Monday, February 6, 2012

Republican Racism Example #10: Let Them Eat Tacos

Sometimes, these Republicans act like characters from the old "All in the Family" TV show.  When he took office in 2010, Joseph A. Maturo, the Republican mayor of East Haven, Connecticut, reinstated his friend Leonard Gallo as police chief.  Gallo had been suspended after the FBI began investigating local police abuse of Hispanics in the community, including arrests on trumped-up charges, beatings,  and threats made to witnesses of misconduct by officers.  Four officers were arrested on January 24. (Gallo retired on January 30 as the investigation continued.)  Asked what he would do to reach out to the Hispanic community, Maturo – ever the cultural ambassador – said he “might have tacos” for dinner. And perhaps he'll dance on a hat.  In any case,  local Hispanic leaders gave his gleefully insensitive remarks a thumbs down for his lame and insulting attempt at comedy.

Mayor Joseph Maturo of East Haven: eating tacos to build cultural bridges. (Photo posted in the Huffington Post.)

For more, read:

Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.


  1. Some people should just keep their mouths shut!

  2. Again, this was Betsy's comments. She was signed on as me accidentally.