I share Nicholas Kristof’s concerns about the ongoing efforts by many progressives to revise common language and am glad that he highlighted the many liberals, like me, who are equally concerned (“Inclusive or Alienating? The Language Wars Go On”). It is not just people on the right who question the pragmatism and ethics of such efforts.
The term “Latinx” is particularly problematic, not just because it is used by only 3 percent of Hispanics — and is unpronounceable in Spanish — but because it is an attempt by a privileged few in positions of professional, political and cultural power to impose their will against the overwhelming majority, including those whom the term is meant to represent.
This is linguistic colonialism pure and simple.
Note: This post was published as a letter to the editor in The New York Times
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