The University of Kentucky is offering a course titled “Taco Literacy: Public Advocacy and Mexican Food in the U.S. South ” where students will examine the social and racial issues surrounding tacos.
Or, as the course’s website puts it, “how food literacies situate different spaces, identities, and forms of knowledge.”
“This class allows our students to explore the issues of immigration, inequality, workers, intercultural communication, and literacy through the prism of food,” the course’s professor, Steven Alvarez, told Vice.
This existence of such a course isn’t surprising; tacos are a very controversial subject these days — and plenty of people have gotten into trouble for handling the (apparently) sensitive issue in an (apparently) insensitive way.
A few examples:
In 2013, Northwestern University’s Hispanic/Latino Alliance wrote a letter warning students not to eat tacos on Cinco de Mayo because that could make some students feel “unsafe.”
In 2014, California State University – Fullerton’s chapter of Alpha Delta Pi sorority faced “serious sanctions” from the school for hosting a Taco Tuesday event where students wore sombreros because that’s “culturally insensitive attire.”
#share#Last September, a writer for a social-justice blog warned that anyone eating another culture’s food (you know, like a taco) must think about the “ongoing oppression faced by those communities” or else it’s offensive.
Last June, social-justice activists slammed emoji creators for making the taco emoji culturally inaccurate — demanding that they make a new one where the taco consists of meat, onion, cilantro, and a corn tortilla instead of tomato, lettuce, and cheddar cheese.
#related#(It’s not clear how these critics were able to tell what kind of cheese is depicted in the emoji seeing as it is, in fact, an emoji.)
I could go on and on, but I’m not going to because it’s making me hungry.
In any case, taking this course might be a good idea for any student at this school. After all, tacos are (apparently) very grave subject matter, and learning as much as you can about them is (apparently) a very important thing to do.