First Lady Jill Biden
Source: Getty Images

What Did Jill Biden Say to Upset Hispanics? Breakfast Taco Gaffe

Danielle Letenyei - Author

Jul. 12 2022, Published 10:55 a.m. ET

Hispanic groups are upset with First Lady Jill Biden for a gaffe she made during a July 11 speech in San Antonio, Texas, for the Latino nonprofit group UnidosUS. What did Biden say?

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During her speech, Biden praised the work of Latino civil rights advocate Raul Yzaguirre when she referred to Latinos as “unique” as “breakfast tacos.” Yzaguirre was the leader of UnidosUS for 30 years. Formerly known as the National Council of La Raza, UnidosUS is the largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the country.

"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," Biden said during her speech.

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jill biden
Source: Getty Images

Hispanic journalists say Biden’s comment shows a “lack of cultural knowledge.”

The comment didn’t sit well with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), which claimed Biden’s comment demonstrated a “lack of cultural knowledge and sensitivity to the diversity of Latinos in the region.”

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“NAHJ encourages Dr. Biden and her speech writing team to take the time in the future to better understand the complexities of our people and communities,” the NAHJ said in a statement on Twitter.

“We are not tacos. Our heritage as Latinos is shaped by various diasporas, cultures, and food traditions. Do not reduce us to stereotypes,” the NAHJ statement reads.

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The NAHJ is a national network of professional journalists and students encouraging the recognition and advancement of Hispanics in the news industry. The group has over 3,300 members.

Conservatives criticized Biden for the taco comment.

Conservatives were quick to criticize Biden on social media about the breakfast taco comment and her mispronunciation of the word “bodegas.”

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“Imagine the regime media meltdown if a conservative called Hispanics ‘breakfast tacos’ like Dr. Jill Biden did at the Latinx Luncheon today. Democringe,” tweeted Christina Pushaw, the press secretary for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

"Which White House speechwriter just won a bet for getting the First Lady to say something like this?" tweeted Steve Guest, adviser to Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

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"No wonder Hispanics are fleeing the Democratic Party!" tweeted U.S. Rep Andy Biggs (R-AZ).

Jill Biden is a “great amiga” to the Hispanic community, says UnidosUS CEO.

UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguia stood by Biden, who she referred to as “a great amiga to our community for years.”

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“Rep. Andy Biggs is criticizing @FLOTUS remarks at #UnidosUS22 Conference. Andy Biggs?! The guy who demonizes immigrants and defends Confederate statues? Give me a break,” Murguía tweeted in response to Biggs’ criticism of Biden. Biggs supported former President Donald Trump’s plans to build a border wall with Mexico.

What is a breakfast taco?

According to Austin Eater, breakfast tacos are the pride and joy of the San Antonio and Austin area. The popular dish was born out of cross-pollinating Mexican culture with Anglo-Germanic ingredients, reports Austin Eater. The tacos consist of tortillas filled with eggs, cheese, refried beans, chorizo, potatoes, bacon, pork, and other fillings.


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