Hispanic Group Fires Back After Jill Biden Compares Latinos to 'Tacos'

First lady's office later apologizes for the speech

Hispanic Group Fires Back After Jill Biden Compares Latinos to 'Tacos'
First Lady Jill Biden speaks at the unveiling of the Met Museum Costume Institute's exhibit "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion" in New York on May 2, 2022. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Jack Phillips

First Lady Jill Biden received criticism from a Hispanic organization on Monday for comparing the Hispanic community to tacos, prompting her to apologize.

Biden made an appearance at a San Antonio event called the "LatinX IncluXion" luncheon, which uses the often-ridiculed term "latinx."

"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," she said at the event, commenting on UnidosUS President Raul Yzaguirre’s work. Biden was also criticized for mispronouncing the word "bodega."

At 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Biden's press secretary Michael LaRosa wrote on Twitter that "the First Lady apologizes that her words conveyed anything but pure admiration and love for the Latino community."

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists on Monday responded and said her comment about tacos was inappropriate.

“We are not tacos,” wrote the organization in a statement, adding that it "encourages ... Biden and her speech writing team to take the time in the future to better understand the complexities of our people and communities."

And Janet Murguía, the head of UnidosUS, wrote that the group was "honored" to have Biden speak before saying: "She has been a great educator in, and a great amiga to, our community for years. Privileged to call her a friend."

Some conservative figures also responded to Biden’s comments on social media, saying that the reaction to her remarks would have been stronger if she was a Republican.

“No wonder Hispanics are fleeing the Democratic Party!” wrote Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) on Twitter. “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.

Biden's comments come as the White House and Democrats are trying to reach out more to Hispanic voters amid polls suggesting that his approval rating has tanked among that demographic.

Newly elected Rep. Mayra Flores (R-Texas) won a special election for her district last month, taking a seat that Democrats had held for decades. The 34th Congressional District is primarily Hispanic.

The event that Biden attended is one of the largest gatherings of Hispanic advocates, local San Antonio media reported.

"Each year the UnidosUS Annual Conference is the premier event devoted to the diverse Hispanic community that is moving our country forward," it notes on its website.

The first lady's office has not responded to a request for comment.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5
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