Jill Biden: Breakfast tacos and "bogedas" signs of Hispanic diversity, or something

Her husband has said worse. Remember Joe Biden’s bon mot about 7-11s and Indian accents? It turns out that cultural idiocy runs in the Biden family. Yesterday, Jill Biden addressed UnidosUS, which used to be known as the National Council of La Raza, at its San Antonio meeting to commend Latinos for their diversity.


After a call-out to “bogedas” rather than “bodegas” in the Bronx, Dr. Biden then cited “breakfast tacos” in San Antonio as a symbol of Latino diversity. And that made the Hispanic media every bit as delighted as you’d expect:

Jill Biden was praising civil rights icon Raul Yzaguirre during the annual conference of UnidosUS when she made the bizarre compliment.

Yzaguirre led the advocacy organization, which used to be known as the National Council of La Raza, for three decades.

“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.

When addressing the Bronx bodegas though, she mispronounced the convenience stores and said “bogedas.”

“Bogedas”? That really shows that Dr. Biden is down with the struggle. Heck, all you need to do to know how to say “bodegas” is watch a few episodes of Law & Order. A speechwriter crafting this line should have thought to step the First Lady through the pronunciations before she took the stage. Of course, if a speechwriter actually wrote this “breakfast taco” line, he or she has more important tasks today … like looking for a new job.


You can bet that the White House will be looking for someone other than Jill Biden to blame. Just at the moment that Joe Biden needs to woo back Hispanics, his wife just reminded Hispanic media of Biden’s inch-deep understanding of their culture. “We are not tacos,” declared the National Association of Hispanic Journalists:

Rolling Stone’s Kat Bouza played a little Republicans Pounce!® while, er, pouncing herself:

Intentional or not, the First Lady’s reduction of Latinos — an extremely racially and culturally diverse group that comprises nearly 20% of the total U.S. population, according to 2020 census data — and Latin American culture to “things white people recognize” gives off major “Donald Trump talking about taco salad on Cinco de Mayo” vibes. (As a Cuban-American, this journalist is befuddled, but somewhat thankful, Biden decided to shoehorn Miami’s Latino community into a comment about flowers instead of a tired, predictable reference to Cuban sandwiches.) Recognizing the multitude of Hispanic and Latino communities that exist in the U.S. is one thing, but to fall back on reducing the Latino identity to food — especially a dish that was birthed primarily by Mexican American diaspora and holds no other connection to any other Latino group — is yet another way in which Latino culture is routinely stereotyped and misunderstood by Americans.

Biden’s comments were immediately seized upon by right-wingers and Latinos alike.


The Hill was even worse, making Republicans Pounce!® its lead:

First lady Jill Biden is receiving flak from the right for comments in which she said the Hispanic community was as “unique” as the “breakfast tacos” in San Antonio.

Maybe that’s because those remarks were dumb and offensive. Why does it matter who’s seizing on them? The story is that the First Lady delivered those remarks in an apparently prepared address, not in how people reacted to them — especially since the Latino media reacted to them first and strongest.

This reminds us of a media-bias truth: when a Republican does something stupid, the story is “Republican does something stupid,” such as with Trump’s Cinco de Mayo comment. When a Democrat — especially a high-ranking Democrat — does something stupid, the mainstream media’s story is “Republicans seize/pounce/grasp onto Democrat’s stupid action.”

This kerfuffle will fade from memory pretty quickly, but it’s yet another way in which the Bidens keep demonstrating that they’re out of touch and not terribly good at hiding it. It’s yet another example where much of the media tries to keep hiding it for them, too.


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