Puerto Rican Lawmaker Spearheads Bill That Proposes to Ban the Word ‘Latinx’ in Connecticut

Puerto Rican Lawmaker Spearheads Bill That Proposes to Ban the Word “Latinx” in Connecticut belatina latine

Here we go again. The inclusive term, “Latinx,” is being challenged by another group of lawmakers. This time it’s in Connecticut – and it’s being spearheaded by Latine politicians.  

This group of lawmakers in Connecticut is taking a page from Sarah Huckabee Sanders playbook by proposing to remove “Latinx” from official government documents.  

As reported by NBC News, state Rep. Geraldo Reyes Jr. of Waterbury, the chief sponsor of the bill and one of five Hispanic Democrats who are leading this request, said that it is not a Spanish word. He also mentioned how it is only a “woke” term alluding to the “woke agenda” many politicians believe is circling around.  

“I’m of Puerto Rican descent and I find it offensive,” Rep. Reyes Jr. said. 

Reyes Jr. argued that the term “Latino” is supposedly inclusive enough. 

“The Spanish language, which is centuries old, defaults to ‘Latino’ for everybody,” Reyes said according to NBC News. “It’s all-inclusive. They didn’t need to create a word, it already exists.” 

Why is the Spanish-language protected so much?

But everyone who is fluent in the Spanish-language will tell you that it is a gendered language. It’s universal knowledge that words ending in “o” pertain to masculine-based words whereas words ending in “a” are for feminine-based words. Also, words that pertain to groups are often defaulted to masculine-based words because of the sexism laced into the Spanish-language.  

This happens, for example, if you want to describe a group of friends where some are women and some are men. In this case, you’d say “nosotros,” pretty much erasing the presence of women. And all this happens thanks to language.  

It has been said time and time again that our community’s worst enemy sometimes comes from within. Unfortunately, there are some people who refuse to understand anything that falls outside of their comfort zone. As we all may know, there are many people in our community who rely on traditionalist values and try to maintain a “puritan” outlook on their decisions. But what seems to be forgotten is how these values came about.  

Everything from the Spanish-language to the prominence of Christianity derives from our colonizers. It may sound harsh and over the top to state this so blatantly, but that’s the truth. Please note that there is nothing wrong with how many Latine people have embraced this way of life – after all, it was a survival tactic for our people for so long. However, protecting a language that wasn’t even ours in the first place is mindboggling. A lot of people claim that’s the only reason they are against “Latinx” – because it doesn’t appear in any Spanish-language dictionary, including the Real Academia de Espanol. But language is evolutionary. It changes to adjust to the times and to society’s needs.  

What’s next in Connecticut?

So, what’s the issue? Could it be that inclusive language is a way to challenge people’s biases against the queer community? Could that be the real reason behind this? It can’t possibly just be because the “x” at the end isn’t easily pronounced by those who speak the Spanish-language. Another term is making the rounds now though: Latine. This term is set to alleviate any issues with the Spanish-language “linguistic experts.” Or so they say. But only time will tell.  

Perhaps we will confirm if it was truly a linguistic issue or if the refusal to use inclusive language is based on discrimination when “Latine” is put under trial (because it will in due time.) 

As for now, Reyes is expecting to get a hearing for the bill during the current session. Let’s see what ends up happening.  

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