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Follow the Hashtag

Trump supporter's 'taco trucks' remark sparks online anger - and hunger

A Trump supporter who warned MSNBC viewers of a taco epidemic in the US has tracked hundreds of tweets with the hashtag #TacoTrucksOnEveryCorner. Now he explaines to DW what his real intention was.

Latinos for Trump founder Marco Gutierrez has created an online stir after warning viewers of a taco invasion in an interview with the American news channel MSNBC. Gutierrez said that "my culture is very dominant and it's imposing," adding that "if you don't do something about it, you're going to have taco trucks on every corner."

Social media users liked the idea of widely available tacos so much, that not only were they not worried about a possible epidemic, they even created the hashtag #TacoTrucksOnEveryCorner and used it thousands of times to express their support.

Threatening America with the popular Mexican dish has probably done more harm than good to the Republican nominee Donald Trump, but as Gutierrez explains to DW, he himself "didn't come to the United States in order to be a Mexican - but to be an American."

DW: Can you understand why people reacted the way they did to your remark?

The hashtag was trending for five days, I don't know if it's still up there. I took a lot of heat - from everywhere. From my hometown in Mexico to you in Germany. I really didn't mean to ridicule my fellow Mexicans and their jobs.

I misspoke, I used poor [phrasing]. I wanted to describe something and I didn't use the proper words to do it. But in my community we are also very sensitive, we Hispanics are very emotional, so I guess I hit a nerve.

I can't apologize, because I really meant that in a good way. I didn't even mean to offend anybody. Thousands and thousands of people were offended and tried to ridicule me - which is something that the left normally does - but this was a little more than usual.

The Mexicans that are here [in the US] are criticizing me violently right now. They are calling me a traitor here, but if I go back to Mexico people there will not accept me anymore. They are so territorial, I don't think they'll allow me to be one of them.

DW: Many people claimed your reaction was one of "self-loathing." Do you agree?

We are a sub-culture within the American culture. And I think that Trump is trying to put a little balance into that. I came to this country to become an American, I didn't come here to be a Mexican. So maybe it came across this way [as self-loathing], but no, I'm very proud of my heritage. All I am saying is, when in Rome do as the Romans do.

I still have my accent, I haven't left my culture. I am the same kid that left my hometown in Mexico. It's just that I have walked a different path, I have been to places. Maybe that's what happens to a lot of people that go to different countries.

Many people are asking me how someone that looks like me and talks like me can be backing Donald Trump. My answer is that I have six kids and I want a better future for them.

So in a way, when it's about protecting your family, your heritage means a lot - but I also want them to have an opportunity to be what they want to be in their nation, in their country, and a lot of my critics are not fully integrated in the same way.

Their minds, their bodies might be here, but their heart is still in their country of origin and that's why they still feel disconnected to [people like] me. For example, if I go to Germany, I can bring my heritage but I cannot impose it on you, but I think that's what is happening [here].

In the end, even though I support Donald Trump, I know my community comes first, and I believe that I'm helping my community with my actions.

DW: But many people don't believe Trump is helping your community. Can you understand them?

Yes. But what are they doing about it? I'm doing something about the issues I believe in. What these people do is just complain about Donald Trump. They are destructive. What Trump is doing is reforming the immigration system, so it's easier for people to come here the legal way.

If you don't

regulate the immigration,

if you don't structure our communities, we are going to do whatever we want. We are going to take over. That is what I'm trying to say and I think what is happening with my culture is that its imposing [itself] on the American culture - and both cultures are reacting.

There is nothing wrong with taco trucks on every corner, but I don't think that's what we want. [I would] rather have the taco truck owner be able to hire people and have more modern ways of delivering his or her products.

If all the Hispanics have six kids like myself, in the next 2-3 generations you are talking about 200 million [people with] 'Hispanic thinking,' Hispanic-based households - and that's how we're losing control.

We are losing control because we don't have the jobs that most Americans have; we don't have the opportunities that most Americans have. We end up with the 'taco trucks.' Donald Trump is reforming schools and the economy to [a point] where I see more opportunities for the Hispanic community.

You have an old generation here of Hispanics that have this theory that somehow [the US] is going to be Mexico again. I disagree with this approach, because you can't turn back the clock.

California used to be Mexico, but that's not the situation anymore. I also don't want that Mexico again - and that was the message I tried to deliver. Maybe I didn't direct it properly.

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