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Newly-Elected Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders Bans the Word ‘Latinx’

On her first day as Governor of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a series of executive orders to more effectively establish her administration and the changes they intend to make. Among those executive orders is one banning the word “Latinx” from all government buildings.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders comes out swinging

According to the executive order, banning Latinx from government buildings is an attempt to “respect the Latino community by eliminating culturally insensitive words from official use in government.” Sanders characterizes the word Latinx as “ethnically insensitive” and “pejorative.”

The order then goes on to explain, “According to Pew Research, only three percent of American Latinos and Hispanics use the word ‘Latinx’ to describe themselves.”

The order also cites the Real Academia Española, a “Madrid-based institution which governs the Spanish language.”

The institution has rejected the use of Latinx “as an alternative to ‘o’ and ‘a’ in Spanish.”

Additionally, Sanders’ executive order doesn’t just apply to future government documents. The governor is directing “all state offices, departments, and agencies” to “revise all existing written materials” within 60 days of her signing the order.

Many Latinos are in support:

Many Latinos believe the word Latinx traces back to white members of the LGBTQ+ community. However, the term first rose to prominence in the early aughts, somewhere around 2004.

Some advocates still believe in the future of “Latinx”

Advocates for the usage of Latinx describe it as neutral in terms of gender and ethnicity. Because many Latinos identify themselves with more than one race or ethnicity, the term Latinx works as an umbrella term to categorize the racial backgrounds that comprise Latino identity.

Governor Sanders signed a series of seven executive orders on her first day in office. She also targeted critical race theory and imposed an official freeze on hiring and promoting government employees.

Latinos on both sides of the aisle are weighing in on her decision. Moreover, the reactions from Latinos do not seem to align with any one political ideology. While no right-wing personalities are sad to see Latinx go, a number of leftist Latinos are also against the word.

Still, none of the latter are supporting Sanders’ executive orders, but more so the phasing out of the word entirely. Of course, there are still Latinos who prefer the term Latinx. This applies even more so to younger Latinos looking to revolutionize the Spanish language.

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