group of people on street sidewalk forming line (l) people at tent on lawn getting tamales (c) group of people on sidewalk (r)

@neotrunks0/TikTok @neotrunks0/TikTok

‘Who the f*ck complains about tamales?!’: Racist male Karen fails at stopping vendor from selling tamales as thousands show up to support him

‘Who the f*ck complains about tamales?!’

 

Jackie Ibarra

IRL

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

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

“Awesome!! Ain’t nobody got time for racism!” one user commented under the video. 

@neotrunks0 #tamaletantrum ♬ original sound – neotrunks0

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

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

“Who the fuck complains about tamales?!” a user wrote after the video was also shared on Reddit. 

After the video surfaced, organizers like Edin Alex Enamorado, Tito Rodiguez aka “The Hood Santa,” and other local community members put together “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 answered the call. 

“It felt like a party. Everyone was just energetic, we were chanting,” Enamorado told the Daily Dot. “And then to top it off, to put the cherry on top, the racist man was hiding from his window. People were just chanting, and everyone was with everyone … but everyone was professional, and it was just beautiful.” 

@enamoradoalex_ Amazing TURN OUT! #SanPedro showed up and showed out! #ProtectStreetVendors ♬ Rocky: Eye of the Tiger – Best Movie Soundtracks

Enamorado, a street vendor activist in the area, posted a video to TikTok, which has since gone viral with 2.8 million views. The clip highlighted the first buyout hosted on the same street where Aguilar was harassed just days before. Enamorado didn’t expect his video to blow up, but he said he’s glad it did. 

“It just shows how the community can come together for someone who has been a victim,” Enamorado said. “It’s very important to show these because we don’t have that many victories, especially in the towns that these that we’re living in. There’s so much negativity out there. This is, it’s a beautiful thing to share.”

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

Rodriguez, director of Local Hearts Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping low-income communities in California, said what happened to Aguilar isn’t a rare occurrence. He usually doesn’t shy away from posting videos of attacks on vendors or efforts his organization makes to help protect vendors on his social media.

Rodriguez said over the last three years, especially during the pandemic, he’s seen a rise in violence and attacks against vendors and has used his nonprofit to give vendors self-defense items like pepper spray. 

“There’s a rise. 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 started providing them bulletproof vest[s].”

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

“People 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, like, that’s what we have to do to keep them in the spotlight,” Rodriguez said.


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