Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders bans use of ‘Latinx’ on her first day in office

Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders bans use of ‘Latinx’ on her first day in office

Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders bans use of ‘Latinx’ on her first day in office

Sarah Huckabee Sanders banned the state government from using the word “Latinx” in an executive order on her first day as governor of Arkansas.

Trump’s former White House press secretary and daughter of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee signed the order directly after being sworn in on Tuesday.

Associate professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University, Dr. Tabitha Bonilla, told NBC News that this may be the first such executive order.

Ms Huckabee Sanders signed six more orders after her swearing-in. Among them was an order banning schools from teaching critical race theory – a law school subject used by conservatives to refer to almost anything related to race issues. The new governor also signed orders relating to budgeting, spending and other matters.

With the exception of “Latinx,” the executive orders were closely tied to Ms. Huckabee Sanders’ campaign talking points. Latinx is a gender-neutral term used by some instead of Hispanic or Latino.

“It was nothing I had seen of her until then. So it was surprising,” Dr. Bonilla told NBC.

Ed Morales wrote the book Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture. He told the outlet that the order was part of “this anti-reawakening agenda” that the Republican Party is pushing.

“It’s something that seems to be tied to things that they oppose, which is anything that prioritizes marginalized people and marginalized viewpoints,” Morales said.

Dr. Bonilla told NBC that it was surprising that Latinx was among the first orders signed by the governor.

“It sets the tone for the kind of governance you want to have in place, what you think is the priority, and the kinds of decision-making you’ll be doing in an office,” she said.

The term has been mocked by those on the right, its use is debated among a small number of Latinos.

Ms. Huckabee Sanders pointed to a 2020 Pew Research report that found only 3% of Latinos in America use the word.

She also noted that the Real Academia Española, a cultural institution in the Spanish capital, rejected the use of the letter “x” instead of “o” and “a”.

The presidential decree specifies that it aims to remove “ethnically insensitive language” and “pejorative language”.

Mr Morales said Ms Huckabee Sanders appears to be using the Pew report to argue that ‘people either find it offensive or they dismiss it’ and disregarding the fact that subsequent studies have noted a slight increase in the use of the word as well as other gender-neutral words, including “Latin”.

Dr. Bonilla noted that the prescription does not state that the Pew report found that 76% of Hispanics had never heard of the term Latinx before.

“She offers these justifications, and it seems to me that she tried to present the data and the information in a way that is really about complacency,” Dr. Bonilla said of the governor.

Pew says nearly four percent of people eligible to vote in Arkansas are Hispanic.

“I can’t think it would show up very frequently in most government documents,” Dr Bonilla added. “My biggest question is: who does this affect the most? »

The term Latinx often refers to Hispanic people who do not identify as male or female.

“It’s really about transgender individuals and non-binary individuals,” Dr. Bonilla told NBC. “And in the language, it’s also described as being about the Latino community.”

The Independent contacted the governor’s office for comment.

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