Culture

A Taco Festival In Portland Is Upsetting Latinos With Their Offensive Ads

This weekend thousands of Portlanders are expected to attend the inaugural installation of a two-day ticketed event dubbed the Portland Taco Festival. For $12-65 dollars, attendees gain entry for the chance to pay for tacos starting at two bucks each with the option of adding passes to the tequila expo. The event doesn’t stop there though.

Organizers decided to take the event a step further by boasting a Chihuahua beauty pageant and the promise of margaritas so good they’ll “remove your sombreros.” And, if that wasn’t enough, those keen on proving just how spicy they are can partake in a hot pepper eating challenge!

Portland Taco Festival

Portland’s messy relationship with food and race spans long before this weekend.

It’s a history so messy, in fact, that an amazing podcast called The Racist Sandwich attempts to unpack it all. When a restaurant called Saffron Colonial opened up in a historically Black Portland neighborhood in 2016, they immediately received backlash for including menu items that glorified colonization and changed their name to British Overseas Restaurant Corporation.

More recently, a burrito pop-up called Kooks decided to shut down after the owners bragged about peeking into windows to steal the tortilla recipes of women in Mexico and they were called out for cultural appropriation.

The Portland Taco Festival ads plastered with hipsters posing behind hard shell taco cutouts and white boys donning Lucha Libre masks are just another example of the Pacific Northwest’s tone-deaf, casual racism.

Portland Taco Festival

As Portland continues to receive due critique for the racism that pierces its liberal façade, it makes perfect sense that a taco festival in this city would opt to cater to the preferences of white folks and forgo respect for the culture which the taco originates from.

Emblazoned in the center of the festival’s logo appears a fiery Chihuahua surrounded with design elements that conjure images of the Aztec calendar to effectively ensure attendees are unable to forget the painfully uncomfortable canine contest.

From the mock Spanish of the Skippyjon Jones children’s book series to the ultra-thirsty Papi in Beverly Hills Chihuahua, this isn’t the first time that Chihuahuas have been co-opted to perpetuate Mexican stereotypes. But since it’s 2017, you’d think the organizers would take notes from the Taco Bell ad campaign that eventually led to a boycott at significant drop of sales and avoid any tiny dog references.

Portland Taco Festival

In an even more confusing mishmash of copy, the festival writes on their Facebook event page, “Far from the standard street fair, we will bring a new creative twist to what a city celebration can be. The modern street taco is really the embodiment of Portland’s melting pot culture. Mexican influences such as Green Chili mixed with metropolitan ideals create the diverse flavor unique to our great city.”

Even if the notion of a melting pot hadn’t been retired for its promotion of assimilation, it’s hard to understand how a Mexican street taco could possibly represent Portland, a city that is 76% white and that continues to push out its people of color—only nine percent of which are Latinx.

While the festival’s bro-y ad campaign and insistence on perpetuating dusty ass Mexican stereotypes was what first caught my attention, further investigation revealed that the festival is actually a “massive fundraiser for an amazing nonprofit program in association with the 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, Archetypos Center for Spiritual Healing.” With a mailing address in the state of Colorado, hefty doses of Portland pride are being doled out by festival organizers who appear to live out of state.

On their website, Archetypos is designated as a church organization but they state, “Our mission is to bring people together by looking past the false barriers that separate society such as religion, politics, economics and racial issues. We wish to find common ground on which to build a foundation for the ENLIGHTENED HUMAN CONDITION free from dogmatic exclusion.”

For an organization so apt to write off “racial issues” as false barriers, they sure are quick to reinforce boilerplate representations of Mexican culture in the events they throw. While I reached out to Portland Taco Festival for further information on the organizers, they’ve yet to respond.

On the Portland Taco Festival Facebook page, they continue to hide behind anonymity by avoiding the many commenters requesting clarification on whether or not any Latinx people assisted in organizing.  Judging from the nonresponse and rebuttals from attendees that urge people to focus on “TACOS” and “NOT RACE,” I think we have our answer.

Instead of heading to a festival that promotes sombrero-wearing chihuahuas and features the works of Gringa Loca Art, consider paying a visit to these six tasty Latinx-owned eateries in Portland that don’t require an entrance fee instead.


Emilly Prado is a writer based out of Portland, Oregon, focused on amplifying the voices of marginalized communities in music, art, and activism. You can see more of her published work at www.emillyprado.com

READ: A Community In Oregon Showed A Taco Truck Owner That They Don’t Just Love Her Food

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A Mexican Artist Is Making Pancake Art That’s Too Beautiful To Eat

Culture

A Mexican Artist Is Making Pancake Art That’s Too Beautiful To Eat

Social media is where people can show off just about anything they create. This includes art in any and all media, like pancake art. Claudia, the creator behind Nappan Pancake art, is the latest artist watching their art reach the masses.

Claudia, the artist behind Nappan Pancake art, got her start because of the pandemic.

The artist first started to play around with pancake art last spring break when the pandemic forced businesses and schools to close. Claudia wanted to get more creative with her kids’ breakfasts since they were now always at home.

“I started experimenting with making Pancake art,” Claudia recalls to mitú. “At first I only used the color of the natural dough and a little cocoa. At first, I just used the ketchup dispensers and little by little I learned.”

Claudia uses her pancake art to honor some truly iconic people.

@nappancakes

Responder a @detodoun_poco233 Cepillín ✨🥞✨ en nuestros ♥️ #parati #fy #HijosAdopTiktoks #adoptiktoks #viral #foryou @cepillintv #pancakeart ncakeart

♬ La Feria de Cepillin – Cepillín

Cepillín recently died and the loss was felt throughout the community. He made our lives joyous and fun with his music, especially his birthday song. Some of the creations are done for fans who request to see their faves turned into delicious pancake art.

The artist loves creating the edible works of art.

The journey of becoming a pancake artist has been a fun adventure for Claudia and her children. The more she has practiced, the more she has been able to do.

“Sometimes I scream with excitement and I go to all the members of my house to see it,” Claudia says about her successes. “Other times it’s just a feeling like “disappointment could be better” other times it just breaks or burns and then I just cry but it usually feels very satisfying.”

You can check out all of her creations on TikTok.

@nappancakes

Responder a @reyna100804santoyo siii🥞✨ díganle que me adopte 🥺 @ederbez #adoptiktoks #hijosadoptiktoks #parati #foryou #viral #fy #art #pancakeart

♬ Little Bitty Pretty One – Thurston Harris

With 350,000 followers and growing, it won’t be long until more people start to fully enjoy Claudia’s art. Her children can’t get enough of it and she is so excited to share it with the rest of the world.

READ: Spicy Food Lovers Have Reason To Celebrate As New Study Says Eating Chilies Could Be Secret To Longevity

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Viral Video Of Overworked Texas Dominos Workers Burdened By Snow Storm Goes Viral

Things That Matter

Viral Video Of Overworked Texas Dominos Workers Burdened By Snow Storm Goes Viral

Texas’s current power crisis from a devastating storm has disrupted power generation and frozen natural gas pipelines. The is historic storm has driven electric demand higher than the state has ever seen, but it’s not just electric energy being overextended as a result. It’s physical and mental human energy as well.

Recently, an image of two exhausted Domino’s Pizza workers went viral for showing the extreme exhaustion workers are experiencing.

In a post shared to News4sanantonio.com’s Chime In page a user by the name of July DeLuna explained “This Dominos in San Antonio. Working during this crisis. They had a weekend worth of food and it was gone within 4 hours. This team helped those that needed help. These are the essential workers that need recognition. They were the only pizza place open. Every pizza place was closed but dominos stayed open to help those in need.”

Little else is known about the exhausted workers in the viral image but it did rack up over 8K comments within hours of being posted.

“Dominoes better pay them for the shifts they’ll miss while they don’t have any ingredients. With this practical free advertising it’s the least they could do. Otherwise these kind people worked themselves out of already bad hourly pay,” one user commented.

“,As someone who works in the food service industry, the thought of selling out of all product in only four hours and how much work goes in to preparing that much food is unfathomable levels of nightmare fuel,” another noted.

In another response to the image, a Reddit user wrote “I cannot express to you how upsetting it is to be the only food source open during hard times, to still be open and show up to do your job with higher than normal levels of orders, and still get yelled at by management for not having orders out within a window of time.”

Images of overworked and stressed is nothing new of course.

Fast-food workers are often burdened by their field’s daily challenges. In 2020, food industry workers are being forced to endure customer abuse at even higher rates. Last year a TikTok video of a Subway restaurant falling asleep while in the middle of making a sandwich went viral.

“This is actually really sad. I can’t imagine how underslept she is. Not to mention the wage people get paid at Subway… She deserves better,” one TikTok user by the name of Monique Emilia commented at the time. The skincare influencer Hyram also commented writing “Poor thing… Can’t imagine how underslept she is, we’re too hard on service workers.”

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