Jill Biden Went Full-On Cringe With Her Insensitive 'Breakfast Tacos' Comment

If you ever wondered what Joe Biden enjoys eating, after his wife's unsavory comments at a UnidosUS conference yesterday, you can safely assume breakfast tacos will be avoided in the foreseeable future.

On July 12, First Lady Jill Biden gave a speech for UnidosUS, a non-profit organization based in San Antonio, Texas, where her supposed goal was to honor the cultural diversity and complex experiences of the Latino community, Eater reports. The conference was held in part to praise UnidosUS president Raul Yzaguirre, who was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Joe Biden for his lifelong advocacy work for justice, equality, and Hispanic civil rights.

Instead of commending Yzaguirre's work on immigration laws, which granted U.S. citizenship to roughly 3 million people, however, FLOTUS' remarks reduced his achievements to clichéd stereotypes of the Latino community. In the speech, she stated, "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."

While reading that may have caused you to crawl under your bed from secondhand embarrassment, this isn't the first time that one of the Bidens has made misguided comments about various ethnic communities (via Politico). Regardless, the public response to this most recent misstep is not helping Joe Biden's desire for increased support from Latinos.

'We are not tacos'

Following Jill Biden's comparison of Latinos to "breakfast tacos," social media users were quick to speak up about their issues with her language. For one, #wearenottacos has been trending on Twitter, while many public figures have also taken to the platform to air their grievances. Journalist and talk show host Benny Johnson tweeted a "cringe" at Biden's pronunciation of bodegas as "bo-ga-duhs." Similarly, the Texas Communications Director of the Republican National Committee, Macarena Martinez, posted, "So much cringe!" The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), too, promptly issued a response to Biden's remarks, asking that the First Lady "not reduce us to stereotypes."

While Biden's words surely would have drawn fire even if she were the only person behind the speech, The Washington Post's White House Bureau Chief, Ashley Parker, tweeted a reminder to critics that "White House offices of intergovernmental affairs, legislative affairs and public liaison" all had a hand in approving the script — illustrating that many people of high political stature may be unaware of the true complexity of the Latino community. 

Press Secretary to the First Lady, Michael LaRosa, tweeted an apology on Biden's behalf, but the damage was done. Yvette Cabrera of the NAHJ shared that while she realized Biden's "intention was positive," her speech failed to properly spotlight Latinos' contributions to the country. "It felt like it was resorting to a shallow stereotype," Cabrera said (via The Washington Post). In addition to disappointing many viewers, the remarks don't seem to be doing Joe Biden any favors when it comes to winning Democratic support in 2024.