Is 'Latinx' a 'disrespectful' term used by elites? Only 3% of Hispanics use the word, according to one poll.

Prestigious universities across the country use the term 'Latinx' instead of Latino or Latina.

Data suggests that Latinx is more popular among college-educated users, but seldom used by the broader Hispanic population.

One University of California, Berkeley ethnic studies professor believes the term “Latinx” can be used to “promote gender inclusivity,” despite the fact that only 3% of Hispanics use the term.

In a recent interview with Berkeley News, Laura E. Perez, who is chair of the Berkeley Latinx Research Center, explained how she sees Latinx helping achieve racial justice. 

“When we use Latinx in our classes, in our building or research center names, and in our daily language, we are representing our observations of the changing social world around us. We are performing the desire to be more inclusive, enacting inclusivity through our language use,” Perez said. 

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Although the term may be popular in higher education, Latinx is not nearly as popular among those of Latin descent. According to a Pew poll conducted last year, 23% of Hispanics have heard of the term “Latinx,” while only 3% use the term.

The poll also showed that 38% of Hispanic college graduates have heard of the term Latinx as opposed to 14% of Hispanics without a college degree.

Heberto Alexander Limas-Villers, a student at Harvard Kennedy School, told Campus Reform that the term is disrespectful to people of Latin descent. 

“I see it less as a term for inclusivity and more of a term of exclusivity. We are a hardworking people who have strong ties to our culture.” Limas-Villers said. 

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“To have our language denigrated in the name of ‘gender inclusivity’ not only misunderstands the Spanish language,” she added, “but insults the people on a daily basis.” 

Harvard University has adopted the term for use in an academic department and a student group.  

Northwestern University even swapped out Hispanic Heritage Month for “Latinx Heritage Month.”  

Campus Reform reached out to UC Berkeley and Perez for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.