If you’re easily offended, the Urban Taqueria restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, probably isn’t for you.
The immigrant-owned Mexican eatery is garnering laughter from some patrons and gasps from others after it unveiled a rather politically-incorrect menu that pokes fun at contemporary politics.
Instead of traditionally-named tacos or burritos, hungry customers can now choose from menu items like “The Wall,” “The Immigrant” and “Lock Her Up.”
As you might have guessed, some people are throwing a fit over the names.
“The way things are right now. It’s not good,” local resident Juan Hernandez complained to KOAT News. “We need to have respect for others and have limits.”
But the restaurant’s owner, Hanif Mohamed, dismissed those criticisms. He said the menu is meant to spark conversation, which it sure seems to be doing.
“Ninety-nine percent of the people who walk in, more than 99 percent, don’t seem to have an issue with it,” Mohamed said.
Other creative menu items include “The Democrats,” “Fake News,” “Wikileaks” and “Bad Hombre.”
“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,” the owner added.
But as with almost anything these days, one liberal academic is wringing her hands and crying foul over the humorous restaurant items. Professor Patricia Perea from the University of New Mexico is trying to squash any fun, wagging her proverbial finger at the unique menu.
“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,” Perea told KOAT News.
Her university bio says that she teaches “Chicana and Chicano Studies,” along with feminist courses like “Introduction to Women Studies” and “Reproductive Justice and Latinas.”
“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,” Perea continued.
It remains a bit unclear how a menu at one restaurant would normalize already-common words like “wall” and “immigrant,” which are hardly new.
And while the offended liberal professor — a redundant term, admittedly — claimed that the menu was insulting “a whole community,” other residents just don’t agree.
“To me it’s not offensive,” said Christy Garcia. “I just think it’s interesting that they decided to be so bold with the names.”
The restaurant owner also noted that many of his employees, like himself, are immigrants.
Here’s a wild idea: How about we all relax once in a while, and stop being perpetually outraged by everything under the sun? There doesn’t seem to be anything particularly hateful about the menu or the restaurant owner, and he mostly seems to be trying something new to drum up business.
After all, an immigrant entrepreneur adding his unique flavor to an area is quintessentially American … and if the joint’s tacos are anywhere as creatively-crafted as its menu, they just might be worth a try. Pass the salsa!