The following is the second in an intermittent series exploring the cultural contradictions of progressivism.
One cannot but admit how the Left has been exceeding successful in its drive to implement the use of individually derived personal pronouns within the larger culture, most notably within academia and corporations.
The crux of the Left’s argument surrounding the use of personal pronouns is that gender is a fluid (if only flowing one way), subjective determination solely within the purview of the individual; consequently, the individual who identifies as one or more of the many genders has the right to demand the use of their preferred personal pronouns when other people address them. Thus does a man who identifies as a woman demand that everyone use “her” chosen personal pronouns unless and until “she” decides otherwise. To refuse to do so is not only considered rude and grounds for disciplinary action, including termination and cancellation, but in the minds of many Leftists constitutes a hate crime.
Yet, when it comes to an entire community, the Left is hellbent upon ignoring their opposition and branding them with a made-up name in the name of “inclusivity.” The community in question is the Hispanic community. The term is “Latinx.”
In its ideological zeal, the oblivious, hypocritical Left doesn’t fathom that branding Hispanics as “Latinx” contradicts their arguments in support of demanding the use of subjectively derived personal pronouns. Succinctly: why does an individual have the right to decide what they should be called, but an entire community does not?
One argument the Left presents is how the term “Latinx” is required for purposes of “inclusion.” Yet, only the Left’s “magical thinking” can lead one to believe that an inane political term that 40% of Hispanics find insulting will lead to more inclusion. But, again, this is the same idiocy that believes the exclusion of words such as “mother” and “father” from the common vocabulary leads to more inclusivity. What it leads to is censorship and division, for exclusion only breeds more exclusion and alienation.
Another argument the Left will make is that in the power to name one’s personal pronouns is a matter of gender, and the use of “Latinx” is a matter of race. Yet both are matters of identity – the Left’s latest hook for their ideology and pursuit of political power, now that they’ve all but abandoned class consciousness. In yet one more ironic contradiction of progressivism, in the instance of personal pronouns versus “Latinx”, the Left is arguing the individual has more power than the collective. Such are the vagaries of the Left’s intersectional spoils system. But, as one will see below, the Left’s hellbent quest for gender inclusivity also insults gay Hispanics, too, many of whom are conservative.
A third argument is that “language is fluid.” It is charitable to call this an argument in favor of Latinx, as it really doesn’t answer the question of why a segment of a political party, progressives, the majority of whom are white, can label the nation’s largest minority with a term a large segment of which find offensive. Imagine the consequences if conservatives called a minority a term that nearly half found offensive? But Progressive privilege excludes such consequences.
Hence, the Left will keep using the term “Latinx” until the Hispanic community acquiesces to it. At some point in the near future, progressives within academia, corporations, governmental entities, the statist media, and even dictionaries (as was done in arbitrarily altering the definition of racism to suit their ideological dictates) will promote the Left’s preferred term, “Latinx”, and censor the terms preferred by Hispanics – all in the name of inclusion, of course. When it comes to language fluidity, for the Left it is less like a gently flowing brook and more like a power washer.
Still, aren’t there political ramifications to be considered? Per a Fox News report:
“Latinos themselves have roundly rejected the attempt at being inclusive, with one 2021 poll finding only 2% of Hispanic voters use the term. The term ‘Hispanic’ led the way among those voters, with 68% saying they prefer it. Latino/Latina came in at 21%, while ‘something else’ garnered 8% support.
“Perhaps more troubling for Democrats who have insisted on pushing the term, the poll found that 40% of respondents said the term "Latinx" bothers them and 30% indicated they would be less likely to support a politician who used the term.”
In the wake of her stunning victory in the special election in Texas’ 34th Congressional District, Representative Mayra Flores (R-Tex.), the first Mexican-born person elected to the U.S. House, proclaimed:
“The Democrat Party has been in control here in South Texas for over 100 years and feel entitled to our vote. They feel they don’t have to do anything to earn our vote. And we sent a strong message to Washington, and we sent a strong message to Democrat Party that you have to get to work. If not, you’re going to get voted out…
“This is just the beginning and I believe that Hispanics throughout the country are going to see that more Hispanics are joining the Republican Party and they will do the research of why and when they do, they’ll realize that their values align with the Republican Party.”
Nonetheless, even as The Babylon Bee’s trenchant political analysis reveals: “Hispanics Just Voting For Whichever Candidate Isn't Calling Them ‘Latinx,’” will the fact that the Hispanic vote has been trending Republican lead to the progressives to heed her words and start examining, let alone ceasing, their use of the offensive term “Latinx”?
The progressive ideology has been called many things, but “practical” isn’t one of them.
A Human Events contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003-2012, and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars; and a Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Radio Show," among sundry media appearances.