Today in post racial America: restaurant uses xenophobia to promote business

What happens when a business wants to take the easy way out and boost sales?

They create offensive, anti-immigrant, xenophobic T-shirts designed to get people a-talking! Taco Cid, a Mexican restaurant in South Carolina, pulled such a stunt and it’s caused outrage among those in the community.

This photo of the T-shirt was taken by Corey Hutchins, who tweeted the photo using his Twitter account.

Courtesy Corey Hutchins
Courtesy Corey Hutchins

Restaurant owner  Leanne Snelgrove said she’s received a wide variety of comments in response to her campaign, ranging from those who praise the T-shirts to those who have called in death threats.

Snelgrove claims even her husband was fired by a company and replaced by illegal immigrants. News 19 reporter Nate Stewart asked Snelgrove, “What do you say to someone who see’s the shirt and says, ‘that’s racist.'”

“That’s your opinion,” said Snelgrove. “If you support illegal immigrants then you support paying tax dollars for other people who just worked under the table. Let me tell you, small business owners – we pay taxes!” (SOURCE

The restaurant offers a detailed explanation on its website of its outrageous marketing campaign:

We are still amazed as to how people are reacting to our t-shirts “how to catch an ILLEGAL immigrant”. We serve every individual with the same quality of service, and respect in a friendly and welcoming manner. Our food is prepared fresh daily and served in the SAME QUALITY and QUANTITY, regardless of your gender, race, religion or political views.

We are an equal opportunity employer and will hire anyone who meets our needs and is a legal citizen or legal immigrant. All hirees are submitted for verification of citizenship or legal residency. We do not hire, nor condone the hiring of illegal immigrants, as per South Carolina state law.

As income tax paying Americans, we believe ILLEGAL immigrants are burdening the system we support and live under. This cause us, and all citizens and legal immigrants, to work harder and pay higher taxes to support the illegal activities which our government has turned a blind eye towards. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, is heading up immigration reform.

The driving force behind reform is the estimated trillions in revenue to be collected from the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. At the same time, we support the immigration reform so that everyone will pay their fair share in taxes and be protected equally by the U.S. Constitution and state laws. If you agree with our view on American Equality in citizenship, legalization and tax fairness, then show your support and come join us for lunch or dinner. If you do not agree, we understand.

Regardless of your views, if you patron our establishment, we look forward to serving you!

Let me provide you all with a blunt translation of what this restaurant is really saying…

We couldn’t care less if we offended you. We are white Americans and these illegal immigrants are sucking away our tax dollars, our government, our health and education system and our infrastructure. We have a right to stand up to our beliefs, no matter what and we don’t care if you actually are offended because we only care about protecting what’s rightfully ours to leech off the government.

We clearly aren’t racist because we said we will serve anyone, no matter what your race, ethnicity or nationality is. Also, we must love people of Hispanic/Latino descent because we run a Mexican restaurant, for crying out loud! Even though we appropriate Mexican food, culture and traditions and alter it to fit the palette of South Carolinians, we still don’t respect and admire the people whose food and culture we are stealing enough to support a path to full citizenship and equality.

But, hey! If you are a true American, support the small businesses in your community and patronize our restaurant! 

It’s so cute when white-owned businesses, restaurants, etc., in an effort to prove how bold, hip and modern they are, hide behind marketing campaigns in demonstrating their resentment of people of color and other marginalized bodies all in the name of sticking it to political correctness. I can’t imagine just how awesome these folks must feel to know their creativity is so dismal that they have to step on the backs of oppressed groups just to get ahead.