SAN ANTONIO – First Lady Dr. Jill Biden is under scrutiny after a controversial comment she made at the UnidosUS Annual Conference in San Antonio Monday.
The comment is drawing criticism from at least one Hispanic organization.
“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,” the first lady said.
Biden made the remark at the UnidosUS Annual Conference in San Antonio while she was praising the organization’s president.
This comes at a time when President Biden is trying to reach out to Hispanic voters since recent polls show his approval ratings among Hispanics have dropped.
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists released a statement:
“Using breakfast tacos to try to demonstrate the uniqueness of Latinos in San Antonio demonstrates a lack of cultural knowledge and sensitivity to the diversity of Latinos in the region.”
The organization continued and said, “NAHJ encourages Dr. Biden and her speech writing team to take the time in the future to better understand the complexities of our people and communities.”
NAHJ encourages @FLOTUS & her communications team to take time to better understand the complexities of our people & communities.— NAHJ (@NAHJ) July 12, 2022
We are not tacos.
Our heritage as Latinos is shaped by various diasporas, cultures & food traditions.
Do not reduce us to stereotypes. pic.twitter.com/KQIq5gwsht
Several Republican leaders have spoken out against the comment.
Michael LaRosa, the first lady’s press secretary and special assistant to the president, posted a tweet Tuesday saying, “The First Lady apologizes that her words conveyed anything but pure admiration and love for the Latino community.”
The First Lady apologizes that her words conveyed anything but pure admiration and love for the Latino community.— Michael LaRosa (@MichaelLaRosa46) July 12, 2022
A statement released by the Harris County Democratic Party read:
“Why not use this as an opportunity to learn and grow? People make mistakes, and we know the intent was not to offend. We should focus on the educational opportunity here rather than condemning the individual who misspoke.”
Founded in 1968, UnidosUS is the largest Latino civil rights organization in the U.S. The organization services the Hispanic community through research, policy analysis, and state and national advocacy efforts.