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Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is banning 'Latinx' from state documents

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders answers a question while taking part in a panel discussion during a Republican Governors Association conference, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, in Orlando, Fla.
Phelan M. Ebenhack
/
AP
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders answers a question while taking part in a panel discussion during a Republican Governors Association conference, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, in Orlando, Fla.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is banning the term "Latinx" from state documents, according to an executive order she announced Tuesday.

"Ethnically insensitive and pejorative language has no place in official government documents or government employee titles," she said.

Several adjectives and nouns in Spanish end in "o" and "a" to signify feminine and masculine. Latinx is a term coined by academics and activists that replaces "Latino" and "Latina" to include those who identify as non-binary.

Though, the term is not popular in the Latino community. Sanders noted in the executive order that according to Pew Research data, only 23% of Latino adults in the U.S. have heard of the term, and of that, only 3% use it.

"One can no more easily remove gender from Spanish and other romance languages than one can remove vowels and verbs from English," she said.

All state departments and agencies in Arkansas now have 60 days to replace "Latinx" with "Hispanic," "Hispanics," "Latino," "Latinos," "Latina" or "Latinas."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ayana Archie