Geraldo Rivera wrote “Latinx is not a word” on Twitter Wednesday morning, prompting mixed reactions from users on the social platform. His remark came in response to a tweet from author Jean Guerrero, who brought up the lack of Latinx authors on The New York Times’ list of the 10 best books of 2020.
“Latinx” is a gender-neutral adjective used to describe a person of Latin American heritage. A relatively new term — its first recorded use occurred in 2004, according to Mother Jones — Latinx is used in place of the masculine term “Latino” and its feminine counterpart “Latina” as a non-binary descriptor.
Rivera, who’s half Puerto Rican by way of his father’s heritage, seemingly does not believe in the term as a replacement. It’s not the first time the longtime media personality has weighed in on the term. Little more than a week ago, Rivera called the word “fake.”
“Seriously, my dad was one of 17 proud Puerto Rican children. I have over 100 1st cousins. Our roots trace to the Taínos-the original Carib people. None of them and no Spanish person I know uses term ‘Latinx’ it seems designed by a politically correct college professor. It’s fake,” he tweeted.
His November 18 tweet quoted one from the day before in which he jokingly wrote that “Latinx is for Gringx,” seemingly implying the term is only used by “Gringos,” a derogatory Spanish word for a foreign person of English or American descent. Rivera had discussed “Latinx” in March as well, in response to Republican political consultant and pollster Frank Luntz asking if anyone actually used it “in real life.”
“[I] don’t care what people call themselves as long as they’re not trying to impose their ‘wokeness’ on old fools like me. I had enough trouble choosing between Latino & Hispanic. Proud to be either. Just don’t call me Latinx,” Rivera tweeted.
Twitter users’ responses to Rivera’s tweet varied, ranging from complete agreement with his sentiments to outright rejection and dismissal. One user told the veteran journalist to go back to bed, while another asked “Says who,” and was told “actual Latinos.” One pointed out that “neither is covfefe,” recalling the mysterious term tweeted by President Donald Trump in May 2017.
Rivera, an ardent supporter of the 45th president, recently broke with a number of conservatives by calling for Trump to “recognize the reality that this is over” and concede the 2020 presidential election to President-elect Joe Biden. He made the remarks when appearing on The Five on Fox News.