Jill Biden’s Taco-Gate ‘Scandal’ Is REAL Most Important Story Of Day!
I didn’t want to give this too much oxygen because it’s so absurd, but Monday, Republicans suddenly embraced their hidden wokeness and dogpiled on First Lady Jill Biden because she apparently insulted Latino Americans everywhere. You might think that doesn’t seem like something Dr. Biden would do, but why bother spending a few minutes to think when you’re a member of the press with access to Twitter?
Sam Stein, Politico’s White House editor, tweeted Monday, "FLOTUS, in her speech this afternoon, said the Hispanic community was as 'unique as the breakfast tacos' in San Antonio.”
\u201cFLOTUS, in her speech this afternoon, said the Hispanic community was as \u201cunique as the breakfast tacos\u201d in San Antonio.\u201d— Sam Stein (@Sam Stein) 1657574332
Yeah, that’s pretty yikes! but it’s not what Dr. Biden actually said. I mean, she used those the words as part of a sentence, but you could probably make Ron DeSantis sound almost human if you took random words from his remarks out of any reasonable context.
Here’s what really happened: Dr. Biden spoke at a conference in San Antonio for the Latino civil rights and advocacy organization UnidosUS. She praised the work of Raul Yzaguirre, the former president and CEO of the organization, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom last week.
CNN provides the full quote, with some less-than-subtle shade over how Dr. Biden pronounces certain Spanish words.
"Raul helped build this organization with the understanding that the diversity of this community -- as distinct as the bodegas of the Bronx, as beautiful as the blossoms of Miami, and as unique as the breakfast tacos here in San Antonio -- is your strength," Biden said, while mispronouncing the word "bodega.”
This is a perfectly gracious and normal statement that acknowledges the Hispanic community’s contributions without senselessly stereotyping them. Stein’s tweet was drive-by shit-stirring, but it worked. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists released a statement Monday suggesting that the first lady and her speechwriters "take the time in the future to better to better understand the complexities of our people and communities," adding, "We are not tacos," and "do not reduce us to stereotypes.”
You’d think a group of journalists would’ve read Dr. Biden’s full remarks. She didn’t say Latinos were literally tacos. If she visited Portland, Oregon, and said the residents were as unique and charming as our many roses, she’s not saying Portlanders are all high-maintenance flowers.
But nonetheless, this is how the press ran with the story: "Jill Biden slammed for comparing Latino people to tacos,” writes Business Insider. "Jill Biden sorry for comparing Latinos to tacos," declares the BBC.
Dr. Biden apologized because she’s an emotionally mature adult who’s probably appalled that she might’ve offended anyone, even unintentionally.
"The first lady apologizes that her words conveyed anything but pure admiration and love for the Latino community," Michael LaRosa, the first lady's spokesman, said.
Of course, in our current mixed-up political world, that just cements the gaffe narrative, and the Right is out there acting like Dr. Biden is Karen Walker calling her Latina housekeeper a “tamale.” Twitter troll and part-time senator Marco Rubio briefly changed his profile pic to a goddamn taco, and not even one of the delicious ones from San Antonio. It looks like something hastily assembled from one of those taco kits my mom used to buy. (Don’t judge us. It was 1980s South Carolina.)
\u201cEntirely appropriate that Marco chooses the most inauthentic taco to play himself.\u201d— Ron Filipkowski \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Ron Filipkowski \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1657594235
The media ran with this manufactured scandal without pointing out how little credibility Republicans had to criticize Dr. Biden’s choice of words. Back in 2016, Donald Trump celebrated Cinco de Mayo by posting a photo of himself grinning like a madman while stalking an innocent taco bowl. (You can look up the photo if you want. This post doesn’t need Trump’s face in it.) He wrote: "Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!”
Trump would beat Rubio in his home state of Florida just 10 days later, but everyone knows the average taco bowl is a better politician than Marco Rubio.
Anyway, Dr. Biden’s taco comments are a nothingburger, and the media outlets who cluelessly functioned as an arm of the RNC should feel ashamed.
OR IS THIS MAYBE THE REAL MOST IMPORTANT STORY OF THE DAY?
\u201cThere's an entirely different reality than the one most of us live in. It's the reality where, at this exact moment, a Jill Biden gaffe is the biggest news story\u201d— Jason Campbell (@Jason Campbell) 1657654480
We guess we will never know.
We'll have your full recap of that barn-burner of a January 6 hearing in the morning, but for now, OPEN THREAD.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."