I think it might be illegal for me to blog too frequently, so let me keep this brief and based on the topic – extra snarky.
Trigger happy #Revs twitter-ites have gone ballistic over a relatively benign New England Revolution family discount offering for “Hispanic Heritage Night.” (Click link, pretend not to see the Patriots wording in the URL and read the information, please.)
Basically, it’s a discounted family ticket 4-pack with free soda and nachos. And therein lies the problem. Associating hispanic fans to nachos has been labeled everything from clueless to near-racist.
After already having posted some Revolution commentary this week I planned to stay out of the fray, that is until I saw a good piece about the subject over at The Drug is Football. Please go read it, I’m too busy to recreate good thinking.
But about half-way through an overly-long comment I was about to write responding to it, I decided to just post it here. (See why you need to go read it now?)
I agree with the post on a number of levels, one of which being that this is more about a missed opportunity than anything remotely bordering on racist. For goodness sake. Tacky? Sure. Clueless, maybe. Potentially insensitive? I suppose. But certainly harmless.
I’m not of Hispanic descent, so I’ll pick my words as carefully as I can here. That said, my kids are half Colombian, so maybe that makes me a quarter Latin? (No, it doesn’t work that way, but I digress…) And with friends, family and in-laws I am lucky to have some touch with Colombian, Mexican, Peruvian and Puerto Rican cultures to only name the most obvious ones. (And hey, I have a black friend to, so I’ll also help solve all the racial issues in the world. C’mon, why so serious Revs fans?)
So first off, as a gringo, I think we all need to relax a bit. You have to see the irony that a bunch of white dudes (for the most part) are all up in arms about this. I bet many Latino fans a) don’t know, and b) could care less. God forbid I write… C) would probably eat the darn nachos and not have thought about this in the least. Worse, D) are gonna be pretty ticked off if we screw up this free nacho thing.
Anyway, what The Drug is Football post helps make clear is that it’s less about how offensive this is and more about what COULD HAVE been.
The idea to have a local restaurant/caterer participate would have been great – but giving up the concessions revenue for a relationship building experience would take a long-term perspective. I don’t know that we have that.
I mean, they already don’t make people pay to park their burros… (sorry, that was too easy to pass up.)
Another idea, why not use our Latin imports as “teachable moments” — perhaps Colombian and Honduran cuisine, for example, to celebrate our players from those countries. (Sorry Hispanic revs I forgot… moving fast here.) Maybe some other culture expressions surrounding those countries – music or otherwise.
(And by the way, I know that even the Colombians dig a good Mariachi band for a pre-wedding ‘serenata’ – it cannot be explained, but my ears don’t lie. So again, let’s all take a deep breath.)
Anyway, I’d be all in for an arepa con queso… so call that Colombian lady from the Boston Common. Now we are talking.
All that said, I think that (after reading this and retweeting it, of course) everyone should just take a step back from the hashtag, grab some nachos and chill out. We are clearly making a mountain out of a nacho-hill.
The bigger problem is that we need some POSITIVE mountain building, but we can work on that tomorrow, can’t we?