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GOP House bill would ban White House from using 'Latinx' in official documents

Sponsor Maria Elvira Salazar said the term ‘is a woke invention of the neo-Marxist left.’

By Josh Israel - April 27, 2023
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Maria Elvira Salazar
Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) speaks on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

House Republicans filed a bill on Wednesday that would make it illegal for the Biden administration to use any variant of the term “Latinx” on any official executive documents. The prohibition would apply only to the executive branch.

The bill’s lead sponsor, Florida Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, said in a press release: “The Biden Administration is waging a woke crusade on Latino identity and the Spanish language. We cannot allow the Biden Administration to use White House communications to attack our language and impose progressive ideology on our people.”

The release also said:

‘Latinx’ is a woke invention of the neo-Marxist left and as such should never be used to refer to someone of Latin American or Hispanic ancestry. Far-left professors in universities introduced the term in 2004 with the sole purpose of infiltrating the Hispanic community with gender ideology. … The bill will not prohibit its use by the legislative branch, the judicial branch, or by the President in a speech or any agency official in routine email communications, signatures, or any other private communications. The bill is designed to prevent the term from being forced on Latinos by the federal bureaucracy, and not to limit freedom of speech.

Opponents of efforts to curb systemic racism have frequently called civil rights advocates Marxist

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was frequently accused of being a communist, and Clayborne Carson, director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, told the American Independent Foundation in 2020 that such attacks are a throwback to civil rights opponents in the 1960s: “It’s almost two centuries since Marx. It seems like at some point that would be very antiquated. Especially since I would suspect that very few people who consider themselves progressive today have very much Marx.”

The term “Latinx” developed as a gender-neutral way to identify people of Latin American and Spanish descent. Some Hispanic and Latino rights advocates have stopped using the term, as it has not gained broad acceptance. A review of speeches made by President Joe Biden archived by the site Factba.se indicates that he last used the term in June 2021.

Some advocacy groups continue to use the term in their names. An April 22 White House press release, for example, contained the name of the nonprofit Poder LatinX. As written, the bill would appear to ban any mention of such organizations in executive branch documents or even direct quotes from people who do still use the term.

The ban already has six co-sponsors, all Republicans: Reps. Byron Donalds (FL), Carlos Gimenez (FL), Tony Gonzales (TX), Alex Mooney (WV), Burgess Owens (UT), and Jeff Van Drew (NJ). 

All seven backers have previously claimed to be defenders of freedom of speech and opponents of censorship.

“When we start accepting censorship, we are taking the first step down the path of socialism,” Salazar wrote in a January 2021 Facebook post. “Censoring different opinions divides. It does not unite, which is why our founding fathers demanded freedom of speech be part of our first amendment.”

In an April 2021 tweet attacking alleged censorship by social media companies, Donalds quoted a line from the author George R.R. Martin’s novel “A Clash of Kings”: “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”

Owens tweeted in February 2021, “The people against free speech probably aren’t pro-freedom on the other stuff either…”

On March 9, all seven voted for the Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act, which declared, “It is the policy of the Congress that employees acting in their official capacity should neither take action within their authority or influence to promote the censorship of any lawful speech, nor advocate that a third party, including a private entity, censor such speech.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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