Poster At Thompson Center Slammed As Hispanic Stereotype

CHICAGO (CBS) — It was supposed to help sell tasty ethnic food, but it’s leaving a bitter taste with people who’ve seen it.

As CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports, it’s a flyer with a cartoon many say is a bad stereotype and had no place in the Thompson Center.

The poster displayed the image of a man with a thick black mustache and wearing a sombrero and a bandana, standing behind a sign advertising tacos, nachos, tamales and Puerto Rican rice.

The poster was put up at the Thompson Center and was supposed to help celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. It advertised an event on Friday at the governor’s office on the 16th floor.

Christina Rodriguez said the poster was “Ridiculous, intolerant and insensitive.”

Other Hispanics said the guy in the sombrero with the little bandana – selling tacos and nachos – doesn’t represent them.

“Most definitely not,” Cathy Flores, a Mexican American, said. “It does look a little bit biased.”

“If you see somebody speaking Spanish, doesn’t mean everybody’s Mexican,” said Luis Cruz, who is from Nicaragua. “For example, in my country, we don’t eat tacos, we don’t eat Puerto Rican rice or tamales. … Our food is different.”

Cruz was working an information table honoring Hispanic heritage at the Thompson Center.

“I call it a generalization, I think,” he said. “It’s just … putting you, like, in a box. Okay, all of you are Hispanic, so all of you are Mexican. You speak Spanish, you are Mexican – which is not the case.”

They said celebrating all the colors and flavors of Hispanic culture is commendable, but Flores said the poster “does kind of deteriorate a little bit the feeling of being Hispanic that they would presume that that’s how we all look.”

A spokesperson for the governor’s office said the poster was a mistake made by one staffer. It was not approved by anyone in the office and, when they realized the error, the poster was removed.

Rodriguez blogged about the poster. She said that, just because private businesses use similar icons all the time, doesn’t make it acceptable for the state to do it, too.

“To be reduced to a little guy in a sombrero with … tacos and nachos, it’s not … it’s just insensitive. It does hurt, because it’s pushing us back,” she said.

The governor’s office said Friday’s event has been canceled.

The food sales were supposed to benefit a group that helps state and university employees make donations to charity. A spokesperson from that group did not return calls seeking comment.

  • Tony T

    Damn you Pat Quinn!

  • The Lucky Charms Guy

    Forget inappropriate, insensitive or offensive. How about just dumb? The Frito Bandito was retired 40 years ago.

  • Da Southside

    Hey Lucky Charms Guy this was in our Governors office, how could you say “How about just dumb?” … oh I get it

  • latinofriendly

    An error made by an anonymous employee? That’s it? That’s Quinn’s explanation? How sad that he doesn’t think that his office did anything wrong here. Not only is Quinn incompetent but it seems that he’s surrounded himself with equally incompetent people. Illinois deserves better. Where’s the apology to the offended Latino community, Quinn?

    • Walking Taco

      Don’t worry Gov. Quinn the Latino community will vote you in office again!

    • Jose Rodriguez Matinez Gonzalez Doritos

      HaHaHaHaHa, that’s hilarious, what an excellent mascot for Mexican heritage month. I say leave it up. Who cares what a bunch of stupid bean eating Mexicans think anyway.

  • Angry American

    Poor babies.

    • jzerm

      Poor Angry. Do you want to talk about it? If we work together we might all be able to be Happy. We aint going nowheres, eh?

  • Ms. Ortiz

    Being a Mexican American I see nothing wrong with it..Get a grip..I would of been offended if it was a Latin King or a Cholo.. I am proud of my heritage..and a man with a sombero makes me proud..

    • Chavo

      You see it would be okay if it was MEXICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH, but it isn’t i believe it is HISPANIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH, please learn how to read, as I am hipsanic but in no way am I even close to being Mexican. I don;t think it is offensive, just icorrect.

      • Elliott

        I didn’t know there was a Mexican American Heritage AND a Hispanic American Heritage month. I never knew that at all.

      • HaHaHaHa

        I understand you being offended, Chavo. If I woke up and found I was a Mexican, I would kill myself.

      • Comedy Guy

        Hey Chavo, Why wasn’t Jesus born in Mexico? He couldn’t find three wise men or a virgin. HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa!!!!!

    • Tony T

      Shut up you old hag!

    • Myra Castaneda

      I agree 100%

    • Richard

      See i like that Ms. Ortiz, our country is getting so stupid over the dumbest things.

      If people let this ruin there day then they need to get a grip.
      Come on America stop trying to act like we are better then everyone else.

      • US Citizen

        We are better, Richard. Where have you been?

  • Mr. D

    why can’t you Anglos get it…your just insecure and scared…all this hate is fear driven…and I agree with love white girls…can’t make you women happy?…send em to me!..I’ll make sure they come back to your trailer more worthy!/// :D


      I believe you are the one that is insecure, you sound like a naughty little boy making your stupid sexual remarks.

      • Chavo

        Yeah I agree…..

    • Enrico Martinez Sanchito

      Mr. D, What do you call it when a Mexican takes a shower? A miracle!!!hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  • Chivi

    If we all went back to our countries of origin, only the American Indians would be left.

    • NYGirl

      I think not, lots of us were born here, like me which makes me a real American, not a foreign born person that says they or thinks they are American.

      • StupidPeopleFTW

        “Native Americans” came across a land bridge from Eurasia, so they’re right out too…

      • US Citizen

        The USA was the first structured government here. That’s where true possession began. The American indians were uncivilized and had no governmental structure.

      • Native American by Proxy

        Sorry NEWYORK GIRL… you are actually NOT from this country in origin. IF you start up that conversation of – people should go back to their own countries.. Then you go ahead and start off that movement… by going back to where your grandparents came from! The ONLY people who are actually able to remain in this country are the Native American races. NO OTHERS,. That, of course, includes me. I may be an American citizen… but if you want people to start going back to “where they came from”… then we ALL have to go.
        This continent HAD NO WHITE PEOPLE, NOR any African-Americans (Blacks), nor chinese, nor asian, nor Indians (From India, not Chris Columbus’s mistake.)

        So, if you want to start the Exodus, by all means, go ahead… you go first and show us the way.

    • Drc

      Wrong. America is my country of origin. For maternal grandparents that may have been true. However unlike many of these so called immigrants today they actually were proud of America and being an American.

  • Paddington

    Martin Gonzalez:

    You’re an idiot; it’s “you’re” not “your,” moron.

  • Myra Castaneda

    It is not that serious people really need to get a life than worry about a flyer! I am Hispanic and I sure did not get offended!

  • Ross

    What’s the big deal? If I was walking and say that sign I would just think “Look, there’s some Mexican food close by.” My best friend in Houston is Mexican and I know he wouldn’t even bat an eye at it. He would think the same thing as me “Damn bro, we needs to get our grub on…”

  • Star

    @Carlos Martinez Guiterruez…are you mentally challenged or something or are you just plain ignorant?…btw I think Kristen Hartmen should be on the pages of Playboy!…ciao!..:D

  • Buford Justice

    Hell, we got JOE TACO (dressed in a BODY TACO) dancing at our main intersection of our town, hawking the Mexican restaurant. Don’t see the vatos and cholos doin’ drive by either (they’d get shot faster than they could draw in our town).

  • A Rose

    This is absolutely ridiculous. Everyone gets carried away because of one poster that’s a little bit biased.
    I’m hispanic as well and , yeah sure that poster is a little stereotypical. But it’s no different than a Leprechaun for St.Patrick’s Day or a fat German swinging a huge beer mug on a poster for Oktoberfest.
    Let it go people..

  • StupidPeopleFTW

    Do people get this offended when someone advertises a German guy in liederhosen, for Oktoberfest?

    • Goodwill Ambassador

      Not really offended. But Lederhosen Guy can be a little creepy and a lot fotty. So an outdoor setting is always preferred.

  • RealVoiceOfReason

    Take away the sombrero and he looks Italian. Mmmmm Tacos! Why all the hubub bub?

  • Rea lVoice Of Reason

    Take away the sombrero and he looks Italian. Mmmmm Tacos! Mmmm Spagetti..oh wait that is chinese. Why all the hubub bub?

  • HillClimber

    Having a Hispanic Heritage period is in itself ridiculous. That pathetic excuse for a leader, the infamous George Walker Bush, gave us this atrocity and it must be stopped. We’ll consider a period but only after all illegal aliens are out of my country.

    • Senora Gringa

      So do you want Cameron Diaz to leave? How about Jennifer Lopez? Maybe QBs Tony Romo and Mark Sanchez? Hispanic does not mean Mexican nor immigrant. Pendejo, guess what that means!

      • StupidPeopleFTW

        Yes. Yes I would. Not because of their heritage but because they’re terrible at what they do.

  • White Guy

    Native American Boy, you are wrong, even ideas crossed here on the ice bridge, go back where you came from~

    • White Guy

      And typo on my part, native american indians*

  • Walking Taco

    can someone please tell my why Mexicans have to hire a live band to play at yard parties?

  • Blackman And Robbin

    Can’t we all just get along??

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