Just a day after giving remarks at the “Latinx IncluXion Luncheon”, First Lady Jill Biden was forced to issue an apology after her comments comparing the diversity of the Hispanic community to “breakfast tacos” received widespread backlash.
During her speech, Biden awkwardly said the Hispanic community is “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.”
At a "Latinx IncluXion" conference, Jill Biden says the Hispanic community is as "unique" as tacos.pic.twitter.com/Vb5wJyYGWB— RNC Latinos (@RNCLatinos) July 11, 2022
The comparison was met with immediate backlash. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) issued an official denouncement of her statement, bluntly stating, “We are not tacos” in its criticism.
NAHJ encourages @FLOTUS & her communications team to take time to better understand the complexities of our people & communities.— NAHJ (@NAHJ) July 12, 2022
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
Many Republicans also piled on the criticism.
Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), mocking the luncheon’s name, tweeted, “If Jill Biden is going to compare Hispanic Americans to breakfast tacos then she could at least use more inclusive language: It’s ‘TacX,’ Jill.”
Polls show that the vast majority of Hispanics don’t use the term “Latinx” and a large number actually find it offensive. Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego of Arizona put the term on blast in December, saying Latino politicians who use the term do so “to appease white rich progressives”.
Senator Mark Rubio briefly changed his profile picture on Twitter to a stock image of a taco.
Biden’s press secretary apologized on her behalf.
“The First Lady apologizes that her words conveyed anything but pure admiration and love for the Latino community,” Michael LaRosa tweeted.