New York Rep. Ritchie Torres became the latest Democrat to push back against using the term Latinx when he called out the New York Yankees for a gun violence tweet on Friday.
“Never heard anyone locally use the term ‘Latinx.’ Does a majority of Hispanics actually use the term ‘Latinx’? If the answer is ‘no’, how did ‘Latinx’ come to be the term to use in government and Corporate America?” Torres asked, in response to a tweet claiming that thousands of “Latinx” people are killed or injured by gun violence every year.
“Every community should have the right to label itself, rather than have a label imposed on them by others,” he continued. (RELATED: ‘Good Riddance’: Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres Says ‘Defund The Police’ Movement Is ‘Dead’ In New York City)
I represent the South Bronx, home to the Yankees. Never heard anyone locally use the term ‘Latinx.’
Does a majority of Hispanics actually use the term ‘Latinx’?
If the answer is ‘no’, how did ‘Latinx’ come to be the term to use in government and Corporate America? https://t.co/4EYR1ksywx
— Ritchie Torres (@RitchieTorres) May 27, 2022
Polls have repeatedly found that fewer than 5% of Hispanics and Latinos in the U.S. use the term “Latinx,” without a significant generational divide in usage. One survey found that 40% of Hispanic and Latino voters were offended by the neologism, which proponents intend to be a gender-neutral form of Latino or Latina.
Democratic Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego blasted the term in December following the release of one such poll, explaining that Latino politicians who use it do so “to appease white rich progressives” and have “deeper problems” in “understand[ing] the Latino community.” Gallego is the head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Torres’ district, New York’s 15th, includes Yankees Stadium, is 66% Hispanic or Latino, according to the U.S. Census.
Democratic elected officials and aligned pollsters have expressed concern that Hispanic and Latino voters are trending towards the Republican Party. A December 2021 poll found that Hispanic and Latino voters were evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. President Joe Biden holds a 60% disapproval rating among the demographic, according to a May Quinnipiac poll.