Jill Biden Compares Latinos to the “Uniqueness” of Breakfast Tacos

First Lady Jill Biden stands in front of a microphone as she delivers a speech
via Shutterstock

Dr. Jill Biden delivers a speech at the Democratic National Nominating Convention in 2016

In a world where you can be anything, First Lady Jill Biden’s team thought the most complimentary comparison for Latinos was to that of breakfast tacos.

Comparing Latinos to the TexMex staple somehow passed many channels to get the final stamp of approval for the speech she delivered at the UnidosUS conference in San Antonio this week. The lifelong teacher and wife to President Joe Biden definitely left us feeling very WTF after a video of the First lady emerged showing her struggle through the word “bodega,” pronouncing it “bógedas” and then closing with the taco comparison.

Too much convincing isn’t necessary to know that comparing people to food is probably not the best practice, let alone not taking the time to ensure you can pronounce something before launching into a speech in front of hundreds of people who probably know how to say those words well.

The First Lady might have made the ignorant taco comment with good intentions, but it came across as anything but.

An apology was issued the day after the speech via a spokesperson for the First Lady, but that didn’t stop the National Association of Hispanic Journalists from calling her out directly via a statement:

Conservative media and the political right are having a field day with the video, ignoring their wealth of hypocrisy when they don’t criticize the rampant hate and vilification of Latinos by Republican politicians and commentators. Their hypocritical coverage is expected, but the other question is why there isn’t more criticism from the left after decades of Latinos being dismissed, ignored, and taken advantage of by the Democratic party.

No one can argue that the First Lady doesn’t care about the Latino community. She clearly cares more than, say, former First Lady Melania Trump. However, the lack of care to research and understand the Latino community beyond these superficial stereotypes is disappointing and exhausting, and quite frankly, we’re tired of it.

What would the left and Latino groups say if a conservative politician had made the same remarks? Although we admit that in today’s times something like this from a conservative politician’s mouth would be rather benign after the growing mountain of worse things they say.

At the end of the day, this isn’t a race to the bottom is it?

Just because the conservative right has lowered the bar to such an extreme low, it certainly doesn’t excuse someone from the left from at least trying to pronounce a word correctly or come up with a comparison more meaningful than a food group (and yes, tacos are food groups, fight us on that later). If they are going to pander, can they at least pander with just a little bit of gusto, no?

You can watch the First Lady’s speech below.

Jill Biden compares Latinos to tacosyoutu.be

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Women in Texas at the National Women's March, rallying against deadly abortion restrictions.
Lucy Flores

The landscape of abortion rights in the United States has become more restrictive than ever in recent history, particularly in Arizona and Florida, where recent developments represent a major setback for women’s reproductive rights. On April 9, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in a 4-to-2 decision to uphold an 1864 law banning abortion from the moment of conception. The only exception is saving the mother’s life, but there are no exceptions for rape or incest under this law.

Just a few days earlier, on April 1, the Florida Supreme Court also ruled in favor of upholding a 6-week abortion ban, which will take effect on May 1. This further reduced the legal threshold for abortions in Florida, which used to be 24 weeks of pregnancy before Republicans passed a law in 2022 banning abortions after 15 weeks. Both of these rulings have sparked intense debate and outrage about their impact on women’s rights.

Overview of the Near-Total Abortion Ban in Arizona

The Arizona Supreme Court voted to uphold an 1864 law, a law passed even before the state officially was a part of the United States of America, that makes all types of abortion illegal, including medication abortion, from the moment of conception. Though there are exceptions in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, the ban makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest and imposes severe penalties, including imprisonment, on medical professionals performing abortions.

Medical professionals have spoken out about how dire the situation will become for women with this near-total abortion ban. Dr. Jill Gibson, chief medical director of Planned Parenthood in Arizona, told CNN that this ruling will have “absolutely unbelievable consequences for the patients in our community.” She continued by saying, “Providers need to be able to take care of their patients without fear of legal repercussions and criminalization.”

Representatives from Arizona and other states across the country have also spoken up against this near-total abortion ban.

Video by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramVideo by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram

Image by Rub\u00e9n Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram

Until this Arizona Supreme Court decision, abortion had been legal in the state up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. The right to abortion via Roe v. Wade prevented the enforcement of the near-total abortion ban, but since a majority vote in the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe, those opposed to abortion rights had been fighting to enforce the 160-year-old 1864 law.

This new abortion ban in Arizona is not effective immediately as the court has paused its ruling for 14 days until additional arguments are heard in a lower court about how constitutional the law is. However, the law will likely come into effect in May, a few weeks from now. Planned Parenthood Arizona, the largest abortion provider in the state, will continue serving the community until the ban is enforced.

An Overview of Florida's Six-Week Abortion Ban

The landscape of abortion in Florida has also undergone a significant change with the enforcement of a 6-week abortion ban, replacing the previous 15-week limit. This ban, similar to Arizona's, severely restricts access to abortion care and poses a significant challenge to reproductive rights in the state. Providers are bracing for a public health crisis due to the increased demand for abortion and limited options for patients.

Practically speaking, a 6-week abortion ban is a near-total abortion ban because pregnant people often don’t even realize they could be pregnant by this early stage. Combined with Florida’s strict abortion requirements, which include mandatory in-person doctor visits with a 24-hour waiting period, it’s nearly impossible for those who may want an abortion to be able to access it before 6 weeks. Not to mention that fulfilling the requirements is particularly challenging for low-income individuals.

Video by theluncheonlawyer on InstagramVideo by theluncheonlawyer on Instagram

Moreover, this Florida law also restricts telemedicine for abortion and requires that medication be provided in person, effectively eliminating mail-order options for abortion pills. While exceptions for rape and incest exist in Florida, the requirements are also strict, asking victims to provide police records or medical records. For victims who don’t always report sexual violence for many different reasons, these exceptions don’t make a difference.

The consequences of Florida’s ban extend to neighboring states with more restrictive abortion laws. For instance, residents of Alabama, facing a total ban on abortion, and Georgia, with its own 6-week abortion ban, have relied on Florida for abortion services. That will no longer be an option, further limiting care alternatives.

The Road Ahead

These recent abortion bans in Arizona and Florida are a major setback for women's rights, particularly impacting Latina women who already face barriers to accessing quality healthcare. These bans not only restrict women’s reproductive freedom but also endanger their lives.

Efforts to challenge these bans through legal means and ballot measures are ongoing, but the road ahead is uncertain. While there’s hope for overturning these abortion bans, the challenges of conservative laws and legal battles are formidable. The November ballot in both states will be crucial in determining the future of abortion rights and access for all.