What Do Americans of Latin American Origin Prefer to Be Called? Not LatinX


Only 2 percent of those polled refer to themselves as Latinx, while 68 percent call themselves “Hispanic” and 21 percent favored “Latino” or “Latina” to describe their ethnic background, according to the survey from Bendixen & Amandi International, a top Democratic firm specializing in Latino outreach.

But here’s something I learned while researching my forthcoming book on American racial classifications: Most Hispanics/Latinos/Latinxers (?) None of these terms are preferred. Americans with Spanish-speaking ancestry prefer to be called by their country or “just American,” rather than Hispanic, Latino or other terms. Many accept Hispanic and Latino as an acceptable identity. SecondaryHowever, Americans who are only partially Hispanic often deny these labels. Look!G. Cristina Mora Making Hispanics: How Activists, Bureaucrats & Media Constructed a New American IdentityChicago, University of Chicago Press (2014). 6.

Conservatives often complain that Latinx is an invented term. It’s not something used by real Hispanics/Latinos. While that is true in large part, it also holds true for “Hispanic”, and “Latino,” fifty-sixty five years ago. Hispanic, in particular, was rarely used to define ethnicity. These terms were not common in Spanish-speaking countries and were basically invented by the government as a means to group people previously known as “Cubans,” Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. Sometimes, they are collectively called “Spanish Americans” or “Spanish-surnamed”.

I believe that we should call people whatever they wish to be called within reasonable limits. It is important to remember that nearly everyone within the group rejects Latinx and would rather be called Americans. [hyphneated]American citizens are referred to as Hispanics and Latinos, but not by the country they were born.