There is a brilliant moment in an episode of The Simpsons where a group of treasure-seekers are digging in a hole, when one of them realizes that they have no method of getting out. Homer, without a moment’s hesitation, triumphantly announces the solution: “We’ll dig our way out!” The digging then resumes at a feverish pace. One of the characters is heard to mutter “No, no, dig up, stupid!”
“Dig up, stupid” has since become one of my favourite lines to use whenever I see someone double down on an ignorant or otherwise brainless statement. When someone calls you out on something moronic you’ve just said or done, you have to fight the urge to keep digging, and start digging up.
In East Haven, Connecticut, the Department of Justice found evidence of widespread racial profiling and abuse by police:
The allegations first surfaced in early 2009 after the Rev. James Manship, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church in New Haven, was arrested at My Country Store while videotaping what he called police harassment. The charges were eventually dismissed and The Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School filed a complaint alleging racial profiling with the U.S. Department of Justice.
The justice department launched an investigation in December 2009, which is ongoing. In April the department released a preliminary report criticizing East Haven police for having outdated and inadequate policies and limited training. Police Chief Len Gallo, who had led the 53-member department for 12 years, subsequently was put on administrative leave by Mayor April Capone Almon.
When asked by a reporter what the new mayor, Joseph Maturo, was planning on doing to mend the injured ties with East Haven’s Latino community, the mayor replied (and no, I am not making this up):
I might have tacos when I go home. I’m not quite sure yet.
The reporter, flabbergasted, asks the mayor if he thinks that’s really an acceptable comment considering that there is a serious problem in his community that his administration is tasked with defending. Now, it’s the end of the day, you’re feeling particularly exposed and irritated that you inherited this problem despite the fact that you’ve never done anything to injure anyone. You run your mouth off and say something stupid – it could happen to anyone. So what do you do? You apologize for your insensitive, flippant remark and say that you’re going to meet with representatives from the community and see what can be done, right? No big deal, brush that dirt off your shoulders, move on.
What follows is perhaps the most painful 4 minutes I’ve ever watched. It’s like watching an episode of the UK’s The Office, except David Brent isn’t being played by an actor here:
Say it with me now, everyone: Dig UP, stupid!
What the Latino community (largely Ecuadorian, rather than Mexican), did in response is fucking classic:
Mayor Joseph Maturo insisted he would not resign on Thursday, even while an immigration reform group brought hundreds of tacos to his office in response to his comment this week that he “might have tacos” to support the Latino community. A swarm of media crews fought for room while more than a dozen stern-faced protesters crowded into town hall carrying aluminum trays of warm tacos.
The immigration group announced on Wednesday that they would bring the mayor a taco for every person who sent them a text message with the word “TACO.” The group received more than 3,500 text messages by Thursday, the website said.
The tacos were taken to local soup kitchens and food pantries. One was left for Maturo.
Mantén la clase, Refugio Este.
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XD! I forgot about that episode!
Gonna have to remember it from now on. “No, dig up, stupid!” is great for the next time I’m talking with someone trying to explain to me that “that’s so gay” totally isn’t homophobic because they weren’t using it to refer to gay sex.
What. The. Hell.
Seriously, this has to be a joke, right?
It is important in this life to recognize that not everything that is funny is intended as a joke. It would be a brilliant piece of performance art if it WERE a joke though.
Quite apart from the more obvious reasons this statement leaves one’s jaw scraping the pavement, tacos aren’t even a traditionally Ecuadorian food. It’s like someone saying s/he’d go home and have fish and chips after a conflict with the US-American community.
My favourite part is his understanding of diversity: Italian, Polish, Irish (I’m noticing a trend…), and “whatever else you want to throw in there.”
Diversity tastes so good.
Now, if we can only expand the meal to include some other non-European dishes.
Actually, it gets worse. I’m a nutmegger or YankeeRican or Mark Twin Latino (I actually lived 2 blocks away from Twain’s house in Hartford). Anyway, these news are making the rounds in the Latino community in the state. The police chief just announced his retirement. According to his retirement plan he’s due a lump sum in the $100K’s and the town’s security commission wants to properly fire him and not pay him the money, which could be used to pay up when the courts assign damages I guess.
But the mayor refuses. The mayor had hired the police chief in a previous tenure as mayor and the guy went back to office last year, undoing what his predecessor did. Local activists and politicians are asking for the mayor’s resignation.
Police Chef, you mean?
I would have sworn the video was a Poe. A badly done one at that.
Edward Current’s TrueChristian(tm) videos are more believable.
If a Poe is when you can’t tell reality from satire, what do you call it when the reality is less believable than a satire?
It’s called a Tacoe.
This is almost like an SNL skit.
[Mayor goes into his office and sees a taco on his desk. He eats it and gets an idea.]
Reporter: What are your plans for mending ties with the Polish community?
Mayor: Well I’m thinking about having perogies for dinner.
[cut to mayor’s office and he finds an order of perogies on his desk. He takes a bite.]
Mayor: Yum! Cheese filled, my favorite! Heh heh heh
[Mayor’s desk has a plate full of sushi on it.]
Mayor: It worked! I’ll never have to order out again!