When it comes to the world of anthropomorphized food mascots, exaggerated ethnic and racial depictions are not only commonplace but virtually mandatory. The best example is the Milwaukee Brewer's legendary sausage races involving a hot dog (American), bratwurst (German), kielbasa (Polish), Italian (Italian), and chorizo (Mexican). OF COURSE the German will be dressed in liederhosen; OF COURSE the Italian will be dressed in a toque and have a beard and OF COURSE OF COURSE OF COURSE the chorizo is going to have a sombrero and a mustache. No one whines; fuck, when the Brewers announced the chorizo joining the sausage race last decade, Mexis rejoiced--we made it into the national pastime!
Someone please relay that message to the Orange County Fair. Their theme this year is "Come and Get It" and will involve mascots in the form of classic fair food--a corn-on-the-cob named Cornelius, an ice cream cone called Scoop, and others. There's also going to be an Arturo the Churro, and the fact he was supposed to wear a sombrero and a mustache got OC Fair Board director Nick Berardino wondering out loud if it was racist.
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"Arturo the Churro may have a little bit of a racial connotation," Berardino is quoted as saying in the Orange County Register. "So you may say, 'Oh, look, there is that bleeding heart lefty on the board, trying to be politically correct...I just think it's something we ought to be a little more sensitive about."
Fuck, Nick: what was Arturo the Churro doing that was so racist? Taking back half of the United States? Taking the jobs American anthropomorphized food mascots won't do? How would you want Arturo dressed--in a suit? Aztec feathers?
Even more hilarious is the the OC Fair's creatives' response to Berardino's concerns: instead of a sombrero, Arturo will wear a cowboy hat and a bandana (he'll keep the mustache, though, because that's somehow not stereotypical). And while wabs sure love their tejanas, bandanas are SO 1990s quebradita craze--and now with a bandanna, betcha Aztlanistas will cry that Arturo the Churro has been transformed into Arturo the Cholo.