Matt Bush, FISM News
First Lady Jill Biden issued an apology on Tuesday for statements that she made that many viewed as both tone-deaf and insensitive earlier this week.
In a speech at a Hispanic Conference in San Antonio on Monday, Biden said that the Latino community was “as unique as the breakfast tacos in San Antonio” and “as distinct as the bogidas [sic.] in the Bronx,”
Following the remarks, The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) issued a statement via Twitter in which they slammed the first lady stating, “We are not tacos.”
Biden’s Press Secretary, Michael La Rosa, tweeted the first lady’s apology but the damage was already done. The tweet read, “The first lady apologizes that her words conveyed anything but pure admiration and love for the Latino community.”
The First Lady apologizes that her words conveyed anything but pure admiration and love for the Latino community.
— Michael LaRosa (@MichaelLaRosa46) July 12, 2022
The actual quote that sparked the firestorm was in reference to UnidosUS founder Raul Yzaguirre.
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.
The NAHJ said that the remarks reduced the Latino community to stereotypes and slammed both Biden and her speechwriters for lacking cultural awareness about the complexities of the Latino community.
“Using breakfast tacos to try to demonstrate the uniqueness of Latinos in San Antonio demonstrates a lack of cultural knowledge and sensitivity to the diversity of Latinos in the region,” the statement read. “NAHJ encourages Dr. Biden and her speech writing team to take the time in the future to better understand the complexities of our people and communities.”
NAHJ encourages @FLOTUS & her communications team to take time to better understand the complexities of our people & communities.
We are not tacos.
Our heritage as Latinos is shaped by various diasporas, cultures & food traditions.
Do not reduce us to stereotypes. pic.twitter.com/KQIq5gwsht
— NAHJ (@NAHJ) July 12, 2022
On top of taking offense to the Latino community being compared to tacos, Media Center Resource Director, Jorge Bonilla, among others, also remarked on Biden’s mispronunciation of the word bodega. “Once again, Dr. Jill Biden butchers the Spanish language in furtherance of pandering to a client constituency,” Bonilla quipped.
Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona tweeted, “Jill Biden says Hispanics are as ‘unique’ as tacos and calls bodegas ‘bogidas.’ No wonder Hispanics are fleeing the Democratic Party!”
Sen. Ted Cruz also joined in the ridicule, stating, “Which White House speechwriter just won a bet for getting the First Lady to say something like this?”