe their ethnicity, 68 percent said “Hispanic,” while 21 percent chose “Latina/Latino,” and 8 percent chose another answer. Two percent chose “Latinx” and 1 percent did not answer.
According to Politico, the controversy stems from the Spanish language’s assignment of masculine or feminine gender to nouns and the Democratic Party’s progressive faction’s aim to promote a genderless society. While the Spanish language recognizes Latino for males and Latina for females, there is no word in the language that ends with an “x” like Latinx, leaving Spanish-speaking Hispanics confused and stumbling over how to pronounce the term.
The latest survey is not the first to find use of the term problematic for Democrats.
A Pew Research survey from last year found that less than one-quarter (23 percent) of Hispanics had ever heard of the term Latinx and just 3 percent used it. And over the summer, a Gallup poll found similar results, noting just 4 percent of Hispanics prefer the term.
But the bigger issue for Democrats isn’t the low adoption rate but the number of Hispanics who are offended by the term.
“Does the use of the term LatinX to describe the Hispanic or Latina(o) community bother or offend you?” the survey asked; 40 percent said yes, 57 percent said no, and 3 percent either did not know or had no answer. Of the ‘yes’ responses, one-in-five (20 percent) said the term bothered them quite a bit, with 11 percent saying it bothered them somewhat and 9 percent saying it bothered them a little bit.
Meanwhile, 30 percent of respondents noted they were not as likely to support a political organization or politician who uses the term, while 15 percent said they were more likely to support them. Nearly half — 49 percent — said the term made no difference and 6 percent did not respond.
“Those aren’t landslide results to either question, but in a politically divided country where countless local, state, and federal elections are decided by single-digit margins, one single word offending 40 percent of a large population — not to mention the 30 percent who said they’re less likely to vote for someone who uses it — is a warning sign for Democrats,” Mediaite noted in response to the results.
In an interview with Politico regarding the survey’s results, Fernand Amandi noted: “Why are we using a word that is preferred by only 2 percent, but offends as many as 40 percent of those voters we want to win?”
Some Hispanic Democrats, however, have been much less charitable in describing use of the word, including Rep. Reuben Gallego of Arizona, who has noted on social media he does not allow his staff to use the term.
“When Latino politicos use the term it is largely to appease white rich progressives who think that is the term we used,” he noted on Twitter. “It is a vicious circle of confirmation bias.”
To be clear my office is not allowed to use “Latinx” in official communications.
When Latino politicos use the term it is largely to appease white rich progressives who think that is the term we use. It is a vicious circle of confirmation bias. https://t.co/kMty6q7UQn
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) December 6, 2021
“White liberals who insist on using the made-up term ‘Latinx’ are the real racists,” added Josh Mandel, a Trump-supporting two-tour former U.S. Marine who is running for retiring Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) seat next year.
White liberals who insist on using the made-up term “Latinx” are the real racists.
— Josh Mandel (@JoshMandelOhio) December 6, 2021
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