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Conversation regarding ethnicity continues

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Conversation regarding ethnicity continues

Story by: Zoe Ramirez and Nick Garside

Members of the Academic Senate discussed systematic racism and the usage of the term Latinx on Oct. 26.

Speech instructor Christine Ersig Marcus spoke about terms used to describe racial inequality.

“The term systematic racism is a crucial general concept, but it does not adequately capture what African Americans are facing,” Marcus said. “Anti-blackness does.”

She explained that the Black community is more often discriminated against compared to other communities, according to a Los Angeles Times report that the highest number of violent hate crimes were towards the African American community.

President Alexis Montevirgen shared Pierce’s enrollment reports. As of Oct. 25, Pierce’s headcount stands at 94% compared to the district’s which is about 92%.

In terms of enrollment, Pierce is at 90% while the district is at 88%.

Overall, City College’s enrollment is first in the district followed by Pierce.

Montevirgen said he’s also planning town hall meetings to share updates on COVID-19 and to address students’ reactions to distance learning.

Jeanette Maduena from the counseling department proposed an amendment to switch ‘Latin communities’ to ‘Latin American communities.’

“Latin is a language,” Maduena said. “It is not a person. As a person of Latino background, I do not identify with that. Latin communities is not appropriate, and I would like for it to reflect Latin American communities.”

The senate then discussed the term Latinx.

Automotive service technology instructor Alex Villata spoke about how he has no issue adopting the term Latinx because not doing so is discriminatory toward the LGBTQ community.

“In reality, Latinx has to do with our gay community and not our side,” Villata said.

Associated Students Organization President Jamie Crespin said that Latinx is gender neutral and “is something the student body at Pierce would like to see included” in the Resolution Against Systemic Racism.

Villata further encouraged the use of Latinx.

“I’m an immigrant myself,” Villata said. “I am a proud, robust member of the Latino culture and I don’t see a problem with having Latinx added to this language.”

Assistant professor in modern languages Margarita Pillado said she respects how communities identify themselves, but disagrees with the term Latinx because it causes erasure and lack of traits.

“I understand the desire of a further discriminated group, which is the LGTBQIA+ to have a name, a sense of belonging,” Pillado said. “X has taken over and does not represent that community.”

After discussing many topics, the Academic Senate didn’t vote on solutions toward systematic racism. Senate members will work on the resolution in smaller groups instead. The next Academic Senate meeting will be on Nov. 9.