Urban Taqueria, a locally owned Albuquerque establishment, recently opened with menu items named after phrases commonly used by President Donald Trump.
If you ever wanted to eat a burrito called "The Wall" or "No Collusion", it looks like you know where to go.
The names have sparked controversy, with many online denouncing the restaurant. Local news, KOAT interviewed Albuquerque citizens who expressed their displeasure.
Juan Hernandez said:
"The way things are right now. It's not good. We need to have respect for others and have limits."
University of New Mexico professor, Patricia Perea was more worried about how this kind of use for these terms will affect our perception of them.
"It seems fun, it seems like you can make fun of this and maybe make it lighthearted, but you really can't, you're offending a whole community.
"It's normalizing the terms and potentially turning them into funny or humorous terms, and the more that you do that, the more likely people are to repeat them and perhaps forget the contexts in which they were said."
@CNN Where is a place I'll never eat, Alex, for $200?— GzG (@GzG)1567683252.0
@ABC7 If this was a comedy sketch it would be funny. But to think it applies to everyday life is offensive and prom… https://t.co/rCShyoXYwS— Cuban Pete (@Cuban Pete)1567556899.0
wtf is this mess? 🤬🤬 https://t.co/YcblkOwf9u— The Latifah (@The Latifah)1567554282.0
However, before you go thinking this is some MAGA obsessed fan, let's talk about the owner of the restaurant.
Hanif Mohamed is the owner of the restaurant. A Muslim immigrant from Kenya, Mohamed is no fan of Donald Trump.
He named the dishes after these phrases to "have a conversation" as he puts it.
"Ninety-nine percent of the people who walk in, more than 99 percent, don't seem to have an issue with it. The menu's not designed to insult people or hurt people, but it's just meant to keep the conversation going as to what's happening around us."
I'm unsure if it can really spark the kind of discussion he's looking for, but maybe people will find it a little funny?
@Newsweek @melpriceHB so..wait..a guy named Mohamed..owns a Mexican place..and is naming the food..after Trump rhet… https://t.co/OfdK6UqLJ7— Brandy of Nosgoth「シス」 (@Brandy of Nosgoth「シス」)1567601166.0
@Shelly15208 @Newsweek Yeah, boycott the owner Hanif Mohamed, for naming a taco 'popular vote' and 'the Mueller report'— john (@john)1567600719.0
@snooze_cat @Netmeetme I don't think the owner is MAGA, just completely tone deaf. He seems to be equal opportunity… https://t.co/BLm440xYgo— Zylie (@Zylie)1567620875.0
The inflammatory phrases associated with Trump get the most attention, but the menu also includes phrases our dear President wouldn't be pleased with.
Items like "The Stormy" and "Popular Vote" bring to mind scandals that Trump surely wants the public to forget.
Mohamed also claims the menu items have special meanings, if you look for it. In an interview with The Washington Post, he pointed out that "The Republican" taco is made with pork, something Muslims would avoid.
It's hard to say if Mohamed is really looking to "start a conversation" or if he's banking on the controversy. It wouldn't be surprising seeing as everything the President does ends up making headlines.
If you still think it's a bad advertisement plan, remember:
It got us to talk about the restaurant and you to read about it, didn't it?
@Newsweek And got national publicity as a result— State Champ JV Debate (@State Champ JV Debate)1567615783.0
Urban Taqueria opened just a few weeks ago, and employs immigrant workers. Many of the ingredients are locally sourced, with vegetarian and vegan options.
It's difficult to say someone from MAGA would do all of that. From where I'm sitting, the worst you could accuse Mohamed of is being a little tone deaf, and banking on controversy.
And on the more positive outlook, who knows? Maybe your next taco will inspire political action.
Listen to the first three episodes of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!', where we explore the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
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