Arkansas has a lot of pressing issues. For instance, in a report conducted by Scholaroo, it was ranked as the worst state in terms of health recently. It is also struggling with affordability and overall quality of life for its residents.
However, as Sarah Huckabee Sanders steps into her role as governor of Arkansas, she decided to take a jab at inclusive language.
“The people of Arkansas, in their vast wisdom, have entrusted a new generation to lead. This is our moment. This is our opportunity,” Huckabee Sanders said shortly after she was sworn in.
As though there aren’t more important things to prioritize, she went ahead and banned the word “Latinx” — on her very first day as governor.
Naturally, people have some thoughts about this.
Do I think my community struggles with the term LATINX? Yup.
Do they struggle more with fear mongering politicians, not being paid a fair amount, inaccessible health care and an immigration system that is pitted against us? A LOT more.
— Astrid Silva (@Astrid_NV) January 11, 2023
Arkansas has fifth highest poverty rate in nation, but this is what Sarah Huckabee Sanders chooses to do on first day in office: bans use of term “Latinx” by state officials. https://t.co/Ew2J2qEvdi
— Leslie Proll (@LeslieProll) January 11, 2023
Here we go again-a non-brown person telling brown people how to identify–trusting the feds are looking into this?
— Guadalupe Luna (@gtluna1) January 11, 2023
Huckabee Sanders is a former White House press secretary. She served under the Trump administration.
The gender-neutral term won’t be allowed for official use in state government. This move gets a nod from the “anti-woke” agenda that is currently being pushed around by right-leaning, conservative politicians.
Unpacking Latinx, yet again
Latinx is a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina. As written in a previous BELatina article, we write that for those who don’t want to identify as gender binary, or who are tired of having to assign themselves or others as “he” or “she.” Latinx offers a more neutral way of identifying to their Latin roots. It seems that the term evolved due to a need for a term to replace the more masculine words with a term that is more inclusive. Remember, inclusive language can save lives.
There are differing opinions on when the term came about. Some say it derived from a feminist movement in Brazil, which is considered a Latin American country, in the late 1900s. Others claim the term gained traction when nonbinary scholars started using it in the United States. Whatever the case may be, the gender-neutral word wasn’t manufactured by a pompous millennial over an avocado toast breakfast.
It is of note to state that the word Latinx seems to be getting replaced with Latine as of late.
What else did Huckabee Sanders do?
Yet, Arkansas was recently named the fourth worst state to live in and it surely isn’t because of the use of “Latinx.”