Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R-AK) signed an executive order on her first day in office, requiring state entities to replace the leftist phrase “Latinx” on official documents with the traditional terms “Latino” or “Hispanic.”
“State offices, departments, and agencies” must review their official documents for singular and plural uses of “Latinx” and “submit a written report to the Governor detailing the findings of their review,” the order reads. All state entities have 60 days to swap out the genderless terms with “Hispanic,” the gendered “Latino,” or “Latina,” or their plural variations.
As the Spanish language is structurally intertwined with gender, Sanders’ order notes that a person “can no more easily remove gender from Spanish and other romance languages than one can remove vowels and verbs from English.”
The order also states, “Ethnically insensitive and pejorative language has no place in official government documents or government employee titles.”
Several polls, including a Pew Research survey cited in the order, have shown that most Hispanics prefer the traditional phrasing of Latino, Latina, or Hispanic. In a poll published early last year by the ICR-Miami for Americano Media, just 1.7 percent of Latinos said they use the term to identify themselves. Conversely, upwards of 60 percent reported using the term “Hispanic,” while roughly 3 in 10 used “Latino.”
Another poll conducted by Democrat strategists at Bendixen & Amandi International in December 2021 found that 40 percent of Hispanics regarded the term as bothersome or offensive, while only two percent of the community used the word.
Democrat Pollster Fernand Amandi told Politico at the time that the data suggested “using Latinx is a violation of the political Hippocratic Oath, which is to first do no electoral harm.”
“Why are we using a word that is preferred by only two percent, but offends as many as 40 percent of those voters we want to win?” he wondered.
Sanders’s order removing “Latinx” from state documents was one of many executive orders she executed on Tuesday. As Axios noted, she also imposed a hiring and promotion freeze on state employees and signed an order to “prohibit indoctrination and Critical Race Theory in schools, ” among other actions.
CRT “is antithetical to the traditional American values of neutrality, equality, and fairness,” the order reads in part. “It emphasizes skin color as a person’s primary characteristic, thereby resurrecting segregationist values, which America has fought so hard to reject.”
It adds that “CRT, discrimination, and indoctrination have no place in Arkansas classrooms” under the policies of Sanders’ Administration.