Bob Griese from ESPN got suspended for saying Juan Pablo Montoya (a NASCAR driver) was "out having a taco."
I didn't see how this was racist. But then I got to thinking about collard greens and fried chicken...
I'm thinking the comment was mildly racist based on the context but Griese should not have been suspended for saying it.
Where is the line between a stereotype and racism?
Why is it bad to generalize somebody by referring to their culture? After all, stereotypes are generally true or they would not be "stereotypes". If you don't mean it as an insult or a slur, why should you not be able to say it?
People have teased me about eating kielbasa because my grandparents were from Poland. I get pissed if it's said in a negative way but I don't classify it as a cultural hate crime. It's a shot at me, not my heritage I think. Then again, my heritage is also Scottish, German, French, Canadian and Native American - so maybe it's just a shot at one tiny part of me. (I don't even eat kielbasa - I don't like it ) But if I was a first or second generation Polish immigrant, would I be more offended?
hi, well, he should not have ben suspended, stereotypes are not bad at all, only when people make fun of it when they say it. people who live in a certain place has a thing in common, shared values and culture, that value or culture is shared. other outsiders to that culture should respect the culture of that group of people, but what the heck if he just mention it in passing, its ok...
Yeah people like to ask me if I have wooden shoes (I'm Dutch).
Those types of stereotypes are pretty harmless and more often than not actually are accurate.. I mean I actually DO have a pair somewhere in my parents house LOL.
I think it all depends on the context, and how sensitive the person is who the comment was made about, and you can always tell if it was a harmless poke or a real insult.
what? I meant, if he was eating a taco for real, like, statement of fact, how would that be rascist? Since then I have learned he wasnt...
I was Juz' kiddin'...I think many times we are so careful about what we say...at least the majority of us...and then you find that people within their own race are joking between themselves about the very same thing we are being careful not to say!
It's not the tractor.
That is a pretty stereotypical hat, though.
May I add: if you joke amongst your own about yourself, should you then be allowed to be offended if somebody else jokes about you?
Remember this is coming from somebody who's family had a "Proud To Be Polish" license plate on the family car. Upside down, of course.
really tho I have known people who will and can joke amongst themselves, but if "outsiders" say the exact same thing..holy crap..
me, Im good.
poke fun. I love to laugh!!! And if someone MEANS it.like, they call me names and "generalize" and all that bs,
like, Im a woman, I am considered blonde (wich I dont get, my hair isnt blonde) and I am American. I butcher my own food, so I ma a redneck.. I get jokes about being a girl, being blonde, being white, and teh whole "redneck" bit..and also a pretty good amount of Irish stuff too...see above..anyway, I mean, I see it happen, I htink its wrong.
Be proud of who you are, if someone else isnt, so what?
Are humans a race?
Live long and prosper...
OK you are also too funny not to be on my list.
My list of people who make me laugh, as in I joined your fan club.
Not the list of people who wear stereotypical hats.
ok, waaay off topic and my kids are getting so mad at how much I am laughing here
they keep syaing in irritated preteen voices
"ugh. whats so funny?" eyes roll..
Im going now before I get in trouble ..again..
take it easy Manly man..
I do mean its a nice tractor!!
Glad you are leaving with a laugh. I was pretty upset about this topic when I posted it, you guys have all put my mind at ease about it.
Oh, was that with snapping and chin gestures?
cuz maybe I did?
All stereotypes are racist. (Or sexist, or whatever-ist, depending on the stereotype obviously.) That's kind of the point. Just because you personally don't get insulted, doesn't mean they're not actually insulting.
Saying that a Hispanic guy was "out having a taco" is just as insulting as any other stereotype. Imagine if a national newscaster, noticing your absence, quipped that you must be out "having a kielbasa." Or that an Asian person was "out eating some rice."
These are insulting, derogatory things to say, and people shouldn't say them. I imagine you have quite a lot to say on the topic of jokes about Polish people, for example!
That's what I mean about context.. it depends what is said to who, and in what situation. Everything is subjective.
I couldn't disagree with you more. A taco is a traditional Mexican dish. Is it something they are ashamed of? I would think they would be proud of it. I mean, tacos are extremely popular in the United States and are more than likely responsible for propelling Mexican cuisine to the heights it has reached here today.
I'm Irish and have heard every beer joke in the book. But guess what? In my travels around Ireland, I see that all the hype about the Irish and beer is well justified!
If someone makes a remark about a policeman "out eating a donut", what does that make them? I get my coffee every morning from Dunkin Donuts, and guess who's usually there? Half of the town's police force.
People really have to lighten up. Why didn't Montoya just send Griese some bratwurst and sauerkraut if he was unhappy with the remark and just be done with it!
Awesome! I really was hoping somebody would agree with this point of view.
To complicate everything though, Montoya is not from Mexico. He's from Columbia. This is where the "racism" angle comes from.
Does this matter though?
(Side note: I saw TWO police cruisers at the Tim Horton's drive-thru last week, one behind the other, waiting in line for the donut/coffee special I think )
um, so, what? what does columbia have to do with tacos?
Nothing. Thus, to assume he likes them is to be racist.
If he was from Mexico, evidently it would not have been such a horrible frickin' thing to say...
????? This is why I asked the question in the first place, it doesn't make sense to me.
I am soooo lost.
You got me, good question.
I think, it may all be a publicity stunt thingy...
like, you can say about me..oh that Justine, hasn't writen a hub in a while, she must be out burning a village...cuz Im a dragon, then I'll get all "pissy" "what!! Just because Im a dragoen and thats what dragons do? you gotta be all racist?" and the whole of HP can rush to my defense, but some peopel will be like...wtf? hes just stating the obvious...and we will both end up with tons of fans!!!
I secretly love dragons but I'm afraid to tell my parents. They might ban me from the family in shame.
Speaking of fans, I'm on my way over. You're too funny not to be on my list!
Ah, so he's Colombian! Well, at least Griese didn't say he was "out smuggling drugs"!
That's ridiculous but I didn't hear him say it or read the full conversation.
It's all about fashion and politically correct attitude.
That changes in time and space.
For instance :
In western europe, there's no hassle saying someone is black.
But if you say negro or nigger to someone who would'n take it you can be sued. And it can be said in an offensive manner.
But in Brazil nigger can be a tenderness treatment (popular) to call someone you love. And you got masculine and feminine forms.
White people use it also.
Come here my nigger let's have big hug.
(Vem cá minha negra me fazer um cafuné...)
And a brazilian woman can make it sound really nice.
Polish jokes are HILARIOUS - especially when the family is all together and somebody does or says something Polish. If any of the sterotypes pop up, we laugh our heads off. Also true for my mysterious Canadian accent (born and raised in Michigan - don't know where it came from.) Same true for any stereotypical thing we say or do from ANY or our family's heritage.
I'm proud of my family and all the places we're from. But I'm not so arrogant that I can't laugh at a stereotype.
If I was screwing up at work, and my boss said I was out eating kielbasa, I'd be upset... that I was screwing up, not that I'm Polish. (I would just summon up my Scottish side and go kick some butt )
@Justine - no he wasn't eating a taco he was driving - badly, apparently. He seems to be just blowing the whole thing off, not screaming about racism.
I was just wondering. Its not really insulting to say what someone is doing, if its what they are doing.
I love tacos, and if someone said I was eating one, it wouldnt bother me all that much.
Hers my next question, who got mad? the guy they talked aobut or everyone else?
Oh, nevermind, sorry, just looked up and saw you already answerd that.
This is stupid. If hes not mad, who cares? Im sorry, but really? People are so sensitive about other peoples business now, your not allowed to talk about food in realtion to race? I have a race. I am white. I am of Irish (among other things) decent. I like whiskey and potatoes. big f##ing deal! Some people would say thats "racist" but.. I like 'em!!
I realize generalizations (I cant spell) are not really a good thing. But, hes not mad so?..
Two Irish people!
Now the song "Whiskey In The Jar" is in my head. The traditional AND the cover that Metallica did - surprisingly cool.
Yup, the driver seems a little irritated but not offended at least publicly. Apparently Disney owns ESPN and they are concerned about their Latino market, from what I read.
I just think that it is not racist, people in a certain group need to be proud of what is the collective or prevailing culture of your own ethnicity. It is bad only if they are looking down at you because of your culture. if they say I am eating rice at the moment because I am an asian, well it is true I just ate rice and it is not insulting for me.
If we all make a whole lot of issue about each others own way of life or culture we cant achieve permissiveness, tolerance, acceptance and respect too.
yes, good. Its other peopel thinking they know what someone else is thinking thats the problem.
Some things are facts, not racist.
I have a korean friend. he likes noodles.
Its how he was raised, noodles were a comfort food. I like Mac'n' cheese. What we each prefer does have to do with where we were born and grew up and our race. So? whats "racist" about that?
oh, see, I think that is what is bothering me about this. We should be embracing differences, not fearing them. That weird bad feeling that I couldn't explain just got explained I think.
OK - I feel better again. Thanks for nailing that down for me! That thought fills the empty spot in the puzzle.
I should probably write a hub about this one but...
When my first husband and I moved into our very first apartment it was a Friday night.
He had to work the following day, so I decided to do the grocery shopping.
He got home from work and the first thing he sees (on the kitchen table) is a gigantic WATERMELON!
So he looks me square in the face and says "what the hell did you buy this for?" "Do you like watermelon?" I said "no, just thought you might like some!" "I hate watermelon."
His response was "Why, Because I'm DOMINICAN?" "I hate watermelon too...and take the damn thing back to the store!"
So...Is that food racism? He was pretty pissed at me!
Now...that is a perfect example of "Food" racism...
Wendi, that is not food racism.
That is an a-----e first husband masquerading as a victim of food racism.
I would say, it was food stereotypism.
My ex claimed he was allergic to chicken and could only eat the "fancy" all-beef hot dogs. I secretly served him up the regular ones, because they were CHEAPER.
After he got sick and ate a carton of benadryl, I said geez, what's up with that label? Must be wrong...
That would maybe be called food terrorism.
Unfortunately it was not the only time I accidentally poisoned him.
Little known fact:
Chicken FLAVORED Rice-A-Roni actually does contain enough "chicken" to make an allergy sufferer sick.
The first thing I did when I moved out was fill up my freezer with chicken. I had to learn how to cook it! Never had the chance while I was married. HA
I think whether or not the remark was outright racist depends on the context. Still, it's not very polite nor very bright to automatically assume someone likes tacos just because he or she is Latino.
Case in point. My grandparents came from Germany. However, if you assume that everyone in my family must love Sauerkraut, you've got quite another thing coming. My father encountered another problem when bringing lunch to school as a kid. Think of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," when Toula was picked on at school for bringing moussaka for lunch instead of peanut butter on white bread- except my dad was a German-American kid shortly after WW2, and even his teachers got involved in taking his favorite sack lunch items as some anti-American political statement.
Me, I like a wide variety of foods, but I still put up with snide remarks, like "You got something against American food?"
American culture is defined mostly by the contributions made by its wide variety of immigrants. It's all American food to me. And what business is it of anyone else what people choose to eat, anyway?
Do remind yourself that Disney is involved in this. I think protecting the corporate image is more important to them.
You know Disney - the Fantasy Land people?
A Hispanic NASCAR driver was driving poorly. The announcer quipped that "He must be eating a taco."
Yes, that is offensive. For one thing, it was meant to be insulting. For another thing, the insult hinged on the stereotype that "Mexicans eat tacos." And for a third thing, dude wasn't Mexican.
Don't think of this as "Wacky PCism run amok with their crazy rules on what you can and can't say." Think of it as "How not to look like a jerk and hurt people's feelings."
There are things you can say to me that won't hurt my feelings. Heck, I may even laugh!
But that doesn't make it okay to say those things to other people. Or at your workplace. Particularly if your workplace happens to be on national television.
It was a disparaging remark, at least. And to say it right at a public, world-wide event! Ignorance and arrogance comes to mind. Everyone says it does no harm, until it happens to them.
I find it bizarre that there's so much press about this coming from the same people who find it "politically correct" to call all black people Africans. I have some Haitian and Jamaican friends that take great offense to that. Without knowing where a person's ancestors were born and whether they were African slaves, how would you know? But God forbid, let's just call them African-Americans. Screw it if we're wrong. After all, we're being "politically correct".
I personally think Griese was being ignorant, not insulting. But we certainly have all managed to make him look like a jerk.
No one ever said this "being decent human beings" was an easy project, Irohner! ;-)
Your point about the phrase "African-American" is spot on. And well worth a whole entire separate thread. But let's not get distracted from this particular issue.
You feel that the announcer was being "ignorant, not insulting." Well he clearly was insulting the driver, and he used a racial stereotype (the wrong one, as it happens) to do so.
So how are WE the ones who have "managed to make him look like a jerk"? As far as I can tell, he pretty much did it to himself. By being ignorant, and saying something insulting.
The feeling I get from most people here is, "I don't find this insulting, and therefore it isn't an insult/is okay to say." I'm a little bit alarmed at this, which is why I keep pushing it.
Frankly what I'm hearing here is a lot of white people saying "Nah, that's not racist." And you know? A lot of the time, we're not the ones who get to decide that.
You are only assuming that most of the people here are white.
I never would! :-D I was VERY careful to say "a lot," because that's one of my pet peeves about the internet.
Often on forums, posters are assumed to be white and male, unless they specify otherwise. I'm white, but not male, and it drives me crazy when someone assumes I'm a boy just because I'm online.
Believe it or not, some people even see my name as a tagline and then still refer to me as "He."
Scuse me, but would it have been "racist" if the driver was Caucasian and he remarked that the guy must have been out getting a hamburger? Or a cop out getting a donut? Or a kid out getting a piece of candy? I think not. At least everybody wouldn't have been making a big deal about it.
I would dare to say that there is not a person among us who hasn't done or said something stupid and ignorant in our lifetime. Fortunately, there were not millions of people standing at the ready to make an example of us and ruin our careers.
I'm a bit more alarmed that you say it's an insult and so it must be.
From what I heard, the driver didn't give a hoot. So again, it's you who gets to decide? Help me out here. I'm trying to understand.
Deep breaths all around, and let's work through it!
Taco = Hispanic (specifically Mexican) = a race = -ist. That's what racism actually is; prejudicial speech based on racial stereotypes or characteristics.
We often have this idea that racism is "guys in white hoods forming lynch mobs," or "denying someone a job because of their skin color." That's racism, too. It's just a different point on the racist spectrum.
In this specific case, yes his job is to speak in front of millions of people. Therefore he gets paid BIG MONEY to NOT say stupid things that insult people based on their (presumed) ethnic heritage.
He goofed. He said something insulting, which was based on a racial stereotype (and thus racist) on national television. He was suspended. Frankly, I'm surprised he didn't get fired. If he's smart, he'll apologize - publicly - since that's the decent thing to do.
So let me be clear here, saying a Caucasian is out getting a burger is not racist, but a Hispanic getting a taco is? Okay, deep breath. "Sam is out getting a taco." Should I be fired for that? Or is it only if the guy is Hispanic? "Susie is out getting a hamburger" is okay. "Pedro is out getting a taco" is not. Just want to be sure I understand you.
Your reasoning is just plain stupid and, quite frankly, racist in and of itself.
lrohner, I didn't want to get sidetracked by your hypothetical red herring.
To answer your question, any of those hypothetical things? Don't be silly. Of course they are racist. But they're not the issue at hand.
If Griese had said any of those things, and someone asked "Why is this an insult?" I would have tried to explain, just like I did this time.
The question on the table was, "Why is this specific thing an insult?" I'm trying to explain that. I'm sorry if this upsets you.
He has publicly apologized multiple times. The driver says he was not insulted.
Check the details of the story.
You are way more offended than the driver was by this.
Sometimes I get annoyed at how careful people get though. Once I was supposed to talk to someone, there were two women working near each other, both in store uniforms. When I asked which I needed to ask, I was told 'the one with black hair'. They both had black hair. 'She's a little taller than the other one'.
Good grief, lady, the black woman or the white one?!
And just to be super clear, what he said WAS LITERALLY an insult. It was meant as an insult. He didn't say "Oh, there's Mr. So-And-So, who happens to be eating a taco in the cafeteria."
What he said was a quip, an insult, a riff on why the man was driving poorly. Which just happened - whoopsie on his part - to be based on racial stereotypes.
Dude really stepped in it, is what I'm saying.
OH and I totally forgot - his insult also hits on the "Mexicans are lazy" stereotype.
Please, people. Don't make me point out the minefield that is "NASCAR fans unable to identify racial slur." Just promise me you'll set aside your first gut reaction and think about it a little.
A comment about somebody eating a taco implies that Mexicans are lazy?
Are you also implying that NASCAR fans are stupid?
This is the sort of unrealistic rationalization that makes everybody freak out about whether something will be considered offensive. How far is this going to go?
In context, yes. Griese was asked to explain a Hispanic driver's poor performance. By saying he must have been out having a taco, the implication is "instead of doing his job."
Once again, super emphasizing, I'm not calling for Griese's head on a stick. I'm just explaining why people were offended by the statement, why he was suspended for a week, and why making "taco" remarks about Hispanic people is not the way to look like a decent human being.
sorry to hear he was reprimanded so harshly, the apology should have done it. mercy? I do understand why it hurts, it's the the glib attention to race & "THEY" are all the same sentiments. some ethnic groups are attempting to weave into the American culture: 'belong here' these not so funny remarks help us keep them segragated from the group. Irish drinking&Polish/German sausage is so passé NOW, but ask 1st & 2nd generation great/great grandparents how "THEY" felt when glib racist jokes hwlp justify "THEY" were too different to be trusted & belonged in deplorable ghetto's, treated as 2nd class citizens. When you are struggling to be taken seriously & be appreciated for assets you bring,it HURTS to be excluded through the weapon of glib jokes.
Good thoughts. Thanks for your input!
I'm still not sold that he intended "taco" to imply anything racial. I won't argue that is was a dumb thing to say though.
I also wonder: would we feel differently if Montoya was not a successful man? Maybe because he IS successful, we are not seeing this as a major insult, just a minor one.
Was it maybe a little insensitive? But if the driver was unmoved why should it matter. I've noticed a growing trend in America where every little comment is blown up into something big and made an issue of. It's too the point where you really can't say anything that someone somewhere might find offensive...I say please people grow up. I was raised in a time where bullying and wedgees are part of growing up and life. Only winners got trophies and it sucked to be a loser. That's life it's how it works. How are we ever going to teach kids to deal with an increasingly harsh world when we insulate even ourselves from everything?
ok..if thats racism, why was it not racism when they used to say Kyle Petty was ut having a drink with the boys, or Jr. must be enjoying a budweiser..
what a crock, what they said about Montoya is not racism...lmao!
NASCAR, NHRA, and PBR BULLRIDING are the only sports I enjoy, and I am not a redneck or a country bumpkin...Im a Peace spreading wiccan and an Artisan.
I agree, Im Irish/Native american and I LOVE TACOS...YUM,,YUM,,,YUM!!!!!!!YUMMY
Simply another case of the political correctness gone out of control ! If I say the sky Is green guaranteed someone without a backbone will get offended .
How about this:
If the driver was insulted, he should have addressed it himself.
A third party deciding whether it was offensive is where I'm getting hung up here I think.
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