LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (TND) — One of the first actions newly sworn-in Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders made was to prohibit the use of the term “Latinx” throughout the state’s government.
Agencies in the state will have 60 days to replace the terms “Latinx, latinx, Latinxs, and latinxs” within existing official government documents with “Hispanics, Latino, Latinos, Latina, or Latinas.”
The newly sworn-in governor justified the move to ban the term by citing a Pew Research study that indicated only 3% of American Hispanics use the word to describe themselves.
In recent years, the term “Latinx” has been promoted by some as a gender-neutral alternative to the Spanish gender-specific words Latino or Latina.
The executive order from Huckabee-Sanders also pointed to the Real Academia Española, a Madrid-based institution that works to ensure the stability of the Spanish language.
“Stop using ‘Latinx’ if you really want to be inclusive.” – Professor Melissa K. Ochoa, St. Louis University, September 9, 2022
The order indicated the group has “officially rejected” the use of “x” as an alternative to “o” or “a” when using the term Latino or Latina.
“Ethnically insensitive and pejorative language has no place in official government documents or government employee titles,” Gov. Huckabee-Sanders’s executive order stated.
“The government has a responsibility to respect its citizens and use ethnically appropriate language, particularly when referring to ethnic minorities.”