On April 10, a White woman labelled by the internet as "Taco Truck Tammy" entered into conflict with several women working in a taco truck outside her home.
"Tammy" threatened to call ICE and patronized them as they served customers. The truck had a permit allowing them to be there.
In response to Tammy's behavior, which many locals felt was racist and unprovoked, the community decided to hold a small festival celebrating Mexican culture nearby.
In a video captured by Claudia Lopez, one of the workers in the taco truck, "Taco Truck Tammy" (later identified as Valerie Jacobs) tells the truck to move, saying:
"OK, baby girl, vamanos. I'll call ICE."
racist woman talking about shes gonna call ICE ON US FOR SELLING FOOD IN DALLAS WHEN WE HAVE PERMIT youtu.be
One of the workers in the truck says back to her:
"I'm not your baby girl."
Lopez then adds:
"OK, call ICE. Call them. You can call them. Call them right now."
wonder how #TacoTammy is doing now since she’s become a viral star 🤣. . . https://t.co/W3fMp6ZBEc— J. McCavendish (@J. McCavendish) 1557098282.0
When she uploaded the video to YouTube, Lopez's clip of the encounter quickly received more than 175k views.
It inspired action from the League of United Latin Citizens.
Domingo Garcia, the group's event organizer, said of the festival:
"We are responding with a love for our culture, sharing our understanding of our history, our food and a respect for people who are out there every day trying to make a living or simply living their life."
A Facebook event was set up for the festival, which Garcia decided to call " Mariachi & Tacos Party for Taco Truck Tammy."
The party featured a mariachi band and lots and lots of Mexican food!
This makes the #petty in me SO HAPPY!! 🤣 #tacotrucktammy #ilovethis https://t.co/DuZeTudFHv— Kiejah D. (@Kiejah D.) 1557084490.0
NBC5 approached "Tammy", aka Valerie Jacobs, who regretted some of her words, claiming she's not a racist:
"I wish I'd used my words better...I like tacos! Just not in my neighborhood!"
Jacobs also said she was frustrated by the difficulty of selling her house with so much construction work being done in the area.
It’s endless, this shit. #TacoTruckTammy https://t.co/soqEhV9oSo— Robin Leigh (@Robin Leigh) 1554831679.0
Things will likely be even harder now that the real estate agenxy that had been representing Jacob's house severed all ties with her, saying:
"The house is now terminated and we no longer represent her."
Twitter was frustrated by #TacoTammy's behavior, but glad the community took her hate and channeled it into love.
I am Canadian in Nova Scotia, we don’t have taco trucks here. I wish we did, I would love to have a taco truck on… https://t.co/rXdhtJCq8W— Darlene Parnell (@Darlene Parnell) 1554935553.0
#TacoTruckTammy is why we can't have nice things and taco trucks are nice. https://t.co/j2AsrL4I0b— GryffindorRulz (@GryffindorRulz) 1554856049.0
#TacoTruckTammy went viral & now she haz a sad 😭 https://t.co/7z9nlwHnFv— audrey (@audrey) 1554860290.0
Hopefully #TacoTruckTammy has now learned her lesson.
Let people live their lives, especially if they're doing nothing wrong to you.
And just let your neighbors enjoy their delicious tacos in peace!