For this third installment of #LatinoRebels10 in celebration of Latino Rebels’ 10th anniversary, we look back to a piece in 2015 that continues to drive the discussion about the use of LATINX. For more installments, click here.
Over the years, Latino Rebels has published several opinion pieces in response to issues surrounding our community.
On December 5, 2015, an opinion essay by María R. Scharrón-del Río and Alan A. Aja titled, “The Case FOR ‘Latinx’: Why Intersectionality Is Not a Choice,” struck a nerve—one of the strongest nerves ever struck on this site, and that says something coming from a site that has struck a lot of nerves.
This essay was in response to an earlier 2015 piece from Swarthmore College against the use of the term.
Little did anyone know that the debate would get passionate and contentious. But that is what happened, even as Scharrón-del Río and Aja acknowledged several times that their essay needed to get written, and over the last six years, it has been cited across many academic papers and links that we have lost count of where it is still cited.
The same can be said of the response that former Latino Rebels deputy editor Hector Luis Alamo wrote one week on December 12, 2015. To this day, Hector tells us he gets invited to talk about this essay.
Within a few weeks in early 2016, the debate was on NPR (thanks to our founder, who worked at Latino USA):
Still, the debate took off after all this, and in the interest of being in the center of it, Latino Rebels has published several opinion pieces and stories that argue for its usage and against it. Back in 2015 and 2016, we thought that the conclusions were already settled—yet due to online discussions and even political motives by conservative voices, the never-ending debate continues.
What is our own editorial take about the use of LATINX?
We let our 600+ contributors decide whether they want to use the term or not. As much as some people will think no decision is the right one, it is has worked for us because it lets our contributors own their voices, without having editors like us dictate what they should write and what labels they should use. Self-identity is personal and we will always respect that. If only others felt the same, especially fellow Latinos. (For those counting: we have used the word LATINX in 465 stories and we have published over 10,400 stories since 2011.)
Anyway, here are some of the pieces about LATINX that we have published on this site:
The debate has even included a U.S. Senator:
So forgive us if we feel this debate has been recycled and recycled over and over again:
Every time we see a "Latinx" debate on Twitter these days. Is this 2015 again? Our community has been discussing this for a while now. No more new "think pieces" or threads, please? pic.twitter.com/MQolnfnNi0
— Latino Rebels (@latinorebels) November 23, 2020
Pero seguimos. We keep at it.