In their takedown of an article that says "Latinx" denotes “a lack of respect for the sovereignty of Spanish,” professors María R. Scharrón-del Río and Alan A. Aja defend the term, arguing that it should replace "Latino" when referring to people of Latin American descent.
They say moving towards non-gendered language is a way to escape the ghost of colonialism that still haunts Latin American culture. "Latinx" actually represents the people the term is supposed to represent, so it's "a concerted attempt at inclusivity" that "fosters solidarity with all of our Latinx community," Scharrón-del Río and Aja write.
moving towards non-gendered language is a way to escape the ghost of colonialism that still haunts Latin American culture.
Still, even with the gender inclusivity of a term like “Latinx,” there are still issues that arise when grouping a very diverse population—like that of Latin America—under one umbrella term.
“I think there has been a lot of communication and travel between communities and countries within the Americas for centuries, and Latinx kind of gives that some coherence,” Ken Eby-Gomez, a San Francisco-based activist and graduate student, told NTRSCTN. “But ... it would be a mistake to essentialize any meaning or characteristics of Latinx."
In other words, creating a single Latin American identity can be problematic because it may lead to the erasure of marginalized identities (e.g. indigenous people), while highlighting lighter-skinned mestizos (i.e. people of mixed Spanish and indigenous ancestry).