Oct 10, 2023Liked by Nancy Rommelmann

Thank you for linking to Yael here. I have been checking her Twitter since Saturday. Grateful to be able to access actual accounts from people there, but at the same time I am so disheartened to see the protests here... So divisive and can't fathom people defending Hamas. It is possible to have great empathy for innocent Palestinians (many of which live in Israel!), while also condemning these terrorists. How can people watch footage of women and children being slaughtered and defend it? I just can't understand...

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Let's stipulate that Hamas is a nihilistic horror straight out of the mouth of Hell.

Let's also not allow the bloodshed in Israel, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and elsewhere to overshadow another culture clash that, though nonviolent, evinces every sign of being as persistent as the Arab-Israeli conflict. You see, Harvard's radical chic brats met yesterday in the "Latine" Resource Center to help "take a stand against Israeli colonial retaliation." Can they not hear themselves? "Latine," like the unpronounceable "Latinx," is part of a campaign by hypocritical and ethnocentric American progressives to colonize the Spanish language and rid it of its gendered nouns and related grammar.

This movement isn't confined to the rarefied precincts of Harvard Yard. Recently, Portland city commissioner Carmen Rubio celebrated what she called "Latinx Heritage Month." I replied as follows:


I hold dual Venezuelan and American citizenship. To me, your celebration of what you call "Latinx Heritage Month" reads like parody. If there are two words that do not belong together in the same sentence, they are "Latinx" and "heritage." You see, "Latinx" is nothing short of an assault on Latino heritage by a foreign power, namely anglosajón progressives whose gender neurosis knows no bounds.

They are the same progressives who espouse cultural relativity, deplore cultural imperialism and vow to decolonize every institution down to corner lemonade stands.

Chicos y chicas, the tenets of cultural relativity require that outsiders respect the Spanish language's heritage of masculine and feminine nouns and the associated linguistic conventions.

Do you not realize that your use of "Latinx" places you on the same moral and historical plane as the Spanish friars who sought to purge the indigenous people of the Américas of their idolatry? In each case, cultural imperialists' aim is to supplant an objectionable element of the native way of life with practices they consider superior.

The best proof that the queering of the Spanish language by gringo gender conquistadores is a colonial project is the resistance among subalterns to foreign neologisms such as "Latinx." Are you not aware that "Latinx" is a flop among actual latinos in Latin America? Does you really want to sound like a yanqui graduate student on a linguistic enlightenment mission in Spanish America?

In the Portland of 2023, the problem with your use of "Latinx" is that is that it marks you as yet another woke progressive who lives in a bubble in which centering marginalized and underrepresented populations is the be-all and end-all of public service. Not only is this conducive to illiberal politics and programs, it isn't meeting the needs all Portlanders have for a vast improvement in the quality of life in their city. Given a choice between a politician who says "Latinx" and "Latino," I'll vote for the latter every time.


Commissioner Rubio, who generally replies promptly, had not yet responded.

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