I once lectured in South Carolina--at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg in 2008, to be exact. Overflow crowd of over 300--mostly gabachos, with a handful of Latinos clustered in the front. It was a great event, everyone very respectful--and then on the drive back, at 4 a.m. in the morning so I could catch an early flight, a bona fide Southern gentlemen was my chauffeur, responding to everything I said with a "Yessir" or "Nosir." Fine man...until he started railing about California's Proposition 8, and all the "fags" and "dykes" that were ruining our country. But Mexicans? We we good!
I mention this anecdote as the background for the controversy surrounding a South Carolina restaurant that sells the above T-shirt. The story has gone worldwide, and the owner simply can't understand how this T-shirt could possibly be racist--she's not against Mexicans, just ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS--which is only pissing off people more.
But in that nugget of ignorance, fellow Aztlanistas, is the seed of our continued conquest of el Norte.
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Refry this: one of the hardest things for dominant cultures to assimilate is food. Yet the taco is now so ubiquitous in gabacho culture that it has stopped being a "Mexican" food--to so many gabachos, a taco is just a taco, and that's that. It has been isolated from Mexican culture to exist in this weird limbo between Mexico and the United States--just like Mexicans currently exist in this country.
But as I point out in my book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, the taco is just the latest foot soldier in our Reconquista. First, it was chili and hot sauce; then, tacos and El Torito clones. I guarantee you that within five years, this Taco Cid will be selling pambazos and quesadillas de flor de calabaza, because chilangos are heading up South Carolina way, and residents of the Palmetto State can do nothing about it.
So let's not trash Taco Cid for their idiocy, cabrones: let's laugh at them as a relic, antiquated bigotry as decrepit as that homo-hater that drove me to the airport so many years ago. Seriously: how can anyone even bother with idiots who think that bait for undocumented folks is a HARD-SHELL taco? Huitlacoche might work, but hard-shell tacos? That's like trying to bait Harvey Fierstein with a naked Gisele Bündchen.