Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio introduce “Respect for Hispanic Americans Act” that bans federal use of ‘Latinx’
The two U.S. Senators of Texas and Florida announced the legislation on Thursday, joining other recent lawmakers who’ve attempted to ban the term.
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U.S. Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Marco Rubio (Florida) introduced a new bill that would ban the use of the term “Latinx” from official government communications, the Texas senator’s office announced Thursday.
The legislation, called the Respect for Hispanic Americans Act, would bar federal agencies from using the gender-inclusive variation of the Spanish terms Latino and Latina in official communications or forms from agency heads or employees.
“Hispanic Americans overwhelmingly oppose the term ‘Latinx,’ and I want to make sure our government does not bow to woke activists in our federal departments or agencies by insisting on ridiculous terminology like this,” Cruz said in a release, adding that the term “has no place in official government communication.”
Cruz has described Latinx as a “made-up term” on Twitter.
“Hispanic Americans don’t need fabricated woke terminology imposed on us. The term ‘Latinx’ has no place in our federal agency’s official communication as it’s a degradation tossed around by progressive elites,” Rubio said in the release.
Latinx has grown in prominence amongst Democrats and progressives as it serves as a gender-neutral term but for some Spanish-speakers, criticism has come towards the term’s -x ending because it replaces the Spanish grammar construction of the male -o and female -a endings and because the sound is difficult to pronounce in Spanish.
According to a Pew Research survey conducted in 2019, less than one-quarter of U.S. adults who self-identified as Hispanic or Latino had heard of the term Latinx, including just 3 percent who said they use the term to describe themselves. A Gallup survey conducted in 2021 found that just 4 percent of Hispanic Americans use the “Latinx” term to describe their ethnic group.
Cruz and Rubio join fellow GOP Congress Member Rep. María Elvira Salazar (Fla.), who recently this year introduced a similar bill called the Reject Latinx Act.
Salazar, the first-year Congresswoman, at the time of the bill’s introduction accused the Biden administration of “waging a woke crusade on Latino identity and the Spanish language,” with her office labeling the term in a release as “a woke invention of the neo-Marxist left.”
"We cannot allow the Biden Administration to use White House communications to attack our language and impose progressive ideology on our people," she added.
This past January, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who signed similar legislation into law banning the word "Latinx" by state government officials, praised the two veteran lawmakers’ bill on Twitter.
"This is language used on college campuses and by woke corporations - not the Hispanic community," the Republican governor tweeted.