Hispanic and Latinx are terms used to mention or refer to ethnic groups belonging to Latin America. They are usually immigrants to the US due to the colonization of their states within South America.
These different terms were used to distinguish between the immigrants who were similar in their ethnic lines.
Hispanic vs Latinx
The main difference between Hispanic and Latinx is that Hispanic is used to refer to those who speak Spanish and its related languages while Latinx is used for all the other ethnic groups who don’t speak Spanish. This is because of emotions involved in between because of state colonization by different ethnic groups.
Hispanic is a term commonly used in its plural form of Hispanics. They refer to many immigrants who had immigrated to the US from Latin American countries. This isn’t seen as a derogatory term as it is just to show the cultural and regional differences of a specific set of people. This isn’t meant in a racial or discriminating way when used.
Latinx is used in place of the ethnic reference term Latino or Latina as it is seen as a gender-neutral word instead of having to refer to a male or female Latin American. Latinx is not a term that degrades a particular ethnicity nor does it mean that some people are lower than the other. It is used to differentiate each group with ease.
Comparison Table Between Hispanic and Latinx
|Parameters of Comparison||Hispanic||Latinx|
|Gender-Neutral||No, but depending on situations, it can be used as a gender-neutral term||Yes|
|Includes Only Spanish Speaking People||Yes||No|
|Major Focus While Terming||On the language spoken||On the region or the on the geographical differences|
|Different Terms For Males and Females||Not specifically||Latino for males and Latinas for females|
What is Hispanic?
Hispanic is a word that describes a specific ethnic group belonging to the Latin American states.
In general, it refers to all the Spanish-speaking immigrants and their ancestors who have migrated to the US.
When used in sentences or while being used in a verbal statement, Hispanics won’t be used to point out Brazilians as they tend to speak Portuguese over Spanish.
Such different terms to classify different ethnicity came about after a US Census.
All the Latin American activists seemed to find it offensive that they were being called “whites” in a generalized manner.
But the Latino people couldn’t come up with a single name for all the ethnic groups due to the massive strike between states that were colonized and states that were not.
Since most states in Latin America were either fully or partially colonized, especially by Spain, their language turned to be Spanish.
This caused disparity among the non colonized states. They spoke their ethnic and cultural language or some other language depending on whether or not they were colonized.
Therefore, while the activists protested for a different name for the different ethnicity, Hispanic was designated for the Spanish-speaking Latin Americans.
However, those few states which spoke part Spanish and part other languages like Portuguese were also classified under the Hispanics.
But this had its limitations and the name was accepted by very few people belonging to states with multiple languages.
What is Latinx?
Latinx is the gender-neutral term for the ethnic group Latino.
Latinos are those people who are immigrants from the Latin American states into the US through their ancestors.
Latinos are commonly used to refer to male Latin Americans whereas Latina is the term used to mention female Latin Americans.
To remove this disparity between the gender-related terms, the new word latinx was introduced.
Latinx could be used for both males and females alike and could refer to all Latinos present in a crowd without worrying about the gender.
Latinx people refused to be called Hispanics in the US under the new naming system as Spain had most of Latin America under their control.
This was a point of sour discord between the Spanish-speaking and the other Latin Americans.
Because of this, the Latin American activists requested for the non-Spanish-speaking people to be categorized under the Latino or Latinx category.
So this means, Brazilians come as a part of the Latinx ethnicity as they spoke Portugal as the major language.
The emergence of the word Latino or Latinx was due to geographical issues and divisions unlike for Hispanics.
This means that a Brazilian is a Latinx but not a Hispanic.
Such differences wouldn’t lead to communal issues as they have different reference names without feeling targeted.
Latinx is not a term used for dominating over the minority or to degrade them over cultural or regional differences.
It is just used to refer to the Latin Americans as per their needs.
Main Differences Between Hispanic and Latinx
- Hispanic is a term used for Spanish-speaking Latin Americans alone whereas Latinx is a term referring to non-Spanish-speaking Latin Americans.
- People belonging to Brazil are not considered Hispanics whereas they are seen as Latinx alone.
- The regional and geographical differences gave birth to the term Latinx whereas Hispanic was born out of language variation.
- Hispanic was the first term to be brought under the umbrella of Latin American ethnic groups whereas Latinx was brought about later.
- Male and female Latin Americans are termed as Latino and Latina respectively under the Latinx title whereas it’s just Hispanic for the general population for Spanish speakers.
Giving different names to refer to the general Latin American population who have migrated to the US was never meant to racially degrade anyone.
Neither was it a form to create a separate section of people based on their culture and traditions.
Latinx and Hispanics were brought about as a result of Latin Americans being unhappy about being called “whites” just as the general population of the US.
Neither of the terms refers to the race or color of the people and are respectfully pointing towards their cultural richness.
Even though there are communal issues based on such regional and cultural differences, in the end, everything goes along well.