“Operation Guacamole” is Name of San Diego Sheriff's Latino-Gang Sweep–Racist, or Not?

Last week, my colleague Dennis Romero wrote about a San Diego Sheriff's Department gang sweep titled “Operation Guacamole” and condemned it for its bigotry. The Sheriff's department, unsurprisingly, defended the move, saying the name was penned not because they were targeting a Latino gang but because it happened in Fallbrook, the avocado capital of the world.

I join Dennis in unequivocally calling bullshit.


“We can't imagine cops using the title 'Operation Fried Rice' to go after an Asian-American gang, or 'Operation Fried Chicken' to target an African-American one,” Romero wrote. Not only that, the use of food slurs to demonize Mexicans has a long and sordid history, one I document in my book. And law enforcement in San Diego has been notoriously violent toward Mexicans, so much so that the region was known as “Klan Diego” for decades–it ain't a coincidence that Pete Wilson, the notorious California governor, was San Diego's former mayor.

But, of course, the majority of people won't think anything of “Operation Guacamole,” thinking the title funny, cholos unsympathetic, and Dennis and I PC wimps for finding offense at this. And to them, I think Dennis will join me in telling ustedes: know your history, son!

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