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

A University Is Releasing A Historic Mexican Cookbook Filled With Recipes You’d Want To Try

Culture

A University Is Releasing A Historic Mexican Cookbook Filled With Recipes You’d Want To Try

UTSA

The University of Texas San Antonio is bringing the history of Mexico into our kitchens. The university is releasing cookbooks that are collections of historic Mexican recipes. Right now, the desserts book is out and online for free. Main dishes and appetizers/drinks are coming soon.

You can now taste historic Mexico thanks to the University of Texas San Antonio.

UTSA has had an ongoing project of preserving, collecting, and digitizing cookbooks from throughout Mexico’s history. Some books date back to the 1700s and offer a look into Mexico’s culinary arts and its evolution.

UTSA has been digitizing Mexican cookbooks for years and the work is now being collected for people in the time of Covid.

Millions of us are still at home and projects like these can be very exciting and exactly what you need. The recipes are a way to distract yourself from the current reality.

“The e-pubs allow home cooks to use the recipes as inspiration in their own kitchens,” Dean Hendrix, the dean of UTSA Libraries, said in UTSA Today. “Our hope is that many more people will not only have access to these wonderful recipes but also interact with them and experience the rich culture and history contained in the collection.”

The free downloads are a way for people to get a very in-depth look into Mexican food history.

The first of three volumes of the cookbooks focuses on desserts so you can learn how to make churros, chestnut flan, buñelos, and rice pudding. What better way to spend your quarantine than learning how to make some of these yummy desserts. We all love sweets, right?

If you want to get better with making your favorite desserts, check out this cookbook and make it happen.

There is nothing better than diving into your history and using food as your guide. Food is so intrinsically engrained in our DNAs and identities. We love the foods and sweets from our childhood because they hold a clue as to who we are and where we come from. This historical collection of recipes throughout history is the perfect way to make that happen.

READ: The Laziest Food Hacks In All Of The Land Would Send Your Abuela To The Chancla

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

Two Black Moms Took Their Kids To Play In A Fountain On The Mall Then Secret Service Officers Swarmed Them With Guns

Things That Matter

Two Black Moms Took Their Kids To Play In A Fountain On The Mall Then Secret Service Officers Swarmed Them With Guns

Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Two Black mothers headed to our nation’s capital last week to give their children some playtime in the fountains at the World War II Memorial. The day was hot and the mothers thought the memorial would be a perfect place to let their children cool down and have some fun.

Unfortunately, the day quickly turned sinister when the women and their children were swarmed by Secret Service agents who pointed a rifle at them.

Last Thursday, India Johnson, 26, and Yasmeen Winston, 25, were driving their infants to take a splash in the fountains at the memorial when a Secret Service cruiser drove into their front left bumper.

The two women have reportedly been best friends since seventh grade and are mothers to boys: 13-month-old Sir Quincy (Johnson) and six-month-old G’esus (Winston). Both Sir Quincy and G’esus were sitting in the back seat of the car that they were driving. According to the women, Mother Goose Club was playing on the radio. Then, within seconds of the Secret Service cruiser driving into their car, an officer pointed a rifle at them and yelled “Get out!” and “Put your hands in the air!”

Soon enough, more officers surrounded them with guns. Eventually, Winston and Johnson were handcuffed and separated from their children. According to both women, they were detained without being given a reason as to why and were spoken to by police officers who did not wear masks, despite the current coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Washington Post, “Initially, the women said, an officer told them the vehicle had been reported stolen and that the suspects were two Black men. But the women, both African American, said no men were with them and provided proof that Johnson was the owner. She told the Secret Service she had never reported the car stolen. Eventually, the women were released — without an apology or answers to their questions.”

Winston and Johnson are now demanding that the Secret Service investigate the incident and release the details to the public.

“This incident took place near our national monuments across from the White House,” Timothy Maloney, the women’s attorney, wrote in a letter to Secret Service Director James Murray over the weekend. “It occurred after eight weeks of unprecedented national demonstrations about excessive police conduct, some of which took place right there on Constitution Avenue. Has the Secret Service learned nothing this summer?”

Speaking about the incident Winston told the Washington Post “I could have been another Breonna Taylor. I could have been another innocent woman who has no record and got shot.”

In a statement to the Post, a Secret Service spokesperson said that they had received a “query requesting the agency investigate an alleged interaction between Uniformed Division Officers and two members of the public” and that they are looking into the incident.

Winston says she and Johnson have spent the days after the incident completely traumatized.

Winston told the Post that she is currently seeking therapy and their friend is avoiding going outside of her home. “We don’t get in trouble. Nothing like this has ever happened to us. I thought the police were here to serve and protect us, and now it’s really uncomfortable,” she explained.

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