Culture

Houston’s Taco Trucks Are Getting Politically Active

From now until October 11th, Houston-area taco trucks will help citizens register to vote.

CREDIT: CANDACETX / TWITTER

The politically active taco trucks are the result of design firm Rigsby Hull and Mi Familia Vota, an organization working to raise political involvement in the Latino community, teaming up. Taco trucks became an unlikely but welcome symbol of anti-immigration rhetoric several weeks ago, when Marco Gutierrez attempted to shame taco trucks on MSNBC several weeks back. During his brief interview, “Latinos For Trump” founder Gutierrez claimed that rampant immigration would lead to “taco trucks [on] every corner.” His sentiments were thoroughly ridiculed on social media, as people from all backgrounds came out in defense of the beloved taco trucks.

I’ll have my tacos with a side of democracy.

CREDIT: ALLINWITHCHRIS / INSTAGRAM

The taco trucks are not official voter registrars, Texas Monthly points out, so the campaign’s efforts are restricted to “handing out the forms and pointing people in the direction of the nearest mailbox.” This might sound like a small gesture, but any gesture is better than what has been the norm to this point. Texas has one of the highest populations of Latinos in the U.S., but only a small percentage of eligible Latino voters ever actually vote. This kind of outreach should help bring awareness and purpose to people that have traditionally felt disenfranchised from the whole process.

This is just another reason to love taco trucks.

CREDIT: IT’S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER / MGM

Let’s be honest, having the added incentive to become a registered voter is as delicious as it is dangerous. No one ever needs an excuse to grab something from a taco truck. There have been times when I’ve just gotten done eating a full meal and I smell a nearby truck, next thing I know I’m housing several tacos. So what. If you give me the chance to register to vote at the truck, I’m totally going to use that to my advantage. Not only is it my duty as a responsible member of society to spread awareness, it’s also a great excuse to eat at a taco truck whenever I want. Yes, I’ve eaten 10 tacos already today, but that’s ’cause I’m a patriot!

If you’re in the Houston area, you can get the most current list of participating trucks here.

A Taco Truck Apologized For Serving ICE Employees At A Detention Center But Then Walked Back Their Apology

Things That Matter

A Taco Truck Apologized For Serving ICE Employees At A Detention Center But Then Walked Back Their Apology

@whereslloyd / Twitter

A popular taco truck in Buffalo, New York issued an apology to apologize for their previous apology about serving ICE workers. Lloyd Taco came under fire when they served Chorizo Mackin’ Cheese and Aztec Brownies to workers from a federal immigration detention center in Batavia. 

After outrage on social media, the truck owners apologized for serving the ICE employees. Then conservatives began a new outrage cycle accusing the regional chain of not being patriotic and disrespecting law enforcement. Lloyd Taco held a press conference to issue a second apology. 

Lloyd Taco apologizes for serving workers at a Batavia ICE detention center.

Co-owners Pete Cimino and Chris Dorsaneo posted an apology on social media, saying it was a “poor choice” to serve ICE workers and that they would donate proceeds to Justice for Migrant Families WNY. 

“Lloyd has deep ties to the immigrant and refugee communities in Buffalo,” the owners said in a statement. “There is no excuse for what happened and we have already begun to update our internal procedures to ensure future truck stops and events align with company’s values… we are donating all of the sales from yesterdays service to Justice for Migrant Families WNY.”  

However, after their apology went viral the company began to receive harsh criticism from people who support putting human beings in inhumane conditions to score political points. 

Immigrant advocates say the Batavia ICE detention center reportedly has poor conditions.

Complete statement:Feed Immigrant Justice not Immigrant Detention: Justice for Migrant Families WNY Responds to…

Posted by Justice For Migrant Families on Thursday, October 24, 2019

The detention center in Batavia, NY where Cimino and Dorsaneo served food is known for its horrible conditions. Justice Migrant Families WNY issued a statement about the facility. 

“People who are detained in Batavia regularly report that they receive insufficient food portions that have to be supplemented by buying food from the facility,'” Carra Statton, co-founder of Justice for Migrant Families WNY, said in a statement.

According to another comment on Facebook, Justice Migrant Families has no idea if they can expect a donation now. 

“At this point, we’re not even sure whether or not we will be receiving that donation. We haven’t heard from them since they issued their initial statement. As you know, they have now apologized for their apology,” the organization wrote

Conservatives criticize Lloyd Taco for supporting immigrants.

“Feeding working Americans who are just doing their job – Americans who specifically and with good intentions requested your product and services due to their admiration of said product and services.  And you choose to dis and turn your back on them? I’m done with Lloyds,” one person wrote in response to the apology. 

Many conservatives were quick to basically call for a boycott of the taco truck business.

“I’m sorry too that I can no longer support a business that disrespects federal employees doing their job. It’s been fun, but  I respect and support law enforcement and won’t be associated with any business who disrespects them,” another user wrote. “I respect and support law enforcement and won’t be associated with any business who disrespects them.”

ICE issues statement regarding Lloyd Taco’s apology. 

“We are doing our jobs, enforcing the laws passed by Congress.  Just like we have for many Presidents.  We will not apologize for doing this, not even to a food truck that now chooses to discriminate against us,” ICE field office director Thomas Feeley said in a statement

“The men and women who work at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility are Detention Officers, Deportation Officers, administrative support staff, Doctors, Nurses, Judges, Attorneys, and maintenance staff.  Each and every one of them is entrusted with the safety, security, and care of the detainees here.  Almost 50% of the staff are Veterans.”

Lloyd Taco apologizes for apologizing following second backlash. 

The owners held a news conference to apologize for their apology yesterday. Cimino insisted that the company was not political. 

“We make tacos, not war,” Cimino said repeatedly during the conference. “We serve all communities. We go to all neighborhoods. We are not political. Why would we be? How can any business choose sides in our politically divided country and ever hope to succeed?”

When Cimino was asked if the company would serve the facility again he said, “I don’t want to answer hypotheticals.” 

The co-owners also maintained that they were big fans of law enforcement and military personnel. Since the company’s founding in 2010, Lloyd Taco has given a 50 percent discount to all uniformed first responders and military personnel. 

“We’re big fans of the police – we’ve always been,” Cimino said.

The company said it would not choose a side in the immigration policy debate. The executive director Jennifer Connor said the group stands by its original statement — despite holding a press conference to apologize for it. 

“Our position has not changed. We are here to prioritize the needs of immigrant families in our community and in detention,” Connor said in a statement. “Though the events of the past week have drawn fire from all sides, we stand by the fact that the state of immigrant detention itself is an outrage.”

This White Woman Threatened To Call ICE On Taco Truck Employees So Now She’s Taco Truck Tammy

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This White Woman Threatened To Call ICE On Taco Truck Employees So Now She’s Taco Truck Tammy

Months before President Donald Trump won the election, one of his supporters — a Latino man — denounced his people on national television all in the name of taco trucks.

Marco Gutierrez, said on TV, “My culture is a very dominant culture, and it’s imposing, and it’s causing problems. If you don’t do something about it, you’re going to have taco trucks on every corner.”

That statement had people on social media in an uproar of happiness at the thought of taco trucks on every corner. While taco trucks are beloved by mostly all decent people, it seems that love expanded more after his ridiculous comment.

However, there is at least one person that still isn’t feeling the taco truck love.

A woman in Dallas threatened to call ICE on two of the employees of a taco truck.

YouTube

The video was posted on YouTube by Claudia Lopez on April 4 and has more than 28,000 views. It’s also been shared all over social media. Lopez is one of the employees of the taco truck.

It appears the unnamed white woman in the video was upset that the taco truck was parked or on her street. She told them to leave and began recording them with her phone.

Another female taco truck employee can be heard in the background saying in Spanish “look at this crazy lady, and she is filming us too.” The woman also said in Spanish that they had a permit to be there, but the white woman was not having it.

Lopez tells the white woman “go back inside.” That’s when the white woman said she’d call ICE.

“Okay, baby girl. Vámonos,” the woman said to Lopez. “I’ll call ICE.”

“Call ICE” Lopez replied.

We have no idea how this issue was resolved but they did end up leaving the area.

Like all infamous social media people, the woman now has the nickname Taco Truck Tammy.

Credit: @Dany_xoo / Twitter

Like a true democracy, Twitter came together and voted on the woman’s new name. No Electoral College here. The popular vote was the winner and her new name was determined to be Taco Truck Tammy and a trending topic was born on Twitter.

Everyone was clearly upset with her treatment of the employees but also distracted by her shirt.

Credit: @TheMissGreen / Twitter

Yeah. Taco Truck Tammy came out to record two taco truck employees and harass them to move. However, she was unable to put her shirt right side out so, obviously, that’s what everyone was discussing.

It was truly a sure way to deflate her wannabe flex.

Pobrecita. She was trying to act tough but those tags blowing in the wind were just too much for audiences to ignore. How can you flex on people when you can’t dress yourself right?

One person did suspect that the anger came from her own inability to eat the food they were serving up.

Nothing is worse than feeling left out. If you can’t participate in something, it is common for people to get upset. Perhaps this was what was going through Taco Truck Tammy’s mind.

However, the biggest thing we should be focusing on is Taco Truck Tammy becoming yet another white person threatening Latinos with ICE.

These people don’t know if the people they are dealing with are undocumented or not. The very people threatening to call ICE do so because it makes them feel better than us. The threat of calling ICE on people speaking Spanish is a racist act linked directly to the person’s language and appearance. It is used to cause fear not as a viable threat. It is a dogwhistle many white supremacists are learning to implement in their anger at the Latino community.

Watch the entire exchange below.

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