Things That Matter

This Taqueria Faces Severe Backlash After It Names Tacos Like ‘The Wall’, ‘Lock Her Up’ And ‘The Immigrant’

We’ve all heard the divisive and hateful rhetoric that’s come out of not only Trump’s mouth but, really, from pretty much the entire administration. From ‘the wall’ to ‘lock her up’ and ‘the immigrant’, never have so many words so quickly entered the mainstream lexicon.

And yea, many of those words don’t carry any hateful or racist meaning by themselves. But when taken in context, they have been used to belittle and straight up attack entire communities.

So when news broke out that a restaurant in New Mexico has plastered a whole bunch of these words all over their menu, many were left scratching their heads.

A restaurant in New Mexico with a menu full of foods bearing politically charged names is giving the internet something to taco ‘bout.

Credit: Urban Taqueria / Facebook

The Urban Taqueria, which recently opened in Albuquerque, offers customers a range of burritos boasting names like “Lock her Up” and “The Wall” as well as tacos that have been dubbed “Bad Hombre” and “The Immigrant.”

The owner of the eatery, Hanif Mohamed, denied he was trying to spark controversy with the menu names — seemingly inspired by President Trump’s rhetoric. Instead, Mohamed said he hoped it would prompt conversation during a particularly polarizing time in American history.

And with names like ‘Bad Hombre’, ‘The Wall’, and ‘The Immigrant’ we aren’t too surprised.

In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, Mohamed, a native of Kenya who immigrated to the US in 1992, said “When I created the menu two-and-half-years ago, we had the ban on Muslims. My kids asked me, ‘Are we American or Muslim?’” The menu, he decided, covered all subject matter.

The offerings are not meant to insult his customers, says Mohamed. In fact, he says they’re a “conversation starter” and educational by nature.

“Outsourced,” a taco with tandoori chicken, raita, tamarind salsa, alludes to the U.S. practice of outsourcing jobs to India, while “The Immigrant,” a vegan taco with organic green chile and fried potatoes, represents Irish refugees fleeing the Potato Famine in the 1800s.

The owner, an immigrant himself, claims that “99%” of people haven’t had any issue with his menu.

“Ninety-nine percent of the people who walk in, more than 99 percent, don’t seem to have an issue with it,” Hanif Mohamed, owner of Urban Taqueria, told KOAT. “The menu’s not designed to insult people or hurt people, but it’s just meant to keep the conversation going as to what’s happening around us.”

Some locals have disagreed with Mohamed’s view on the menu.

“The way things are right now. It’s not good,” Juan Hernandez told KOAT. “We need to have respect for others and have limits.”

University of New Mexico professor Patricia Perea added: “It seems fun, it seems like you can make fun of this and maybe make it lighthearted, but you really can’t, you’re offending a whole community.

“It’s normalizing the terms and potentially turning them into funny or humorous terms, and the more that you do that, the more likely people are to repeat them and perhaps forget the contexts in which they were said.”

But there were many people who supported the menu choice as well.

Others disagreed and said the restaurant was just making a brave choice with their names. “To me it’s not offensive,” Christy Garcia told KOAT. “I just think it’s interesting that they decided to be so bold with the names.”

The restaurant and its menu has received positive reviews online. “Awesome menu names!!!! Love the creativity! Don’t cave to those so easily offended. They can simply choose not to eat there,” wrote Amber Atchley Cokins in a review on Facebook.

“Great food, and atmosphere. Customer service is good. Love the names of the dishes,” added Autumn Blake.

And as one Twitter user pointed out, maybe this was all just a successful marketing gimmick.

But we’ll be the first to point out that no business should ever use the trauma and hate experienced by a community as a marketing ploy. The words on this restaurant’s menu have been used to demean and attack minority communities, but especially Latinos.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Ben Affleck Gets Candid About the ‘Racist, Sexist’ Attacks JLo Faced When They Were Together

Entertainment

Ben Affleck Gets Candid About the ‘Racist, Sexist’ Attacks JLo Faced When They Were Together

Photo via Getty Images

Ben Affleck is opening up about the early 2000s when he and Jennifer Lopez were Hollywood’s It Couple. The duo–formerly known by the moniker “Bennifer”–captivated the world with their glamourous and somewhat surprising courtship.

But the relationship eventually unraveled under the intense pressure of public scrutiny.

In a recent podcast appearance, Affleck revealed just how terrible and racially-charged the criticism on their relationship was.

“People were so f–king mean about her,” he said on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast. “Sexist, racist, ugly, vicious s–t was written about her in ways that if you wrote it now, you would literally be fired for saying those things you said.”

“At first At first it was like Dick and Liz [Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor], it was this sort of infatuation: ‘What an interesting couple‘. And then there was a ton of resentment. A ton of resentment against me, a ton of resentment against Jennifer.”

He went on to explain that what was so fascinating about the relationship to the general public–namely, how they had such vastly different backgrounds–wasn’t something he thought twice about.

Affleck went on to sing JLo’s praises, saying that she deserves all of the praise and adulation she now receives.

“Now it’s like, she’s lionized and respected for the work she did, where she came from, what she accomplished–as well she f**king should be!” he said.

“She was very much like the kind of girl I went to high school with,” he explained. “It was a very socioeconomically mixed, ethnically mixed place–those kinds of differences that just seem to shock America were meaningless to me.”

“I would say you have a better shot, coming from the Bronx, of ending up as like [Justice Sonia] Sotomayor on the Supreme Court than you do of having Jennifer Lopez’s career and being who she is at 50 years old today…just on a pure odds level.”

He concluded: “I never met anyone who worked harder than Jennifer Lopez.” On that, we can definitely agree.

Jennifer Lopez has also been candid about how traumatic the public response was back then to her relationship with Ben Affleck.

“I was eviscerated,” she told Vanity Fair in 2017 about the media coverage of her and Ben’s relationship we well as their much-maligned film, “Gigli”. “I lost my sense of self, questioned if I belonged in this business, thought maybe I did suck at everything. And my relationship [with Affleck] self-destructed in front of the entire world. It was a two-year thing for me until I picked myself up again.”

But now, it appears they’re both in happier places. Ben Affleck has two children with his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner and JLo is happily engaged to Alex Rodriguez.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Chicago’s Mi Tocaya Is Offering Up Free Mexican Homemeals For Undocumented Community

Culture

Chicago’s Mi Tocaya Is Offering Up Free Mexican Homemeals For Undocumented Community

mitocaya / Instagram

Undocumented communities are being left out of Covid relief plans. Chef Diana Dávila of Mi Tocaya in Chicago is working to help undocumented restaurant worker in the time of Covid. Abuse of undocumented workers is rampant in certain industries and Chef Dávila hopes to offer some kind of help.

Mi Tocaya is a Mexican restaurant in Chicago’s Logan Square that wants to help the community.

Covid-19 has devastated the hospitality industry with restaurants being hit exceptionally hard. Restaurants have been forced to close their doors for good as the virus dragged on with no decent relief plan from the federal government. As several countries financially support citizens to avoid economic disaster, the U.S. government has given citizens $1,800 total to cover 10 months of isolating and business closures.

Namely, Mi Tocaya is working to help the undocumented community.

Mi Tocaya, a family-run restaurant, is teaming up with Chicago’s Top Chefs and local non-profits Dishroulette Kitchen and Logan Square Neighborhood Association. The goal is to highlight the issues facing the undocumented community during the pandemic.

The initiative called Todos Ponen, is all about uplifting members of our community in a time of severe need. The restaurant is creating healthy Mexican family meals for those in need.

”We asked ourselves; How can we keep our doors open, provide a true service to the community, maintain and create jobs, and keep the supply chain intact by supporting local farmers and vendors. This is the answer,” Chef Dávila said in a statement. “I confidently believe The TODOS PONEN Logan Square Project addresses all of the above and can very well be easily implemented in any community. Our goal is to bring awareness to the lack of resources available to the undocumented workforce- the backbone of our industry.”

The initiative starts in February.

Mi Tocaya is offering 1000 free meals for local farmers and undocumented restaurant workers. The meals are available for pickup Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2800 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647. to make this happen, Mi Tocaya also needs your help.

The restaurant has teamed up with two nonprofits to make sure that they can scale their operation to fulfill their commitment. They are also asking for donations to make sure they can do what they can to help undocumented restaurant workers.

According to Eater LA, 8 million restaurant workers have been laid off since the pandemic started. Some restaurants have had to lay off up to 91 percent of their staff because of Covid, about 10 percent of those are undocumented. In the cities, that number is as high as 40 percent of the laid-off restaurant staff are undocumented.

“People don’t want to talk about the undocumented workforce, but they’re part of our daily routine in most restaurants,” Jackson Flores, who manages the operations of Mi Tocaya, said in a statement. “They are in the toughest position in the whole economy because they’re an invisible part of it. Restaurant worker advocacy groups have added the creation of relief funds to their agendas, but there have yet to be long-term changes in protections for undocumented workers. Without access to unemployment benefits and other government resources, this group is especially vulnerable.”

READ: Hands-Free Cholula Dispensers Have Become a Thing In Restaurants Because of COVID-19

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com