Throughout this election, I have heard rhetoric from both the left-leaning CNN and the largely Republican Fox News that the deciding demographic of this election may be the ‘Sleeping Giant Latinx’ population. ‘Latinx’ is here used as a term which encompasses both ‘Latina’ and ‘Latino’ voters, as the Spanish language uses gendered terms for men and women, whereas the English language does not.
The term “Sleeping Giant,” however, does not have any input from the Latinx community, and actually dehumanizes a movement which is entirely human. Donald Trump has awoken something which is not a monstrous giant, and never slept in the first place. The Latinx community is fully vocal and fully awake right now, turning out in record numbers to vote early.
Ultimately, the Latinx community is a group of fully functioning human beings, voters with full agency and ability. With his racist comments, proposing to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, calling Mexican American immigrants “rapists,” “criminals,” and stating that they bring drugs over the border, Trump has not made friends with the Latinx population.
Unfortunately for Trump, he needs the Latinx vote, especially in places such as Florida, where Latinx voters could very well tip him over to 270 electoral votes. Fortunately for Hillary Clinton, Trump is definitely not going to get that vote.
In a CNN panel earlier in the night, panelist Ana Navarro said that “it would be sweet, sweet justice if tonight it was the Latino vote that defeated Donald Trump.” To Latinx, yes it would.
Trump, throughout his multiple appearances and rallies, boasted that Latinx voters would turn out for him, and even went so far as to print up thousands of yard signs and posters reading
“Latinos para Trump,” a gaff on his campaign’s part because linguistically, the poster should have read “Latinos Por Trump.”
Misspellings and misnamings go a long way to alienating a people who, for one of the first times in U.S. election history, are coming out to the election polls en joyous masse to exercise their rights as citizens to vote. If Trump were really trying to get the Latinx vote, he should have started with his use of language.