The “Latinx” War on Mexicanidad

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“Latinx” advocates seek to rid the United States of its Mexicanidad

On Sunday, August 23, 2020 the Los Angeles Times published “The Chicano Moratorium: 50 Years Later.” This event is credited with engendering the modern Chicano movement in 1970. More than 20,000 Hispanics marched in East Los Angeles to protest the Vietnam War on 29 August of that year. The march descended into violence when Sheriff deputies used tear gas against the peaceful demonstrators. Hundreds of Chicanos and Mexican Americans were arrested. Three people were killed, including renowned Los Angeles Times reporter Rubén Salazar.

The commemoration of the Moratorium is an affirmation of Chicano, Chicana, Mexican American, and Mexican immigrant identity. It was also a bold repudiation of the attempt by “Latinx” provocateurs to erase the Mexican character of the Hispanic diaspora in the United States.

Although “Latinx” was introduced as a “gender neutral” alternative to “Latino” and “Latina,” in practice it is a scheme to create a pan-Hispanic identity that obliterates the Mexican character of Hispanics in the United States. To this end, “Latinx” advocates engage in a campaign of disinformation, historical revisionism, and the erasure of Mexicanidad.[1]

Consider a video posted on YouTube about the Moratorium. It censured the Chicano, Chicana, Mexican American, and Mexican immigrant nature of the East Los Angeles protest. YouTube viewers were told, in an Orwellian rewriting of history, that the Moratorium “sparked a movement in defense of Latinx lives.”

With that lie, Mexico was obliterated from history.

The subterfuge of “Latinx” propagandists has not gone unnoticed. Kurly Tlapoyawa, who identifies as Mazewalli, a word of the indigenous Nawa people of Puebla, was taken aback. “I have to admit, this bizarre rewriting of Chicano-Chicana history caught me by surprise,” he wrote in a personal essay. “The participants in the Chicano Movement most certainly did not identify as ‘Latinx’ or ‘Chicanx,’ and no amount of historical revisionism is going to change that.”[2]

He was surprised that the Moratorium’s undeniable Mexican essence had been denied. Then he asked questions challenging the emerging narrative throughout the United States aimed at erasing all Chicano history: “Why did [the video’s] producers feel entitled to effectively erase an identity that so many fought to gain respect for? Why did they feel the need to retroactively assign an identity to people who had never adopted it? But mainly, I wondered, why the promoters of the term ‘Latinx’ felt the need to cling to such a Eurocentric/anti-indigenous identity in the first place?”

This is what neofascism looks like in the United States: retroactively assigning an identity to people who reject such an identity in order to give political power to a cabal of “Latinx” advocates who are outside Mexicanidad. The political strategy of cultural genocide is in keeping with the tactics introduced during the Reign of Terror in nineteenth century France. “The secret of liberty is to enlighten men, as that of tyranny is to keep them in ignorance,” Maximilien Robespierre said.[3]

Make no mistake: “Latinx” advocates seek to establish a false “pan-Hispanic” identity in the United States, an end that requires the cultural genocide of the Mexican nature of the Hispanic diaspora in the United States.

“This [“The Chicano Moratorium: 50 Years Later”] supplement is pure gold & must read for anyone seeking to understand Chicanx, Latinx, and American history!” Arlene Dávila, a Puerto Rican professor of anthropology at New York University and “Latinx” propagandist, stated in a tweet on August 23, 2020. Dávila falsified history by replacing “Chicano” with “Chicanx” and “Mexican American” with “Latinx.” Her neofascist tweet — an assault on the indigenous DNA that suffuses Mexicanidad — denied agency to the writers and editors of the Los Angeles Times who used “Chicano” and “Mexican American” when writing about Chicanos and Mexican Americans.

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Neofascists want to rebrand this Chicano and Mexican American movement as a “Latinx” event, part of the campaign to ethnically cleanse the United States of its Mexican heritage.

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How did we arrive at this juncture?

How did a neofascist professor of little renown at New York University garner the shameless audacity to attack the dignity of Chicanos and Mexican Americans who embrace and affirm their Mexicanidad? [4]

The answer is fear. It is the dread that grips Caribbean Hispanics — primarily Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, and Dominican Americans — who believe they are being sidelined by Hispanics of Mexican ancestry.

Dávila understands that numbers don’t lie and that demographics are of consequence. As of 2018, there were 59,763, 631 Hispanics in the United States.[5] Of these, 62 percent are of Mexican origin.[6] Puerto Ricans constitute 9.6 percent. Cubans come in at 3.9 percent; Salvadorans are no more than 3.8 percent; and Dominicans comprise 3.4 percent of the population. Then the rest cascade into statistical insignificance: Guatemalans (2.5 percent); Colombians (2.0 percent); Hondurans (1.6 percent); Spaniards (1.3 percent); Ecuadorians (1.2 percent); and Peruvians (1.1 percent). No other group reaches 1 percent.[7]

These numbers have political consequences. Chicanos and Mexican Americans are the in-group and every other Latino demographic is the out-group. In consequence, Mexican culture informs mainstream American society. Americans spread avocado on their toast, dip nacho chips in salsa sauce, and make Taco Tuesday a mainstay of their lives. Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo and look forward to incorporating elements of Day of the Dead come Halloween. The favorite imported beer is Corona, tequila is a best-selling spirit, and margaritas are more popular than gin and tonics.

Anthony Bourdain expressed mainstream America’s passion for Mexican cuisine with clarity: “Americans love Mexican food. We consume nachos, tacos, burritos, tortas, enchiladas, tamales and anything resembling Mexican in enormous quantities. We love Mexican beverages, happily knocking back huge amounts of tequila, mezcal and Mexican beer every year. We love Mexican people — as we sure employ a lot of them. … As any chef will tell you, our entire service economy — the restaurant business as we know it — in most American cities, would collapse overnight without Mexican workers.”[8]

By comparison, sofrito, the mainstay of Puerto Rican cooking is virtually unknown to non-Hispanic Americans. Ropa vieja, the epitome of Cuban comfort food, has no hope of ever replacing meatloaf. The Dominican yearning for sancocho, a meat stew, means nothing to mainstream America. This is classic in-group favoritism and out-group derogation.[9] Chicanos and Mexican Americans have social influence that no other Hispanic group can ever hope to enjoy.

Geography contributes to the schism between Mexican Hispanics and Caribbean Hispanics. One third of today’s continental United States was once New Spain or Mexico. Chicanos and Mexican Americans still live, for the most part, west of the Mississippi. Hispanics from Caribbean islands — Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic — live almost exclusively east of the Mississippi. Caribbean Hispanics along the Eastern Seaboard resent the sheer number of Chicanos and Mexican Americans. Mexicanidad, after all, makes Caribbean Hispanics minorities within a minority.

There is also racial component. Chicanos and Mexican Americans are almost all biologically (or culturally) mestizo.[10] This indigenous legacy is not common among Caribbean Hispanics, who are white, Black, or a mix of both.[11] More importantly, Caribbean Hispanics simply don’t “get” the indigenous DNA coursing through the veins of Mexicanidad. Rare is the Caribbean Hispanic that can saunter on over to a Mexican food truck and establish an authentic rapport with the cooks from the Mexican highlands.[12] Rarer still is the Caribbean Hispanic who understands a Mesoamerican worldview.

This sort of rivalry and tension between in-groups and out-groups is not unexpected; it’s human nature. Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, and Dominican Americans, understandably, fear that Hispanics that do not share their worldview and whom they do not understand are displacing them.

In Spanish Harlem, for instance, the Census Bureau reports that while 23.4 percent of the people in zip code 10035 were Puerto Rican, 10.7 percent are Mexican; a decade before there were almost no Mexicans living there at all.[13] The ascendance of Mexicans in New York City is so robust that Spanish Harlem is becoming PueblaYork.[14] This is a world far different from West Side Story, a narrative that remains the image of Spanish Harlem in the public’s mind that is now fast slipping into history.

In the face of these demographic realities, Caribbean Hispanics fear for their place on the national stage of public life. Leaders, after all, are only leaders because others are willing to follow. Will Chicanos and Mexican Americans follow a Puerto Rican or Cuban American or Dominican American leader? For Caribbean Hispanics with political aspirations, the ascendance of Mexicanidad limits their own access to power and all the opportunities for graft and corruption that are part of the nation’s political system. This reality is a source of jealousy, resentment, and rage among Caribbean Hispanics.

Milan Kundera, in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, offers a way out of this dilemma: the out-group’s destruction of the in-group. “The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have someone write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was,” Kundera wrote.

Is it any wonder that “Latinx” is a concoction Caribbean Hispanic East Coast elites fabricated in order to subjugate the Chicano and Mexican American majority? Is it any wonder that “Latinx” is, in practice, the ethnic cleansing of Mexicanidad from the United States?

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“Latinx” was introduced sixteen years ago in a benign manner, as is the case with most Trojan Horses. Caribbean Hispanic activists offered “Latinx” as a replacement for “Latino” and “Latina,” two gendered Spanish-language words.[15] The English language, however, already has two perfectly adequate gender-neutral words: Hispanic and Latin. Neither Hispanic, English for hispano and hispánico; nor Latin, English for Latino, Latina, and Latín, indicate gender or sexual preference. See for yourself: the Hispanic man; the Hispanic woman; the Hispanic non-binary person; and the Latin man; the Latin woman; the Latin non-binary person.

“Latinx” solved a linguistic problem that didn’t exist.[16]

When this critique was pointed out, “Latinx” advocates then backtracked and offered the argument that there was a superior societal outcome in adding the “x” to “Latin.” This innovation, the argument went, would empower individuals who, on the broad spectrum of gender identities, fell outside the gender binary.

But if this progress leads to a better future, then why are only Hispanics subjected to this enlightenment? Where are the advocates calling for “Blax” to replace “Black” now that the U.S. Census eliminated “Negro” for the 2020 census?[17] Why shouldn’t Gringo/Gringa — non-Hispanic Whites, according to the Census Bureau — be replaced by Gringx? Are Asians exempt from the desire to express an identity that is not exclusively masculine or feminine? Are there no Asixns in our future?

Then again, if one is going to invent identities, why is sexuality more important than, say, astrology? If “Latinx” denotes a non-binary Latino, why shouldn’t “Latinarius” identify a Latino Sagittarius?[18] More Hispanics, after all, believe in astrology than in “Latinx.” The truth is that “Latinx” sounds like something out of the delirious imagination of the incomparable Dr. Seuss: “The ‘Latinx’ and the Lorax.”

When confronted by these logical inconsistencies, advocates then made a political case: “Latinx” was now an affirmation of postcolonial identity. Activists argued that “Latinx” broke free from the legacy of colonialism that Spain had imposed throughout the hemisphere.

This argument made sense only to people unfamiliar with the dictionary. “In fact, Latino commits Latin America to Iberian memory as surely as does Hispanic,” Mexican American essayist Richard Rodríguez pointed out, amused by the historical ignorance of such a ridiculous stance. “And Latino is a Spanish word, thus also paying linguistic obeisance to Spain. For what, after all, does ‘Latin’ refer to, if not the imperial root system?”[19]

Kurly Tlapoyawa went one step further. He pointed out the racism against the indigenous by clinging to “Latin” at all: “I wondered why the promoters of the term ‘Latinx’ felt the need to cling to such a Eurocentric/anti-indigenous identity in the first place.” [20]

Thus, “Latinx” went from removing gender from “Latino” and “Latina” to an affirmation of non-binary identity and finally to an attestation of postcolonial integrity. [21]

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This evolution of this self-delusion has been comical. It has been debated in college newspaper stories and online rebuttals posted on inconsequential websites. “As scholars, whose interdisciplinary work independently addresses the intersections of gender, race and class … [W]e would like to address what essentially surmounts to a reactionary response that fails to substantively consider intersecting areas of privilege and oppression. We feel it is representative of the reiterations of these very arguments we not only hear and read in our own personal and academic circles, arguments that will not disappear anytime soon, but equally hold implications for the future of Latinx-based scholarship, advocacy and policy formation,” María Scharrón-del Río and Alan Aja wrote online in Latino Rebels, a site where nothing is published in Spanish, but where “Latinx” scholarship is presumably peer-reviewed.[22]

Scharrón-del Río, a Puerto Rican, and Aja, a Cuban American, are not part of the Mexicanidad in-group. Naturally, as members of the out-group, they believe that “Latinx” is the way of the future, the only road to national political power that Puerto Ricans and Cuban Americans have in the Hispanic diaspora in the United States.

Reading their disingenuous arguments reminded me of the history of fascism throughout the Hispanic world. When Aja, a Cuban American, for instance, uses “Latinx,” it’s exactly how Fidel Castro used gusano — worm — as an identifier for enemies he wanted arrested or exiled forevermore.[23] When asked for clarification, Aja, in an email dated August 31, 2020, claimed, “proponents of Latinx are not interested in telling you how to identify yourself.” This lie is no different from Fidel Castro’s self-serving claim that his Revolution didn’t force anyone into exile.[24] Castro wanted the world to believe his compatriots chose to abandon Cuba, leaving behind their homes, careers, family and friends. Aja wants you today to believe that Chicanos and Mexican Americans “choose” to be recruited into this “Latinx” neofascist cult that seeks the destruction of their Mexicanidad.

Their defense was a rebuttal to an essay published in the Swarthmore Phoenix, the Swarthmore College campus newspaper. In “The Argument Against the Use of the Term ‘Latinx’,” Gilbert Guerra and Gilbert Orbea argued: “As we continually search for ways to improve gender inclusivity in Spanish, we have come up with a myriad of broad language such as Latino/a and Latin@.[25] The most recent of these solutions is the term ‘Latinx.’ In our opinion, the use of the identifier ‘Latinx’ as the new standard should be discouraged because it is a buzzword that fails to address any of the problems within Spanish on a meaningful scale. … We are not arguing against gender-inclusive language. … We see, however, a misguided desire to forcibly change the language … This is a blatant form of linguistic imperialism.”[26]

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When the Smithsonian Institution began preparations to commemorate the nation’s bicentennial in 1976, curators realized so many “firsts” in the nation’s history were Spanish. The first city founded, the first birth certificate for a child born of European parents, the first European language spoken in what became New England, and so on, were all Spanish achievements. The directors decided to begin to research, archive, and understand the Hispanic presence in the United States; a museum on Hispanics in the United States, they knew, was inevitable.

The Smithsonian tapped Miguel Bretos, a Cuban American scholar at Florida International University. He launched the initiative to begin documenting Hispanic history in the United States. Whenever the Smithsonian’s Latino Museum opens, it will be a result of this man’s dedication to history and his devotion to documenting historical fact. One reason Bretos was brought onboard is that, although Cuban, he was intimately aware of Mexico and its history. One of his books, Iglesias de Yucatán, stands as an important contribution to the canon of architecture and religion in colonial Mexico. The Smithsonian knew this man could bridge Mexicanidad in the United States and the Caribbean Hispanic legacy.

Bretos was soft-spoken, but incisive. He carried himself with elegance and great discretion. Whenever I visited him in Washington, D.C., he wore elegant Brunello Cucinelli shirts and bespoke silk bow ties from Paul Stuart. Whenever we met in Mérida, Mexico, where he had a landmark colonial winter home, he sported elegant linen guayaberas from Presuel. Within the Smithsonian, after the Latino initiative was well on its way, he moved to the National Portrait Gallery. This was at the time the historic building that houses the museum was under renovation. Once, when I visited him there, after he escorted me to see the restorations under way one sunny spring day, we walked to a nearby Greek restaurant for lunch.

This was shortly after “Latinx” had first started to make the rounds. Bretos had studied the rise of fascism in Europe and he had lived through the radicalization of the Cuban Revolution. It is a credit to his scholarship and diplomacy that he was one of the few Cubans who remained in the good graces of Fidel Castro — he was allowed to come and go as he pleased — and Jorge Mas Canosa, the anti-Castro Cuban who founded the National Cuban National Foundation in Miami. Both men respected his intellect and valued his counsel.

Bretos understood how fascism takes hold in any society. “There is an emerging sentiment to devalue and denigrate the Mexican experience in the United States in order to assert dominance over Chicanos and Mexican Americans. There’s no doubt in my mind that Mexicanidad is coming under siege. And this is being led by constituencies that fear being marginalized because they believe they deserve leadership positions on a national level concerning Hispanic affairs,” he told me.

At the other end of the country, a different assessment led to the same conclusion. “I live in Marin County, where a part of the community is fighting against the Latin American immigrants,” Isabel Allende, the Chilean novelist, said in an interview with Mother Jones in 1994. “People are terrified because they see these dark men standing in groups waiting for someone to offer a job. That’s very threatening. Because they don’t know them and don’t understand their ways or their language, they feel that these men are criminals, that they don’t pay their share in this society and yet they benefit.”[27]

Allende moved to Marin County when she married California attorney and novelist William C. Gordon in 1988. This was the first time she became acquainted with — and part of — the Hispanic diaspora in the United States. As a writer of international renown, she was invited to many social functions. At one of these events she encountered U.S. Identity Politics for the first time. “A woman walked up to me and introduced herself as a Latina lesbian,” Allende recounted. “Only people who have been destroyed do this sort of thing. I mean, I would never walk up to a stranger and introduce myself as a heterosexual grandmother!”[28]

More than four decades after the Hispanic diaspora in the United States disheartened Allende, the disappointment continues. At an event in Madrid with friends who had rushed back to Europe as flights were cancelled as airspaces were closed in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic, one commented on his “bizarre” encounter in New York City. “This Puerto Rican gave me a headache trying to explain the ‘logic’ of ‘Latinx’ — which is a non sequitur,” she said, shaking her head. “No one in Mexico City or here in Madrid, or over in Buenos Aires or Bogotá, or anywhere else in the Spanish-speaking world is calling for this nonsense. Remember ‘Blatino’ and ‘Latin@’? How long this those stupid things last? Now, it’s ‘Latinx.’ No, no, I’m convinced that this ‘Latinx” is more than an act of desperation; it’s a gringada.[29] It’s terrifying to see what a despondent diaspora hispanidad has become in the United States. Every time someone says ‘Latinx,’ what I hear is ‘self-loathing spic.’ Todo esto es la estúpidez de imbéciles.”[30]

Another friend, a history professor in Mexico City, was as blunt: “The trajectory of ‘Latinx’ is taken from the playbook the fascists used in Europe. Franco repressed the Catalán, and now there’s a campaign against Chicano, Mexican American, and Mexican identity in the United States. The Nazis in Germany forced the Jews to wear yellow Stars of David and today neofascists in the United States are erasing Mexico’s legacy by renaming everything with this ‘Latinx’ slur. It’s a form of hate speech.”[31]

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Neofascist Arlene Dávila wipes away Chicano and Mexican American history by falsifying history.

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“Latinx” is a neofascist reaction to Mexican ascendance in the United States.

Take a look at the cover of Dávila’s book. It depicts the true “Latinx” agenda: erasing Mexicanidad and replacing it with a falsified “Latinx” identity. Here, then, is the undeniable neofascism of Caribbean Hispanic outrage against the Chicano and Mexican American ascendance. Here we see the complete erasure of Mexico, the creation of books that falsify history, and the imposition an Orwellian out-group assault on the in-group of the Hispanic diaspora in the United States.

Consistent with Kundera’s directive — “have someone write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history” — Dávila assigned a new identity to people without securing their consent. “I did not consult the artists in appendix A about whether they identify as a Latinx artist. This categorization of artists by museums, libraries, curators, scholars, and archivists is not a process of mutual consultation, but follows dominant designations used in society at large, as I discuss throughout this book,” Dávila wrote in Latinx Art.[32] In other words, no Hispanic has the right to self-identify as he or she chooses to self-identify. To call a Chicano or Cuban American artist “Latinx” without his or her consent is academic fraud.[33] This, however, is what Dávila has done, presumably because only she has the right to decide who is or isn’t “Latinx,” and what is or isn’t “Latinx” art.

Chicano art? What Chicano art? I think you mean Latinx art! It’s always been Latinx art and will always be Latinx art! Whatever Chicano was or you remember it as having been is a figment of your imagine! There has never been any other art other than Latinx art! See? It’s here in my book! Just look at the cover of my book!

Arlene Dávila, thus, is the self-appointed Gestapo policing “Latinx” identity. And just like that, Mexicanidad has been ethnically cleansed from American history.

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Neofascist Dávila is not alone in this “Latinx” campaign, of course. Scharrón-del Río, another neofascist Boricua, follows in the tradition of lesbian racists advancing their own political interests by denying others their civil rights. “If intelligence, justice and morality are to have precedence in the government, let the question of women be brought up first and that of the [N]egro last,” Susan B. Anthony argued at a conference of the American Equal Rights Association. This was in 1869. Susan B. Anthony, a woman-directed woman living in the nineteenth century, was a racist. To her, the political rights of Caucasian women were more important than the civil rights of Black Americans.

Susan B. Anthony’s vicious racism against Blacks, I speculate, is what motivated President Trump to pardon her, something no other president considered doing.

Scharrón-del Río is heir to the Anthony’s brand of lesbian racism. Scharrón-del Río, who self-identifies as a “genderqueer Puerto Rican,” believes that the rights of her out-group are paramount over the agency of the in-group. “Latinx” is, she argues in a phrase of tortured pomposity, “necessary to engage in liberatory praxis.” Scharrón-del Río, therefore, asserts her right to impose, through linguistic neocolonialism, a falsified identity on members of the Hispanic diaspora in the United States who embrace Mexicanidad and reject the “liberatory praxis” that Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, and Dominican Americans offer.

“Liberatory praxis”? Can there a more pretentious description of this neofascist war against Mexicanidad?

Then again, where have we heard that Orwellian sentiment — work for liberation — before?

Oh, yes, the Nazis placed “Arbeit Macht Frei” at the entrance of Auschwitz. “Latinx,” similarly, welcome Hispanics to the “liberatory praxis” neofascist Caribbean Hispanics envision.

To this dreadful quagmire, there is another, disturbing, racial component at play. “Latinx,” more than neofascism, is also neocolonialism by European-descendant Hispanics against indigenous-descendant Latinos. Consider that, in their defense of “Latinx,” Scharrón-del Río and Aja invoked the supremacy of their race. “Both of us, for example, are light-skinned Latinxs, and experience the same kind of empirically well-documented privilege that links ‘lightness’ or ‘whiteness’ among Latinxs, with more favorable treatment in institutional and economic spheres,” they explained.

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Scharrón-del Río asserts white privilege to bully Latinos of color in capitulating to her “Latinx” campaign to neocolonize Hispanics of indigenous descent.

It is a moral outrage that they boast of enjoying the benefits of white privilege in a country as racially polarized as is the United States. Scharrón-del Río and Aja, in fact, are so white that one could be forgiven for confusing them for heliophobes, or at the very least, members of one of the sangre azul — blue blood — Castilian families of legend.

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Richard Rodríguez repudiates any effort to establish a caste system among Latinos in the Hispanic diaspora in the United States.

Neither Rodríguez nor Tlapoyawa, on the other hand, can invoke white privilege because both men are mixed-race individuals. Rodríguez, writing in Hunger of Memory, famously described himself in this manner: “I am the only one in the family whose face is severely cut to the line of ancient Indian ancestors. My face is mournfully long, in the classical Indian manner; my profile suggests one of those beak-nosed Mayan [sic] sculptures — the eaglelike face upturned, open-mouthed, against the deserted, primitive sky.”[34]

The history of Latin America is filled with whites flaunting the privilege and supremacy their skin color confers on them in order to dominate non-whites and call the shots in society. That’s what this “Latinx” campaign is all about: calling the shots. “Latinx,” therefore is a backlash against the wars of independence. “Latinx” activists seek to turn back progress and put “light-skinned” Hispanics in charge of Latinos of color. The idea that self-determination dismantles the racial inequities colonialism left behind is to be repudiated. In fact, European-descendant Latino neocolonialists are now engaged in a reactionary attempt to reassert their domination of Hispanics who do not enjoy white privilege.

“Latinx,” in other words, is a white supremacist crusade to bully Latinos of color into a new twenty-first neocolonialist caste system.[35] Chicanos and Mexican Americans are expected to go along with Aja from Brooklyn College because, despite his neofascism, he enjoys white privilege. Chicanos and Mexican Americans must ignore Richard Rodríguez because, despite his doctorate from Harvard University, he’s a mestizo. Chicanos and Mexican Americans are, in the “Latinx” praxis, destined to be neocolonized by Caribbean Hispanic East Coast elites.

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Since 1517, “Indigenous Mexico” has confronted Eurocentric colonialism. Defeating the current postcolonial neocolonialism of the “Latinx” is child’s play. “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others,” the pigs said in Animal Farm, taking over the entire barnyard. “This supplement is pure gold & must read for anyone seeking to understand Chicanx, Latinx, and American history!” neofascist Dávila, an unrepentant ultracepidarian, tweeted, mocking the dignity of Mexicanidad.

Indeed, whenever a Caribbean Hispanic uses “Latinx” to describe Chicanos or Mexican Americans, this is an act of anti-indigenous racism. It is neofascism in the tradition of Juan Perón, Francisco Franco, and Fidel Castro. It is an assault on the guadalupanismo that defines Mexicanidad.

The curious thing about the “Latinx” war against Mexicanidad, however, is that it has enlisted some Mexican-descendant Latinos. Recall Robespierre’s observation that ignorance is crucial to tyranny. Enter Araceli Cruz, a Mexican American, as ignorant as they come. She entered this fracas when she wrote a wreck of an article in Teen Vogue, a publication whose readers are the college uneducated.[36]

History is filled with useful idiots — idiotas útiles — who are used for ulterior motives. There are people who read a Lonely Planet city guide and a couple of articles in National Geographic and think they know a place. That’s Cruz in a nutshell. She is therefore the perfect tool for spreading the gospel the “Latinx.”

Ready for the horror? Here goes: “The term [Hispanic] has always held a heaviness for me,” Cruz confessed. “Whenever it was used in my presence, it felt like an indication that the person using it carried an intolerance for my culture.”[37] This is the kind of statement one makes in conversation with a therapist by way of exploring childhood traumata or addressing issues related to overcoming low self-esteem.

Oblivious to the proper use of a dictionary, Cruz rambled on: “‘Hispanic’ refers to Spanish-speaking people which excludes Portuguese-speaking Brazil, South America’s largest country, but includes people from Spain.”

Yes, Spanish is not Portuguese, which is why when countries are grouped by language, Spanish-speaking countries are in one group and Portuguese-speaking ones are in another. Yes, that’s why the dictionary explains the difference between Hispanoamérica, Iberoamérica, and Latinoamérica. Cruz, triggered and confused, compounded her error by presenting as fact something she read in an adult romance novel; novels, someone should tell her, are works of fiction.[38]

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Sixteen years after it was introduced “Latinx,” fewer than 3 percent of Hispanics use it.[39] Mark Hugo López, Director of Hispanic Research at the Pew Hispanic Center, who is of Mexican descent, says nothing, but meticulously documents as the “Latinx” assault on Mexicanidad ebbs and flows, but mostly falters.

To a large degree, this “Latinx” failure is the result of Chicanos and Mexican Americans repudiating a slur they consider to be an affront to their dignity. Regardless of the political climate in Washington, D.C. — where Obama launched the policy to cage Latin American children at the border and then Trump expanded that program — Chicanos and Mexican Americans have pride. They, as guadalupanos, have faith and they know who they are and who they vow to remain.

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Neofascist Arlene Dávila is the self-appointed arbiter of what is or isn’t “Latinx.”

The Moratorium was a Chicano and Mexican American event, not a “Latinx” anything. Chicanos and Mexican Americans reject the imposition of a white-minority “Latinx” hegemony that seeks to impose a new neocolonialism on them. More and more Hispanics and Latinos, in fact, raise their eyebrows at the insidious neofascist attempt to clean American’s plate of its delicious postcolonial Mexicanidad. “Latinx” provocateurs after all, haven’t given the United States delicious things to eat and drink; Mexico and Mexicans have.

Speaking of things to eat and drink … Remember New Coke?

The public balked at having Coke reformulated and the Coca-Cola Company was forced to concede defeat. Roberto Goizueta, the Cuban American CEO and Chairman of the Coca-Cola Company, introduced “New Coke” in 1985. It turned out to be a fiasco despite the millions of dollars wasted in a marketing campaign to convince the American public that the garbage he proffered wasn’t garbage. In the end, no amount of Madison Avenue advertising could convince consumers that New Coke wasn’t the garbage that it was. No one wanted it; no one bought it. Coca-Cola was forced to bring Coke back, first as “Coke Classic” and then, simply, as “Coke.”

History repeats itself far too often. So does triumph over evil: No amount of woke doublespeak can hide the truth that “Latinx” is nothing but a neofascist war against Mexicanidad waged by neocolonialists. The only difference between “New Coke” and “Latinx” is that the former was benign and the latter is cultural genocide.

“Latinx,” in fact, is this generation’s neofascist — and repudiated — “New Coke.”[40]

About the Author

Louis Nevaer is the author of more than a dozen academic and business books including Managing Hispanic and Latino Employees (Berrett-Koehler), The Rise of the Hispanic Market in the U.S. (Routledge), The Dot-Com Debacle and the Return to Reason (Quorum Books), and Nafta’s Second Decade (Cengage Learning).

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[1] Mexicanidad is the quality or characteristic of being Mexican.

[2] https://www.yesmagazine.org/opinion/2019/11/22/latinx-indigenous-history-heritage/

[3] Le secret de la liberté est d’éclairer les hommes, comme celui de la tyrannie est de les retenir dans l’ignorance. See: Oeuvres de Maximilien Robespierre (1840), Volume 2, p. 253.

[4] I did not consult the Arlene Dávila about whether she identifies as a neofascist. This categorization by historians, political scholars, human rights activists, and archivists is not a process of mutual consultation, but follows dominant designations used in society at large.

[5] See: B03002: Hispanic or Latino Origin by Race — United States — 2018. American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, U.S. Census Bureau.

[6] “There were 11.6 million immigrants from Mexico living in the United States in 2017, and fewer than half of them (43%) were in the country illegally, according to Pew Research Center estimates. Mexico is the country’s largest source of immigrants, making up 25% of all U.S. immigrants,” the Pew Hispanic Center reported in June 28, 2019. See: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/06/28/what-we-know-about-illegal-immigration-from-mexico/.

[7] This figure does not include individuals who are in the United States in violation of immigration law, most of whom are Mexican nationals and are believed to number almost 5 million, thereby bolstering further the Mexican character of the Hispanic America.

[8] Excerpt from “Under the Volcano.” See: https://anthonybourdain.tumblr.com/post/84641290831/under-the-volcano.

[9] Henri Tajfel is credited for his pioneering work on social identity theory, bigotry, and prejudice. His intergroup relations work established the principles for social identity theory, along with John Turner, and he explored the dynamics of in-group and out-group interactions.

[10] The rare exceptions are insular communities, such as the Mennonites or Hasidic Jews.

[11] Puerto Ricans often call themselves Boricua to honor the indigenous Taíno peoples of the Caribbean. DNA analysis, however, discounts significant indigenous ancestry in most Puerto Ricans.

[12] In New York, poblanos or oaxaqueños own most of the Mexican food trucks and offer regional dishes, very distinct from Tejano or Cal-Mex cuisines.

[13] https://www.zip-codes.com/zip-code/10035/zip-code-10035-2010-census.asp.

[14] Alberto Nájar reported on poblanos taking over New York City’s Hispanic neighborhoods. See: https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias/2016/04/160417_pueblayork_mexicanos_estados_unidos_migracion_an.

[15] See, Gamio Cuervo, Arlene. Latinx: A Brief Handbook , Princeton LGBT Center, 2016. Gamio Cuervo, however, does not identify as “Latinx” herself; she identifies as a Qubanitx, a queer and trans “Latinx.” But you knew that, right?

[16] If one objects to gendered words, then don’t speak a gendered language. “Latino” and “Latina” are Spanish; “Latin” is English.

[17] Should the United Negro Fund be renamed as the United Negrx Fund?

[18] After all, 25 percent of Hispanics believe in astrology, but only 3 percent identify as “Latinx.” See: Moore, David W. (16 June 2005). “Three in Four Americans Believe in Paranormal,” https://news.gallup.com/poll/16915/Three-Four-Americans-Believe-Paranormal.aspx.

[19] https://scott.london/interviews/rodriguez.html.

[20] https://www.yesmagazine.org/opinion/2019/11/22/latinx-indigenous-history-heritage/

[21] While Rodríguez and Tlapoyawa object to the “Latin” in “Latinx,” I object to the “x.” In every language that uses the Roman alphabet, “x” denotes the feminine. “Y” denotes the masculine. Thus, “XX” is female and “XY” is male. In other words, “Latinx” is the feminine form of “Latiny.” Anyone who didn’t flunk high school science understands knows this.

[22] See: https://www.latinorebels.com/2015/12/05/the-case-for-latinx-why-intersectionality-is-not-a-choice/.

[23] Most Cuban Americans reject “Latinx” categorically. Giancarlo Sopo, for instance, has actively lobbied against it, cognizant of how the imposition of labels on individuals who reject them amounts to an act of dehumanization consistent with authoritarian regimes.

[24] It also contradicts “Latinx” neofascist Dávila of New York University who asserts the right to name Hispanics as “Latinx” without their consent.

[25] “Latin@” is proof of the failure of the school system in the United States to teach children the difference between letters and characters.

[26] See: https://swarthmorephoenix.com/author/gilberts1/.

[27] See: https://www.motherjones.com/media/1994/09/isabel-allende/.

[28] California amused her; there was no sense for decorum, no mannered elegance. Marin County, after all, is where Birkenstock USA is headquartered. That said it all about California refinement.

[29] In Spanish slang, a gringada is something so incredulous only an American would attempt such a scam.

[30] This academic also conceded: No tienen la culpa; son gente sin cultura que ignoran su propia historia. Eso es el reto: educar todos en la diáspora hispana sea donde sea. (“It’s not their fault; they are people who are uneducated and are ignorant of their own history. That is the challenge: to educate members of the Hispanic diaspora wherever they may be.”)

[31] My friends fear retaliation from “Latinx” advocates in the United States and asked I do not use their names. I, on the hand, am indifferent to the opinions of anti-indigenous racists.

[32] This is reminiscent of Fidel Castro’s Revolution: “I did not consult the gusanos about whether they identify as gusanos. This categorization of gusano by Revolutionary museums, libraries, curators, scholars, and archivists is not a process of mutual consultation, but follows dominant designations used by the Revolution at large.”

[33] It is unclear why Duke University Press agreed to publish a neofascist attempt to deny the very existence of Chicano/Mexican American art and culture.

[34] Richard Rodriguez. Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez. New York: Bantam Books, 1983, page 123.

[35] It’ something out of The Wizard of Oz: “Pay no attention to the white supremacist out-group denizen behind the curtain!”

[36] Teenagers, by definition, are not college educated. In the United States a person is 21 or 22 when he or she graduates from college.

[37] See: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/problematic-history-of-hispanic-word.

[38] In The Transcendent Journey, Matthew Fraijo, writes, “The Aztecs had a society far more advanced than anything in Europe at the time. Look, the word [Hispanic] has the root ‘panic’ in it. But whose panic? His panic. The white man’s panic.” This is fiction, both about the relative technologies of the peoples of the Americas and Europe and on the linguistic origin of the word “Hispanic,” which is from Hispania, a name given the Iberian peninsula by the Romans.

[39] https://www.pewresearch.org/hispanic/2020/08/11/about-one-in-four-u-s-hispanics-have-heard-of-latinx-but-just-3-use-it/.

[40] Writing in the Atlantic, John McWhorter observed: “Latino was enthusiastically taken up as an alternative to Hispanic around the same time African American came into use; the newer term solved the problem created by the fact that Hispanic, which centers language, refers to Spanish-speakers and thus excludes people of Brazilian descent. Latinx, too, purports to solve a problem: that of implied gender. True, gender marking in language can affect thought. But that issue is largely discussed among the intelligentsia. If you ask the proverbial person on the street, you’ll find no gnawing concern about the bias encoded in gendered word endings. … To Latinos, Latinx may feel like an imposition by activists. It’s also too clever by half for Romance-language speakers accustomed to gendered nouns.” See: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/12/why-latinx-cant-catch-on/603943/.

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