Can We Please Stop Using ‘Latinx’? Thanx.
Gender inclusivity is important, but so is acknowledging our indigenous origins
I recently came across a video about the Chicano Moratorium March of August 29, 1970. In case you’ve never heard of it, the march was a watershed moment in the Chicano Movement, in which the Los Angeles Police met a peaceful Chicana-Chicano-led protest against the Vietnam War with extreme violence. The ensuing police riot claimed three lives, most notably that of Journalist Ruben Salazar. It remains an important chapter in Chicana-Chicano history. Yet the video claims the Chicano Moratorium “sparked a movement in defense of Latinx lives.”
I have to admit, this bizarre rewriting of Chicana-Chicano history caught me by surprise. While it may be in vogue to adopt trendy terms like “Latinx” in an attempt to be more inclusive, this video in effect erases a part of history that many consider very important. I am not alone in feeling this way. The participants in the Chicano Moratorium most certainly did not identify as “Latinx,” and no amount of historical revisionism is going to change that.
After watching the video, I had many questions. Why did its producers feel entitled to effectively erase an identity that so many fought to gain respect for? Why did they feel the need to retroactively assign an identity to people who had never adopted it? But mainly, I wondered why the promoters of the term “Latinx” felt the need to cling to such a Eurocentric/anti-indigenous identity in the first place.
The “x” in Latinx is an attempt to un-gender the term Latino, yet it still pays deference to a Eurocentric ideology that actively denies the indigenous and African heritage of the people it claims to represent. If one is serious about non-gendered terminology, why cling to a European language as the basis of one’s identity? Why not simply adopt an indigenous term? Wouldn’t this be more reflective of our cultural inheritance as native people?