New Language Guidelines Issued by Governor Huckabee Sanders

New Language Guidelines Issued by Governor Huckabee Sanders

( – Arkansas’ new governor hit the ground running after swearing in on January 10, signing several executive orders. Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders promised to focus on issues important to the people in her state, and her choices could offer a good glimpse into the direction she wants to take during her term. Among the changes she’s making, the freshly sworn-in governor is banning the term “Latinx” in official documents and doing away with critical race theory (CRT) in schools.

Removing Harmful Language

Huckabee Sanders’ Executive Order tackles the usage of “Latinx,” which she deems “pejorative language.” The governor states the Real Academia Española, which Arkansas acknowledges as the official word on the Spanish language, disagrees with using “x” instead of traditional word endings. She adds that only 3% of people of Hispanic or Latin American descent use “Latinx,” making use of the term ethnically inappropriate.

The Hill writes that the gender-neutral term has gained some popularity among people who feel the need to alter their language for the sake of “LGBTQ+ inclusion.” Still, the word has no Spanish pronunciation, and many people feel its use has had the opposite effect of its intention.

Huckabee Sanders reminds her readers that gender-neutral nouns don’t exist in romance languages; attempting to change that would be akin to “remov[ing] vowels and verbs from English.” Additionally, Spanish speakers agree that when in doubt, the language defaults to the masculine — and the language always uses male nouns and pronouns to describe groups of people as long as one male is present. According to the governor, banning “Latinx” is one way government officials can “respect its citizens.”

Taking Charge of the State

In her effort to address potentially harmful language, Huckabee Sanders also tackled CRT. Her Executive Order aiming to prohibit indoctrination and CRT in schools bars all people working for or within school districts, including lecturers and guest speakers, from relaying elements of the liberal viewpoint in communications, materials, and policies. The governor feels CRT puts too much emphasis on skin color, which further serves to segregate rather than unify people from different backgrounds. In the order, she stresses, “Teachers and school administrators should teach students how to think — not what to think.”

Alongside the two above executive orders Huckabee Sanders signed on her first day, she also ordered a hiring and promotion freeze in the state government, limits on government overreach and bureaucracy, and protections against foreign technological threats and influences.

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