CNN: ‘Latinx’ Ban Is ‘Xenophobic,’ Like Not Using ‘Correct Pronouns’

News & Politics

CNN Tonight’s Thursday panel did not appreciate new Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders issuing an executive order banning the state government from using the term “Latinx” with Democratic strategist Maria Cardona labeling it “xenophobic” and PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Laura Barron-Lopez comparing it to not using someone’s preferred pronouns.

Making the segment even weirder was that all involved, starting with host Laura Coates, acknowledged “Latinx” is not popular, “Maria, I want to get your reaction because this term, “Latinx” is not one that is as prevalent or used or even welcome all the time. Correct?”

Cardona acknowledged this was true and that she doesn’t even prefer the term. Still, “if I am talking to a group of young Latinx who will probably have LGBTQ in that group, they do identify with the term “Latinx.” And I will absolutely use the term “Latinx” because I don’t want to make anyone feel unwanted or rejected.”

Wondering who Sanders thinks she is, Cardona continued, “How dare she make this distinction with the excuse that she’s going to ban it because it’s insensitive. I mean, that, it was so insulting, but if it wasn’t so insulting, it would be laughable. This is coming from the person who worked for Donald Trump, who did everything in his power and his administration’s power to bring tragedy and pain to the Latino community. I’m sorry, I’m going to use it, to the Latinx community.”

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There was some semblance of balance to the panel as former Mitt Romney campaign aide Kevin Madden wondered what the big deal was given the low approval of the term.

Barron-Lopez, who unlike Cardona isn’t supposed to be a partisan, was there to answer Madden, but not before also admitting “Latinx” is profoundly unpopular, “The Gallup poll last year, I thought, was really interesting because it found that when you put Hispanic, Latino, Latinx, and then do you care, like, does it matter? Does it matter got like 57%, which is that Latinos don’t really care, vast majority of them. Of course, the rest of the three Latinx did get the lowest number.”

She then compared not using “Latinx” when someone does prefer the term to “states like Georgia, Herschel Walker was using a lot of anti-LGBTQ, anti-trans, saying, I’m not going to correct pronouns throughout his entire stump speech and he lost Georgia. And you saw a lot of other Republican candidates in statewide races in swing states who use very similar language to Herschel Walker and they also lost.”

Most Latinos do not prefer the term, so using it in state government would be like using the “wrong” pronouns.

Coates then asked if Madden was right and that considering only three percent of Hispanics use the term, “is this really the culture war that she — or the cultural trigger point that she is hoping to achieve some benefit from?”

For not catering to the three percent, Cardona labeled Sanders and her base are “very xenophobic” and “very anti-immigrant. And I believe very anti-Hispanic. Even if there are conservative Hispanics that don’t like the term, I don’t think you should go as far as to then alienate a whole other generation of young Latinos who are living in your state.”

In an alternative universe, demanding the Anglicization of the Spanish language would be considered racist and an act of cultural imperialism.

This segment was sponsored by Sleep Number.

Here is a transcript for the January 12 show:

CNN Tonight

1/12/2023

11:38 PM ET

LAURA COATES: Maria, I want to get your reaction because this term, “Latinx” is not one that is as prevalent or used or even welcome all the time. Correct?

MARIA CARDONA: That is correct. And I actually don’t even use it myself. I don’t really identify with it. But you know what, if I am talking to a group of young Latinx who will probably have LGBTQ in that group, they do identify with the term “Latinx.” And I will absolutely use the term “Latinx” because I don’t want to make anyone feel unwanted or rejected.

And Spanish is a term that is very — that is gendered and “Latino” and “Latina” are gendered terms. So, I understand why young people in the Latino community that are LGBTQ want to use it, and I am all for that. How dare she make this distinction with the excuse that she’s going to ban it because it’s insensitive. I mean, that, it was so insulting, but if it wasn’t so insulting, it would be laughable. This is coming from the person who worked for Donald Trump, who did everything in his power and his administration’s power to bring tragedy and pain to the Latino community. I’m sorry, I’m going to use it, to the Latinx community.

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ: The Gallup poll last year, I thought, was really interesting because it found that when you put Hispanic, Latino, Latinx, and then do you care, like, does it matter? Does it matter got like 57%, which is that Latinos don’t really care, vast majority of them. Of course, the rest of the three Latinx did get the lowest number. I think, yes, this is — you know, Sarah Huckabee Sanders trying to play to her base. It’s something that Republican voters like. We saw — but in a state that is a swing state and republic — and states like Georgia, Herschel Walker was using a lot of anti-LGBTQ, anti-trans, saying, I’m not going to correct pronouns throughout his entire stump speech and he lost Georgia.

And you saw a lot of other Republican candidates in statewide races in swing states who use very similar language to Herschel Walker and they also lost.

COATES: We do have — you mentioned Gallup. There was a Pew research study as well that found just 3% of U.S. Hispanics use the term “Latinx” but young Hispanic women among the most likely to use it, but Your point is certainly well taken, Kevin, and Maria, on that point, I mean, again, I look at this, if the Gallup or the Pew or representative in some way, you think about this, is this really the culture war that she — or the cultural trigger point that she is hoping to achieve some benefit from?

CARDONA: Well again, I agree with Kevin. She’s doing it for her own base. But I think what it describes or what it proves is that her base or at least what she’s doing is very xenophobic. It’s very anti-immigrant. And I believe very anti-Hispanic. Even if there are conservative Hispanics that don’t like the term, I don’t think you should go as far as to then alienate a whole other generation of young Latinos who are living in your state. Why would you do that?

Arkansas has seen 162% growth in the Hispanic community in the last 10 years. And so, to me, it proves how unserious she is about governing, when you have issues like poverty and education and health care of which Arkansas ranks almost last, and those are issues that absolutely affect the Latino community. So, if she really cares about the Latino community in her state, she would be focusing on those issues, not on ridiculous things like this.

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