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Tipsheet

The 'Woke' Word a Group of Connecticut Democrats Want Banned From Government Documents

Chris Pizzello

A group of Democratic state lawmakers in Connecticut want to ban the term “Latinx” from official government documents, arguing the “woke” word is “offensive” to the Hispanic community. 

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The gender-neutral term is meant for those who don’t identify as male or female, but state Rep. Geraldo Reyes Jr., lead sponsor of the bill, said the Spanish language already has a word for that.

“The Spanish language, which is centuries old, defaults to Latino for everybody,” he said. “It’s all-inclusive. They didn’t need to create a word, it already exists.” 

He added: “I’m of Puerto Rican descent and I find it offensive.” 

Four other Hispanic Democrats joined Reyes Jr. in backing the legislation. 

It’s not clear how often the term Latinx has been used in state documents. A search for the word on the state government’s portal returned 945 hits for documents including press releases, blogs, and reports using the word. Michelle Dumas Keuler, an attorney for the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, told Hearst Connecticut Media that it uses the term in any a complaint it submits about housing, employment or other types of discrimination, when requested.

Reyes said he expects the bill to get a hearing before the Democratic-controlled Legislature’s Government Administration and Elections Committee during the current session.

Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont’s spokesman, Adam Joseph, said the governor’s office will follow the debate as the bill moves through the Legislature. (AP)

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The move by the group of Hispanic Democrats follows a similar one by Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders of Arkansas, who barred use of Latinx on official state documents in one of her first acts in office.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) also announced in 2021 that he instructed his office to avoid using the term.

“Look y’all. Hispanic, Latin American are gender neutral. So we have already gender neutral options to describe the Latino community. Adding an x and creating a new word comes off as performative,” Gallego tweeted. “It will not lose you an election but if your staff and consultants use Latinx in your mass communication it likely means they don’t understand the Latino community and is indicative of deeper problems.”

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