Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is criticizing members of her own party who have argued using gender-neutral language to describe members of the Hispanic American community is bad for the Democratic Party’s brand.
“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 like it’s almost like it hasn’t struck some of these folks that another person’s identity is not about your re-election prospects,” Ocasio-Cortez said during a video message posted to her Instagram account.
“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.”
Some Democrats have been using more gender-neutral language in reaching out to Hispanic voters, multiple pollsters and political observers have noted in recent months.
A recent Politico poll conducted among Hispanic voters found 40 percent indicating the term “Latinx” bothers or offends them to some degree and 30 percent said they would be less likely to support a politician or organization that uses the term.
In a March guest essay in The New York Times, Republican political consultant and a co-founder of the Lincoln Project Mike Madrid noted that an internal debate among Democrats about inclusive language could drive Hispanic voters to the Republican Party.
“Commonly used by media, political and academic elites as a sign of gender inclusivity, ‘Latinx’ is virtually nonexistent in the communities it refers to,” Madrid wrote.
“Members of the Democratic Party don’t just live in a distinct cultural bubble removed from the realities of their blue-collar counterparts; they are so removed from the rapidly growing Hispanic working class that many of them are now literally speaking a different language.”
Late last year, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) said his office is not allowed to use the term “Latinx” in official communications.
“When Latino politicos use the term it is largely to appease white rich progressives who think that is the term we use,” he said. “It is a vicious circle of confirmation bias.”
“If putting a little ‘x’ on your campaign literature 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,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
–Updated on June 7 at 10:28 a.m.