On Avenue I, near the tracks, is a painted hand pointing right with the words, “T-Town.” I don’t know who nicknamed North Portales “Taco Town.” I’ve heard it for decades, mostly used by Hispanics.
In today’s politically correct world, is the name racist? Does it matter whether it’s a Hispanic, white person or other using the name?
I asked Facebook friends. My favorite response was from my half-white, half-Hispanic niece, Kimberly Stoppel: “I don’t think it’s racist as much as racy. My dad’s white side lives on the eastside; my mom’s ‘Chicano’ side in Taco Town or northside. I thought it was named that because of Taco Box.” Taco Box is before crossing the tracks.
Francis Garcia, said, “I thought it was because of La Hacienda restaurant.”
My cousin, Gabriel Ortega, noted white people also live in T-Town. None of my Facebook friends saw “Taco Town” as racist, but Diane Archibeque-Lucero and Cynthia Flores-Gonzales called it a “two-edged sword.”
Flores-Gonzales said, “I would say, ‘We’ll cruise Taco Town,’ but I recall someone asking if I lived in Taco Town in a racist tone.”
Archibeque-Lucero said, “To some, the name is a stereotype that Hispanics are poor or up to no good. To me though, I built my new home in Taco Town because it’s where I feel safe.”