My Keynote

I was a keynote speaker at an event for Hispanic students. At the beginning of the event, the organizer gave a whole speech about how we don’t use the word “Hispanic” because it’s offensive (a lie) and instead use LatinX because it’s inclusive and many Spanish-speakers like it (a total lie).

Then I gave my keynote address, and obviously I said “Hispanic” and “latino.” I also gave parts of the keynote address in Spanish. Nothing upsets diversity folks more than people speaking languages they can’t police or control.

Great experience. The president of the university system reached out to thank me in person.

10 thoughts on “My Keynote”

  1. Kudos for courage. I grew up in San Diego, CA. “Latino” and “Hispanic” were, and are, just fine for my neighbors.

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  2. Awesome!! Congratulations on your thank-you from your university president.

    I’m struggling to remember why “Hispanic” is offensive…something about it being a term created by the government as a census category and that it was used in way that was not quite accurate. Maybe the objection was that it ignored the diversity of the Hispanic population (e.g., people who prefer to identify as Chicano–or is it Chicanx?). Perhaps the problem was that it was too inclusive (including Europeans, i.e., Spaniards) Or maybe the reason was that the term didn’t come from Hispanics themselves…I can’t remember.

    I would have loved for someone to have asked this person why the term is offensive. I wonder if s/he could have actually answered the question.

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    1. Get this: it’s offensive because it excludes trans people. How? I have absolutely no idea. It’s the same as if you don’t list your pronouns, you must hate trans people. Which is funny given as the two trans people I personally know don’t list their pronouns because they consider themselves female and don’t want to stand out.

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      1. “the two trans people I personally know don’t list their pronouns”

        Listing your pronouns (or making a big deal about other people doing so) is at best a weak-assed type of personal branding and at worse a symptom of deep neuroses (and an addiction to disapproval).

        The problem is that the more people actually list their pronouns the less effective it is as branding and the less disapproval it evokes in others so they have to invent new categories for themselves, maybe we here should invent a new category and see how long it takes for someone to claim it…

        “I’m gender divisive! I split gender!”

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  3. The word Latinx is an excellent illustration of what people who hate the words Hispanic and Latino claim to abhor. An artificially created word by a likely non-Hispanic person that is essentially unpronounceable in Spanish. Even some extremely woke Hispanic people I know are not very happy with that designation. Others don’t even know about it. Kind of ironic.

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  4. I was recently (informally) reviewing an article that used the dreaded Latinx twice, I advised that one use was okay since it was used as possible way of group self-designation (along with Hispanic, Latino and another term or two – I’m sure some non-Spanish speaking people call themselves Latinx) but I thought the other case (direct naming by the author) should be changed (mentioning that AFAIK Spanish speakers are not enchanted by the word) and they agreed and decided to use Latino instead…. a small victory but I’m happy about it.

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