Tacos For Tolerance

If telling hispanic latino Mexicanians that you’re going to eat a taco won’t make ‘em happy, then holy frijole, what in the heck will?!

Apparently, this week the FBI arrested four East Haven, Connecticut police officers on charges that they “conspired to deprive some residents, particularly Latinos, of their constitutional rights”, including “multiple counts of excessive force, false arrest, obstruction and conspiracy”. Serious charges to be sure, but not surprising coming from East Haven, Connecticut, which many of us have long known more commonly as “The Tijuana of New England”.

Case closed right? A couple of Connecticut cops arrested for being dicks, problem solved, racism over, you’re welcome Colonial Latirican community. But SOME people just won’t accept that all racism everywhere was just ended right before their very eyes. Some hot shot reporter, bent on making a name for himself just HAD to ask East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo in an interview about the arrest, “What are you doing for the Latino community today?”

That’s the kind of culture we’re living in. “What have you done for me lately?” We’re never satisfied with swift, decisive justice being handed down yesterday as being enough. It’s always “Sure, you single handedly defeated hate for all of time in an act that is somehow actually retroactively removing hate from past history. But me wanty more.”

So the question put before Mayor Maturo was as simple as it was gallingly selfish. “What are you doing for the Latino community today?” and his answer was as brave as it was compassionate.

“I might have tacos when I go home. I’m not quite sure yet.”

Lover of Tacos, Mayor Joseph Maturo
Lover of Tacos, Mayor Joseph Maturo
Ta-da! You’re welcome brownies! He MIGHT have “tacos”, MULTIPLE, when he gets home; for the Latino community. What more could the community of Latinio possibly NEED?

But SOMEHOW this has been taken as a negative, a slight, a SLUR even by the masses of legals choking the employment lines of East Haven! But how, HOW I ask you, is actively participating in a people’s known love of a popular food item in any way derogatory? How is his partaking in this native treat not aiding the Latino community? He is bringing much needed attention to the Hispanol communities rich culture and tradition and in all likelyhood supporting a local Laspanic business, by possibly purchasing up to SEVERAL authentic south of the border food stuff treats!

But SOME people don’t see it that way. Some people, like attorney David Rosen, “an attorney representing several Latino residents and business owners suing the East Haven police department for alleged civil rights violations” who called this heartfelt attempted support and thoughtful participation in Latino culture “appalling”.

Others though do make very level headed, clear arguments that help you to see the broader effect of well meaning gestures like Mr. Maturo’s. Others like Matt DeRienzo, editor of several local Connecticut publications, including the esteemed New Haven Register, the Middletown Press, the Register Citizen and the Connecticut Magazine who saw through the fog of fajita steam to what the real meaning of this venomous statement was.

“Blatantly racist.”

Hater of taco lovers, Mayor Joseph Maturo
Hater of taco lovers, Mayor Joseph Maturo
It’s true, so very true and understated and in no way hysterically over blown. Mentioning corn shelled meaty ingestibles in relation to people who often prepare and ingest them is clear, bald faced racism. I don’t know how I couldn’t see it as exactly what it was.

But it was more than that, as Mr. DeRienzo continued in his perfectly reasonable, entirely cogent and fair examination of the true nature of the Mayor’s evil soulless enjoyment of tacos.

“Let’s not mince words,” DeRienzo wrote.

“The thin translation of Maturo’s taco comment is, ‘I am a full human being and you are less than one.’”

Yes, let us not “mince” words when talking about taco racism and the dehumanization of those that love them but object to being known to love them. The translation is so thin as to almost be non-existent:

“If you love tacos, I am better than you.”

You are scum Mayor Maturo! Heartless scum who should never sully the good name of tacos again as long as you slink across this planet like the snake that you are!

Or you are a hero and champion of right and tolerance everywhere, punching hatred in the fucking face where ever the fuck you see it!

There is no middle ground here. In this argument only the most ludicrously extreme reaction is the right one. It couldn’t just be that some guy dealing with some shit said something stupid that we should all just get the fuck over.

Never that.