Does Anybody Really Want To Be Called Latinx?

More than three-quarters of U.S. Hispanics have never heard the term, and only 3 percent prefer it.


Do you know what the term Latinx means? It's a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina that arose in academia before spreading to trendy celebrities, media pundits, and virtue-signaling politicians. As of now, however, the people to whom that term applies aren't buying it. A recent Pew Research Center poll found that only 3 percent of U.S. Hispanics use Latinx to identify themselves. A large majority of Hispanics—76 percent of them—have never even heard of the term, which Merriam-Webster included in its 2018 dictionary.

This result echoes findings from November 2019 that, despite being, as Reason noted at the time, "a favorite of campus activists and ethnic studies departments," Latinx appealed to only 2 percent of Hispanics nationwide.

The irony is that the term Hispanic is inclusive and gender-neutral but, as the Pew study explains, it spurred "resistance" in the 1990s because "it embraced a strong connection with Spain." However, its gender-specific and hence suddenly problematic replacement, Latino, hardly severs all connections with Spain, let alone with European imperialism.

As historian John Phelan explained, one of the earliest proponents of the concept of a "Latin America" as an alternative to the older "Spanish America" was Michel Chevalier, a 19th-century French political economist who, "as early as 1855…spelled out a geo-ideological program which could serve as a rationale for France's economic expansion in both America and the Far East." The Pan-Latin element was essential because it sought to make France the leader of an imperialist block of Catholic nations that—along with Spain and Portugal—could resist the power of the Eastern European Orthodox Slavs and of the Northern European Protestant Anglo-Saxons and Germanics.

Although Chevalier developed his thesis after the independence of most Ibero-American countries, he considered that "the Hispanic nations of the New World belonged to the Latin-Catholic block of South Europe." As such, he not only championed the French construction of a canal across Central America, but also assumed "the role of principal apologist of (Emperor) Napoleon III's Mexican expedition" of 1861, after which the French toppled nationalist president Benito Juárez and made the Austrian royal Maximilian von Habsburg a short-lived Emperor of Mexico. All of this took place, Phelan writes, amid "a veritable barrage of Pan-Latin propaganda."

While the conversion of Ibero-Americans into Latins resulted from 19th-century French imperialism, the term Latino rejects modern Spain in favor of an odd embrace of the Roman Empire. The French wanted the mostly Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking Americas to be called Latin because of the linguistic origin of the Romance languages. And it was, of course, the Romans, hardly politically correct peaceniks, who conquered the Iberian Peninsula and Gaul (later France) and made them Latin-speaking. Which is to say that using Latin or Latino or even Latinx to distance oneself from European colonialism takes a sense of humor.

On the contrary, Hispania, the Latin word for Spain, may have been of autochthonous, Iberian origin, although there is still debate on the matter and several philologists have suggested Phoenician roots. It is intriguing, however, that most people sense the spuriousness of the entire question. As Pew reports, "half of Americans who trace their roots to Spanish-speaking Latin America and Spain have consistently said they have no preference for either Hispanic or Latino as a term to describe the group. And when one term is chosen over another, the term Hispanic has been preferred to Latino."

The preference for Latinx by certain woke progressive gatekeepers reflects a commitment to the artificial and top-down over the evolved and organic usage of the people themselves.

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  1. Saw that bitch mayor from Bend use it when her mob of angry idiots tried to stop ice from arresting illegals. Considering that city and state is as white as can be and full of shitty worthless dumbasses I wasn’t surprised.

    1. Anytime I hear a white person saying that term, especially these middle-to-later-aged Karens, they always sound like pretentious morons.

      Having actual beaner relatives, even they laugh at that shit. They call themselves Mexican, not Latinx or any other academic gobbledy-gook term.

      1. Their primary language is gendered, for crying out loud. Are they going to get rid of the gendered nouns in Spanish too?

        1. there’s definitely some assholes trying. All in academia, and all completely worthless in the real world, but I repeat myself.

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  2. “A large majority of Hispanics—76 percent of them—have never even heard of the term”

    Systemic Racism!

    1. Internalized systemic racism, or, something.

    2. When in Chile I frequently got a poor reception from Chilenos. Turns out the Spanish I learned was from people who had immigrated from Mexico and I sound Mexican. Mexicans are not held in high regard in Chile.
      There is no real Latino solidarity, and there has never been any.

      1. Huh. I learned Castillian spanish in school, then honed my actual speaking skills along the border. While Mexicans certainly have an accent, to claim their patois isn’t Spanish is ridiculous.

        1. He didn’t say they didn’t think it was Spanish, but that they thought he sounded Mexican. And hey, I get it. I’m from New Mexico, and while I recognize that what the neighbors are speaking as English, I can still tell they’re from Texas.

        2. It’s not that it isn’t Spanish, but these areas have dialects that are quite obvious to native speakers, and Central Americans have long been considered to be low-class trash due to ethnic prejudices, as Mexicans, Salvadorans, etc., tend to have a lot more Indian blood in them than Chileans or Argentinians.

          It’s sort of like how when you hear a deep Southern accent in English, you immediately think of a redneck even if the speaker is a lawyer that makes three times as much as you do.

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      2. Think of it this way… when I’m in my town, I’ve only really got “solidarity” with my family.

        When I drive a hundred miles away, I might have solidarity with the town I’m from.

        When i cross state lines, I’ve got solidarity with my state.

        When I cross the border, I’ve got American solidarity.

        If I cross the ocean, I’ve got solidarity with the Americas as a whole.

        And presumbably, if we ever run into aliens, I’ll have human/Earth solidarity when dealing with them.

        So it’s not that there is no “real Latino solidarity”, it’s that you need to move yourself outside of a Latin American country to see it.

        1. When I cross the border to another country, I usually see a McDonalds and feel compelled to apologize for us putting it there.

          America exports shitty burgers and bombs…the latter being a proxy for democracy.

  3. What I find confusing (and this article doesn’t help) is are people of Brazilian/Portuguese descent “Latino” or not?

    1. My Portuguese friends do NOT consider themselves Latin. They tell me they’re Caucasian. So I would guess that applies to Brazilians as well.

      1. Yeah – my experience has been that people from Portugal simply think of themselves as “European,” very much analogous to being French or Italian.

        Brazilians in the US, however, seem to tend to gravitate toward Latin communities and identify more as Latino, depending to a certain extent on whether they’re black, white, indigenous, or mixed.

        1. My daughter-in-law is from Minas Gerais in Brazil. Her entire circle of expat friends have no feelings of community with Mexicans, Guatemalans, or Salvadorians. After all, they don’t even speak the same language.

      2. Mostly this would be used to describe Central and South Americans, not Europeans.

        So, the Spanish aren’t Hispanic as such, the Portuguese and French aren’t Latinos.

        1. My Spanish boss always checked the Hispanic box on forms.

      3. Not really.

        My Brazilian wife finds Latina acceptable for Brazilians, though not preferable to Brazilian. It’s definitely not common, but it is preferable to Hispanic, which is completely wrong and generally only said by people who are complete idiots and don’t know that Brazil has fuck-all to do with Spain.

        In short, Latin will raise a Brazilian’s eyebrow, Hispanic might send them in a rage.

        Just call them Brazilian.

    2. Brazilians are Latino, but not Hispanic. For whatever reason neither term traditionally applies to people from Europe, but I’ve noticed more in the last decade or so Spaniards speaking English referring to themselves as Latinos.

      The members of the rather large Portuguese-descended population of San Jose that I’ve known definitely would not describe themselves as Latino, but they do consider themselves a marginalized ethnic minority that no one cares about (but I think that’s specific to San Jose).

    3. They would be Latino – but not Hispanic.

      Ie, descended from a Latin-root language (Portuguese) but not Spanish in the Americas.

      Everything south of the US is Latino, most of it is Hispanic.

      1. I’m not really an expert here, but I believe that to add a bit more detail: Hispanic denotes ancestry, so someone(not in Spain) who can at some point trace their ancestry back to Spain, while Latino is by birth.

        If there is a person who is born in Chile who is 100% indigenous that person wouldn’t be Hispanic. That person would still be Latino though. This would apply to the children of tons of people who fled Europe over the years and had children in the Americas.

        Likewise, you could be of Spanish ancestry, born in the US and still be Hispanic, but you wouldn’t be Latino because you weren’t born in a Latin American country.

    4. I know one American originally born to Portuguese citizenship that intensely considers herself American; she isn’t particularly happy to be considered Latino because of that. She was particularly angry when (1) the school system insisted that her kids should learn her native language — which she considered to be English, because she is American, and particularly when (2) they were convinced that the “native language” was Spanish.

      She loves Portugal, and visits her family in Portugal when she can — but she nonetheless is American through and through.

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  5. >>It’s a gender-neutral alternative

    in English. the Romantics have gender-specific everything.

    1. White progressives colonizing language again to support their systemic privilege.

      1. almost too stupid to laugh at. almost.

      2. Progressives are appropriating the languages of minorities.

        This is not OK. Be better.

    2. A bunch of privileged NPR know-it-alls insisting on a PC label the people signified obviously do not prefer, all because progressive honkies believe gendered languages like Spanish are inherently sexist and transphobic.

  6. I wonder how many SCOTUS decisions of the Sotomayer Era will need to be revisited and overturned

  7. Wow.
    This relies on the unfounded assumption that the white, heteronormative male brain would be able to momentarily overcome its implicit bias towards racism and misogyny and somehow fathom the complexity of lived experiences of the Latinx diaspora at large, let alone calculate their needs and wants.
    I’m not saying the assumption is racist per se, but your headline definitely reinforces the power structures designed specifically to oppress minorities and indigenous peoples worldwide, and if I’m being perfectly honest, an article like this would probably find a better audience at the Daily Stormer or a Klan meeting. Do better.


    1. This is a parody, right?

      1. I mean, I figured the Klan rally part was a decent giveaway.

        1. Hard to tell these days. I’m still not sure if the 2+2=5 thing is a legit part of their religion now or if it’s just a mass troll effort.

          1. 2+2=5 is legit for at least some of the lunatics. The whole “math is racist” has been around for at least a few years, it’s just getting more attention now since it’s an election year, and also because the Democrats have apparently decided to go full retard. You have a group of (mostly white) idiots who go along with whatever they’re told is right in the name of “social justice”. Math is racist? Cool. Looting is just reparations? Makes sense. Burning books and stomping on anyone who disagrees with you is fighting fascism? Why not!

        2. Poe’s law

      2. OBL is trying on a new look.

    2. One has to go to a university to believe something so dumb as you just posted.

  8. Are spick and beaner still gender neutral and all inclusive?

    1. My esposa prefers to refer to her people as “the browns”…

      1. capitalized or no?

      2. I think the most offensive part about that might be that people might associate them with the worst franchise in all of professional sports based in Cleveland.

        1. Martha Ford would like a word with you.

    2. Spick is just a shortened form of Hispanic, so no. Beaner should be good, though.

    3. Would Spix be acceptable? How about Chinx?

    4. Are spick and beaner still gender neutral and all inclusive?

      Until asexual reproduction comes around I’m hard pressed to think of a term more inclusive than ‘half-breed’.

    5. I believe spix and wetbax are what all the enby kids are saying these days.

  9. at least Latino and Latina are actual Spanish words.

    1. “La-tinks” is totally a word.

  10. Considering the Romantic Languages have masculine and feminine connotations for so many words this ‘fix’ could get messy. I mean how is it determined whether you address El LatinX or La LatinX?
    And then what? Should the language then be altered entirely to accommodate the gender neutral model en todo/as/exes/?

    1. I always like to use the example of Farsi, which I understand is ungendered, whose use has resulted in the paradise of gender equality known as Iran. Therefore, eliminating gendered words is definitely the most important thing we can be doing to address inequality between the sexes, let alone fight for the rights here that gender-queer people have in Iran.

    2. Remember – these people aren’t as smart as the white educated class and so the white educated class needs to take them by the hand to protect them from being colonized.

      1. And here I thought they had to colonize them to prevent them from being colonized…

  11. W/ a 3% usage rate by Latin folks, using the term could be…. racist. Getting on that trendy bandwagon is cool, in the way that applying unwanted labels to ethnic groups always is /sarc.

  12. First of all, it’s a slap in the face to disrespect their cultural and language traditions. Spanish uses gendered nouns and adjectives. It has nothing to do with human sexuality or gender identity. It’s a language convention. It doesn’t impact your liberty. Get over it.

    Second, it’s stupid, because how on earth would you pronounce that abomination of a word in Spanish?

    Third, the vast majority of my hispanic / latino / etc. relatives and friends prefer to be designated by their country of family heritage – just like most European Americans. There’s a lot of difference between a Mexican, a Cuban, and an Argentinian, culturally, even though they speak and understand approximately the same language. (speaking to an Argentino in Spanish is a bit like talking to an Aussie in English)

    1. Second, it’s stupid, because how on earth would you pronounce that abomination of a word in Spanish?

      A little ‘hock-a-loogey’ sound immediately following “La-teen?”

      Third, the vast majority of my hispanic / latino / etc. relatives and friends prefer to be designated by their country of family heritage

      ^ This. I had this same conversation with my dad during first-round PC in the early ’90s when he groused that “I guess Mexicans don’t like being called Mexicans anymore.” I said “I think it’s more that they don’t like being called Mexicans when they’re Guatemalans.”

      But then just as with “Native American,” we simply come up with some other generic term that we expect to be inoffensive when the original complaint was “actually I’m Hopi, and I really don’t appreciate being lumped in with Choctaw, because there’s really no similarity between us.”

      (speaking to an Argentino in Spanish is a bit like talking to an Aussie in English)

      Yeah – I can understand Mexicans and Salvadorans, but I cannot understand Cubans and Spaniards.

      1. “La-tinks”. You’re welcome. 😉

        1. If it’s Latin it’s pronounced Latin-diez.

      2. El hombre/ La Chica/ Los demás con Equis?

      3. But then just as with “Native American,” we simply come up with some other generic term that we expect to be inoffensive when the original complaint was “actually I’m Hopi, and I really don’t appreciate being lumped in with Choctaw, because there’s really no similarity between us.”

        The white privilege that I inherited from both my German and my English ancestry prevents me from understanding how truly offensive it can be to have such polar opposites lumped together as one group. Moreover, between my ancestry and my wife’s Irish and Austro-Hungarian roots, our kids would be completely hopelss. Thankfully, we’ve got people like the Hopi and the Guatemalans to teach this gringo how white supremacist it is to lump diverse people together like that. How silly of us to just expect people not to take offense when none was intended and the assumption that it would be is, itself, pretty racist.

      4. Lots of PC BS is just ridiculously condescending to the people it’s supposedly dignifying, or whatever it’s supposed to be. No one gives a shit about this stuff except pomo marxists academics and people whose minds have been poisoned by them.

    2. Second, it’s stupid, because how on earth would you pronounce that abomination of a word in Spanish?

      Nobody knows how to pronounce it in *English*.

      Its not a word that is ever said. Its *written* by sad, middle-aged adjunct professors who never socialize with other people in real life because no one can stand their screeching. So they band together on the internet like so many other despised, marginalized, furries.

      1. No, they’re worse than furries. Furries are just disgusting and obnoxious. These people would be willing to kill you.

        1. Also, furries do actually occasionally socialize in the real world. It doesn’t usually go well (look up the Internet Historian’s video on Rainfurrest Con for a good laugh), but these people are even more socially awkward and sexually repressed than furries, which should tell you a lot about them.

      2. In my head I’ve been saying it as “la-tinks“, but sometimes think it should be “latin-eks“.

      3. Sadly, it’s being said more and more. I’ve heard “lateen ex” and “latinks”.

    3. “speaking to an Argentino in Spanish is a bit like talking to an Aussie in English”

      So you need to keep a safe distance in case they get bitey?

      1. They eat more meat per capita than Texans and drive like Italians, so whether in person or on the road, it’s a good idea.

  13. Frankly, the terms “Latino,” “Latina,” and “Latinx” are each misappropriations of the culture of the indigenous peoples of the Italian peninsula. As a descendent of those indigenous peoples, I demand that you cease misappropriating my culture.

    1. They don’t apply to the people of the Italian peninsula.

      Its applied to the people of Central and Southern America as a group. The Europeans using Latin-descended languages are just identified by their country – Spain, France, Portugal, and Italy.

      Now, you may use this to justify your outrage at being unfairly *excluded* from the group due to, obviously, structural racism.

  14. It’s a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina that arose in academia

    Which is funny to apply to a people who are proud of a set of languages that ‘gender’ everything.

    Its like the greatest pushers of colonialism are the people who claim to be trying to destroy colonialism.

    1. Let’s not re-visit the Faulklands War.

  15. And here I thought LatinX was the spicy new team assembled by Dr. Carlos Xavier.

    1. I’m digging the idea of a wheelchair with spinners.

      1. And fluorescent windshield wipers.

        It’s gotta be a ’90s wheelchair, though, at latest.

      2. Nah, 12″ diameter spoked wheels.

  16. Need a gender neutral term for “attention whore”.

    1. “Attention sex worker”

  17. Methinx Latinx stinx.

    When I was young the older folks referred to all Spanish speakers (Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans , etc.) as Spanish, some still do. In Bye Bye Birdie the lead female character is called Spanish when she’s clearly Puerto Rican.

  18. So to summarize, “woke” progressives whitesplain to minority group about ________.

  19. I want to be Latin X, the Hispanic superhero and heartthrob.

    1. Running a missionary for ‘gifted’ latin children is the perfect cover for the leader of the Latin X-men!

      1. Latin X-Hombres, please.

  20. As of now, however, the people to whom that term applies aren’t buying it. A recent Pew Research Center poll found that only 3 percent of U.S. Hispanics use Latinx to identify themselves.

    And I suspect that’s high. I’m guessing the real percentage is probably to the right of the decimal point.

    1. And I suspect that’s high. I’m guessing the real percentage is probably to the right of the decimal point.

      Yeah. I suspect a Pew Research Center poll conducted exclusively via text message in S. California High Schools and L.A. street corners came up with 3%.

  21. Oh, oh, and the fact that Latinx appears quite a bit in the media tells you just how lopsided the conversation is.

  22. Big cluestick to the woke: “Gender” as applied to noun declensions is NOT the same thing as “gender” as applied to sex. There is a correlation when it comes to people, there is NOT a correlation when it comes to other nouns. And not just Spanish but all other Roman languages, as well as most languages from other linguistic roots. Some languages even have more than three genders! Gasp!

    It’s English that is the oddball with no gendered nouns. Yet it’s English academic wokes who insist on changing the language of other cultures to meet their own politcs. It’s incredibly racist when you think about it. Some White Woke demanding a Latino of non-European descent that he must use “latinx” is profoundly racist.

    p.s. That 3% are mostly just the tokens that the White Wokes trot out to demonstrate that they’re inclusive. But they still have to sit at the end of the table at the White Woke banquets.

    1. Language imperialism that no one wants to call out.

    2. “But they still have to sit at the end of the table at the White Woke banquets.”
      I think you mean serve and clean up after….

    3. This is what happens since transgenders have elevated to the top of the woke totem pole of aggrieved minorities. They have to go to great lengths to avoid even the perception of offending the highest protected group (whether any real trans people actually find
      “Latino” offensive is irrelevant to this effort).

      1. Eventually some other group will make it to the top of the pole. Conjoined twins? No wait, that’s biological. Need something that is a personal choice so they can claim they were born that way. Neo-Orthodox Wiccans? Polyamorous incels? Morris Dancers?

        1. No one more oppressed than a non-binary mentally disabled Morris Dancer of color…

      2. The really goofy thing here is that the vast majority of transgender people want to identify as one sex or the other. The whole point is that binary gender is how they feel, they just think their body is the wrong sex. This ridiculous pandering to the absurd and rare non-binary identity

  23. AC repair guy stopped by today. We chatted for a bit and I asked him if “latinx” was to his liking. He said no and wished horrible things happen to people who use it. Also he plans to vote for Trump.

    He’s originally from Mexico. Also a damn fine AC tech.

    1. I admit I don’t know a LOT of black people, but the one black person I do know that has ever brought up politics in front of me is MAGA to the bone.

      1. I don’t know if I know a lot of pro-colonial white supremacists, I suspect asking people if they think Merriam-Webster’s dictionary should be the defintive source for the term ‘latinx’ would be a perfect litmus test.

        It seems exactly like the any one of the ‘implicit bias’ parlor tricks.

      2. My experience is about half and half. Not necesssarily MAGA types, but for every one with a poster of Angela Davis on his wall there’s one with a poster of Thomas Sowell or Clarence Thomas.

  24. The language has changed, how can you object? It has already been decided. You missed the vote. Does Raisbeck fancy himself a culture warrior?

    Who changed it and how they have the authority to change it are best left unthought about.

  25. When I first heard it I thought it was “Lat-inks” and referred to a small ethnic group or language in South America or the Mediterranean.
    Seems unpopular as leftists ordering Indians to call themselves “Native Americans” after 500 years so they (lefties) can make racial references without seeming to.

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  29. It’s hilarious when white women try to rename an entire group of people and then tell everyone else that they’re the problem.

  30. Does it matter what Latino/Hispanic people want to be called? Their betters have spoken.

    It’s no different than newspapers that are now capitalizing the B in black, to signify they are a race and all the same.

    1. And we have a winner!

      This is the insanity of the situation. On the one had, everyone is supposed to be treated equally (under law, i.e. with respect to government), but we’re supposed to also group everyone into some mythical groupings based on their skin color, eye shape, hair pattern, etc,. Either we’re all one race (human) or we’re not. You can’t have it both ways.

  31. ¿Son los Latin-equis los que asesinaron a los indigenos antes de robarles de sus tierras en el sudoeste de norteamerica?

    In contrast to latinos/hispanics/chicanos and ordinary hispanohablantes who never heard the term and dislike it when they hear it?

    1. They’re definitely x-latinos, because they’ve been dead for 400-500 years.

  32. Latin America does have a strong connection with Spain. Lots of people immigrate to Spain from the Americas. Imagine, that, countries and cultures that share a language are often closer than those that don’t.

  33. The only reason to promote or use the “latinx” word is to cover yourself when you’re talking to a Hispanic person who you suspect might be “transgender.” It’s hard to know which suffix to use, so “latinx” covers all bases. Not saying it’s right or good–but it’s a solution to cover for the ambiguities presented.

    1. “Latin” covers all cases.

  34. What I don’t understand is why the woke want to create a whole new word, when English is already essentially non-gendered? Let’s see, Mexicano/Mexicana -> Mexican, Argentino/Argentina -> Argentine, etc. so, following the pattern, Latino/Latina -> Latin.

  35. Honestly, it’s not the gender-neutral part that I find particularly objectionable. OK, I don’t like it, but if you want a gender neutral latino/latina, fine, have one. It’s the linguistic aspect. A Spanish word with the letter X on the end. Not the pronunciation of the letter (“ks” as it’s pronounced in both Spanish and English (latinks)), not the name of the letter in Spanish (equi), but the name of the letter in English (eks). It’s clumsy. Why not latine (lateenay)?

  36. I am ambivalent about the term. I understand it as Spanish is a gendered language and English is not and if you want to speak about all Latinos, then I see why it was developed. Latina (f) Latino (m) Latinos (pl). So Latinos could mean all Latinos or a group of male Latinos, so there is an issue of being unclear if you want to refer to the whole community. Again, this is really a term that makes sense in written English, but not really something that you would need to say in spoken conversation as other markers and context would make what you are referring to clear.

  37. As I understand it, one can be Latin American – and thus a Latino/Latina – without being Hispanic. This would be the case for the population of Brazil, for example. Latin America includes more than just Spanish-speaking North American places (e.g., Mexico).

  38. “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. ‘”

  39. Does that make me a Jewx?

    Well the Jewx on me.

    Bada boom.

  40. This whole effort to institutionalize the word “Latinx” is just another example of arrogant, politically-correct leftists of mostly northern European ancestry, trying to patronize a minority group while at the same time telling the members of that group how to be “authentic” members of their own group. It’s almost sure to backfire with Hispanics once they become aware of it. In the meantime, the rest of our society is beginning to recognize that anyone who voluntarily uses the term is an arrogant, politically-correct leftist of probable northern European ancestry.

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