“‘The First Lady apologizes that her words conveyed anything but pure admiration and love for the Latino community.’”
Jill Biden has apologized through her press secretary after making comments that some critics have interpreted as comparing San Antonio Latinos to breakfast tacos.
The First Lady was speaking at the 2022 UnidosUS Annual Conference titled “Siempre Adelante: Our Quest for Equity” in San Antonio on Monday, and her remarks about the diversity of the Latino community raised some eyebrows.
She said that UnidosUS President Raul Yzaguirre had “helped build this organization with the understanding 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.”
Many Republicans seized on the “breakfast tacos” comment, in particular, and one video shared by Jorge Bonilla of the conservative Media Research Center has been viewed more than 2 million times.
Texas Republican Sen. Marco Rubio went as far as to change his Twitter profile picture to a taco.
“No wonder Hispanics are fleeing the Democratic Party!” tweeted Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs.
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists also condemned the first lady’s comments, tweeting out a statement that encouraged Biden and her communications team “to take time to better understand the complexities of our people & communities.”
“We are not tacos,” the statement read. “Our heritage as Latinos is shaped by a variety of diasporas, cultures and food traditions, and should not be reduced to a stereotype.”
Others suggested that the first lady’s comments were taken out of context.
The White House has posted the full transcript of the first lady’s remarks here. They include:
“Yes, the Latino community is unique. But what I’ve heard from you again and again is that you want what all families want. Good schools. Good jobs. Safe neighborhoods.
You want justice and equality — the opportunity to build a better life for your families.
It’s not only what all families want; it’s what all families deserve. But we can’t get those things on our own.
Raul helped build this organization with the understanding 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.
And yet, it’s when you speak with one voice — unidos — that you find your power.”
Still, FLOTUS press secretary Michael LaRosa tweeted Tuesday morning that Biden “apologizes that her words conveyed anything but pure admiration and love for the Latino community.”
That’s a demographic her husband has struggled with of late, as an April Quinnipiac University poll found that just 26% of surveyed Hispanic voters approved of President Joe Biden’s job performance, which was the lowest of any demographic group.