The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) is in hot water after a Rancho Santa Margarita station T-shirt made to raise funds has only raised ire instead. The design features a fire truck, a chicken perched atop it, cholo firefighters, a 50-cent tamale stand and a pit bull with Old English lettering that reads "Rancho Santa Ana: There Goes the Neighborhood."
In the controversy first reported by KABC-TV Channel 7 news, OCFA Chief Keith Richter issued a no-pology saying, "The shirts were not intended to be derogatory toward any ethnic group, city or community."
ABC7's Eileen Frere reported that the idea for the imagery came from a former Santa Ana firefighter "who happens to be Hispanic." The city's department was dissolved and former employees have been reassigned, including a number to Rancho Santa Margarita–or "RSM" as the cool kids call it. And since the only way Mexicans are accepted in the city is if they mock themselves, those bomberos had to step up their game, you know?
Others helped the unnamed firefighter as a number of shirts were sold among colleagues ahead of a memorial held yesterday for Greg Hennessey, a fireman who died on duty in RSM of a heart attack.
Chief Richter insists that former Santa Ana firefighters were merely bringing some "culture and history" from their former location, which is just excusing South County's traditional loathing of SanTana. Saying "There goes the neighborhood" in tandem with SanTana Mexi-mocking is no bueno even if the pendejos at fault turn out to be Mexis themselves!
If anything, once the Reconquista reaches RSM, the shirts have saved the trouble of coming up with a new name for its new reality: Rancho Santa Ana!
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @dpalabraz