(The Hill) — The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) responded Monday to a much-criticized comment by first lady Jill Biden calling the Latino community “as unique as the breakfast tacos here in San Antonio,” saying that the remark was culturally inappropriate.
“We are not tacos,” wrote the NAHJ in a statement criticizing Biden.
“NAHJ encourages Dr. Biden and her speech writing team to take the time in the future to better understand the complexities of our people and communities,” the group added.
Biden made the remark earlier Monday at the 2022 UnidosUS Annual Conference held in Texas, where she spoke on the Hispanic “Quest for Equity.”
In her speech, Biden said that, “The diversity of this community, 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, is your strength.”
The NAHJ responded that, “Using breakfast tacos to try to demonstrate the uniqueness of Latinos in San Antonio demonstrates a lack of cultural knowledge and sensitivity to the diversity of Latinos in the region.”
The statement continued: “Our heritage as Latinos is shaped by a variety of diasporas, cultures and food traditions, and should not be reduced to a stereotype.”
A number of conservative figures responded to Biden’s comments, criticizing her speech and claiming that reactions to the remarks would have been stronger if she were on the right of the political spectrum.
“Imagine the regime media meltdown if a conservative called Hispanics ‘breakfast tacos’ like Dr. Jill Biden did at the Latinx Luncheon today. Democringe,” wrote Christina Pushaw, press secretary for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
“No wonder Hispanics are fleeing the Democratic Party!” wrote Republican Rep. Andy Biggs (Ariz.).
When discussing what the Biden administration should do in the aftermath of the first lady’s comments, Niall Stanage, a White House correspondent from The Hill, says it’s all about mitigating the loses.
“I don’t think damage will be erased from this remark — it’s the kind of memorable and embarrassing moment that tends to stick and people’s minds for quite a long time,” Stanage said.
“Having said that, the White House obviously doesn’t want to fuel the story or give it fresh legs by continuing on and commenting on this or making other remarks about it. So I think they will leave it there,” he said.