Racist male Karen can’t stop the vendor from selling tamales

In a video shared by user @neotrunks0 on TikTok, hundreds of people lined up outside a man’s home in San Pedro, California, to protest racism by doing one thing: buying tamales.

Tejano music blared from parked trucks on the street, megaphones blared chants and tamales flowed from a tent. The street was packed with people on Saturday showing their support for Juan Aguilar, a street vendor and owner of Tamales El Primo.

“Brilliant!! Nobody has time for racism!” A user commented on the video.

@neotrunks0 #tamaletantrum ♬ original sound – neotrunks0

It took place on the same street where the vendor had been attacked days earlier.

The protest came after video surfaced online of a white man, identified by users as Chris, shouting racial slurs and profanity at Aguilar, who was selling tamales on the street. In the video, Chris kicks Aguliar’s radiator while yelling at him to “get his bloody wet butt out of here.”

“Who the heck is complaining about tamales?!” wrote one user after the video was also shared on Reddit.

After the video surfaced, organizers including Edin Alex Enamorado, Tito Rodiguez aka “The Hood Santa” and other local community members organized “buyouts” to support the local vendor. They took to TikTok to encourage people in the Long Beach area to show their support, and thousands of people heeded the call.

“It felt like a party. Everyone was just full of energy, we were singing,” Enamorado told the Daily Dot. “And then, to top it off, the racist man hid outside his window. People just sang and everyone was with everyone… but everyone was professional and it was just beautiful.”

@enamoradoalex_ Amazing GOING OUT! #SanPedro showed up and showed! #ProtectStreetVendors ♬ Rocky: Eye of the Tiger – Best Score

Enamorado, a street vendor activist in the area, posted a video on TikTok that has since gone viral with 2.8 million views. The clip highlighted the first buyout, which took place on the same street where Aguilar had been molested just days earlier. Enamorado didn’t expect his video to explode, but he said he was glad it did.

“It just shows how community can come together for someone who has been a victim,” Enamorado said. “It’s very important to show those because we don’t get that many wins, especially in the cities where we live. There is so much negativity out there. That’s a beautiful thing to share.”

Tito Rodriguez, affectionately known as The Hood Santa in the Long Beach area, also hosted and posted videos of the second buyout on his TikTok and Instagram accounts, which helped Aguilar sell 2,000 tamales.

Rodriguez, director of the Local Hearts Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping low-income communities in California, said what happened to Aguilar was not an uncommon occurrence. He’s not usually shy about posting videos of attacks on vendors or his organization’s efforts to protect vendors on his social media.

Rodriguez said he’s seen an increase in violence and attacks on vendors over the past three years, particularly during the pandemic, and has used his nonprofit to give self-defense items like pepper spray to vendors.

“There is an increase. You know, I don’t know what it is,” Rodriguez told the Daily Dot. “But yeah, so it’s gotten so gnarly out here… that I’ve started providing them with a bulletproof vest[s].”

Rodriguez also said it’s important to continue posting and sharing stories like Aguilar’s on social media because community support can help vendors.

“People have rallied, you know, it’s a beautiful thing, and it’s a bad thing, you know, it’s like, we don’t want to do these buyouts, you know what I mean, but that’s what we have to do to keep them in the spotlight,” Rodriguez said.


Must reads on the Daily Dot

*Initial publication: June 15, 2022 at 6:30 am CDT

Jackie Ibarra

Jackie Ibarra is studying journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. The San Antonio native is currently a podcast host for The Drag. She has previously reported for Latinitas magazine and the Daily Texan.

Jackie Ibarra

https://www.dailydot.com/irl/racist-tamale-karen/ Racist male Karen can’t stop the vendor from selling tamales

Jaclyn Diaz

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