March 20, 2014

Racist Pizza Censorship

Dallas-based Pizza Patron is no stranger to controversy.  In fact, I would argue that they thrive on it.  In 2007, they made the news when they ran a promotion that highlighted the fact that Pizza Patron, an American company, accepts Mexican pesos for payment.

I can't imagine why there would be so many Pizza Patron customers with a pocket full of pesos.  Maybe in border towns, but in Illinois and Colorado?  I really don't care what forms of payment they take (and have no fear, they take EBT cards, too), I just can't imagine the accounting nightmare created by accepting foreign currency - but that is between them and the IRS.  I suppose my beef with anything that is intended to promote one culture, race or group over another, is that I don't think that is what was intended by the great American Melting Pot.  More and more, people immigrate to America and then demand that America treat them special, and acknowledge and celebrate their culture and heritage, rather than contributing to the tapestry of a blended nation.

And that is my problem with Pizza Patron.  They don't want inclusion, they want to be treated as an exception.  They scream about their Hispanic roots while setting up shop and making their fortune in the United States of AMERICA.  And, really, Mexican pizza?  GMAFB

This week, Pizza Patron is back in the news, as they have named their latest pizza creation with a phrase that is considered offensive slang by so many Spanish-speaking people, that television and radio stations have refused to air the commercial for fear of FCC sanctions, and many Pizza Patron operators won't sell the product.

I know all about context, just last night I had a conversation with my kids about female dogs being properly called 'bitches', but that calling a person that word is reserved for Mommy wrong.  We didn't get into it, but some groups affectionately use the word 'bitch' to address one another.  Girls may refer to their group of friends as 'my bitches'.  Does that mean we should name a product 'bitch' and air commercials using the word freely?  Do you want toddlers repeating that word at church?

While "La Chingona" is the name of Pizza Patron's new spicy pizza, and while it may be a slang term accepted in some areas, even here in Mexican-soaked Texas, I know what most people take it to mean.  There is an f-word connotation in there, for you Spanglish-challenged folks.

So, let's put this pizza name into my earlier example: Do the fine folks at Pizza Patron want children telling their pastor to keep the sermon short, because daddy wants La Chingona for lunch?

Can Pizza Patron accept that this isn't a great name for a food product?  Hell. No. Instead, they are screeching about oppression and judgement, racism, cultural bias.  Look at us, aren't we special?  You must put us on a pedestal because we are different and Mexican, otherwise you are racist.  Accept our profane name for our spicy jalapeno-stuffed Mexican pizza or you are narrow-minded.

Why aren't Italians throwing a hissy fit about the bastardization of one of their culture's most recognizable foods?

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