Politics

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Goes After ‘Democratic Politicians That Rail Against The Term Latinx’

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attacked fellow Democrats who do not use the word “Latinx” in a Sunday night Instagram story, accusing them of “mak[ing] drama” about “gender inclusivity.”

Several prominent Democrats, including Congressional Hispanic Caucus chairman Ruben Gallego of Arizona, have criticized the term, noting its unpopularity with native Spanish-language speakers. Polls have repeatedly shown that no more than 5% of Hispanic and Latino Americans use “Latinx.” A December survey found that “Latinx” “bothered or offended” 40% of respondents, with 20% “bothered or offended” “a lot.” (RELATED: Rep. Ritchie Torres Drags New York Yankees For Using ‘Latinx’)

However, according to Ocasio-Cortez, the use of “Latinx” is just part of language evolving in a more “inclusive” way.

“People sometimes like to make a lot of drama over the term ‘Latinx.’ But even before ‘Latinx’ people were trying to use an @ to have the ‘a’ and the ‘o’ together. Gender is fluid, language is fluid, and I think people right now are using the ‘e’ term as gender-neutral in order to be as inclusive as possible. Don’t have to make drama over it,” she said.

“I also have a mini-rant about this because there are some politicians, including Democratic politicians, that rail against the term ‘Latinx.’ And they’re like, ‘this is so bad, this is so bad for the party,’ like blah blah blah. And it’s almost like it hasn’t struck some of these folks that another person’s identity is not about your reelection prospects,” she claimed. “Like, this is not about you. Second of all, if putting a little ‘x’ on your campaign literature is what you think is the difference between winning and losing an election, you need to talk about healthcare more. You need to raise people’s wages. You need to talk about more issues that also matter to people.”

Hispanic and Latino voters moved eight points towards the GOP from 2016 to 2020, with double-digit shifts in some parts of Florida and Texas. This movement is due to Democrats talking to Latinos “like we talk to white liberals,” Gallego said in April.

Sixty percent of Latinos disapproved of Biden’s job performance in a May survey, with only 26% approving, the worst numbers of any demographic group polled.