Tecate, Tortillas and Bears, Oh My!

…can be drug traders!
We’re a few days late on this but necessary to post nonetheless. Via the Wonk Room, we find that the U.S. Forest Service issued a Labor Day warning advising hikers to “beware of campers in national forests drinking Tecate beer, eating tortillas and playing Spanish music” because “they could be armed marijuana growers.”
No joke.
The warning was later retracted and a public apology was made, but come on people – these kinds of gargantuan errors are just too fucked to let fly. In other words, the damage is done. More from the Wonk Room:

A high-ranking Forest Service official in Colorado also identified people speaking Spanish and eating Spam or Tuna as “warning signs of possible drug trafficking.”
The warnings, which were issued as part of a slide show presentation for law enforcement officials and the general public, came after police arrested two people for allegedly growing 14,500 marijuana plants in a Colorado forest. However, little information about the case has been disclosed, including the names of the defendants. Polly Baca, co-chairwoman of the Colorado Latino Forum has accused the US Forest Service of racial profiling and says the warning is discriminatory and could put Hispanic campers in danger.

Not shit. Are we glad that the U.S. Forest Service retracted the warning? Sure. Does this take Smokey the Bear off my shit list? Hell no.

and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. allieb87
    Posted September 11, 2009 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    I think whoever wrote this “warning” may have been enjoying a little bit of confiscated cannabis… just sayin’…

  2. DeafBrownTrash
    Posted September 11, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I can’t stop laughing… is this seriously for real? You sure this ain’t from the Onion?

  3. alixana
    Posted September 11, 2009 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    This sounds like it was written by the Family Guy writers.

  4. alixana
    Posted September 11, 2009 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    This sounds like it was written by the Family Guy writers.

  5. Ian
    Posted September 11, 2009 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Why on Earth would people who are hiding out from the cops and running an illegal marijuana field be playing loud music in a area where sound carries? 0_0

  6. Steven
    Posted September 11, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    The Young Turks also covered this, so it must be true:
    I think they were trying to be PC and shot themselves in the foot.
    But what are you suppose to do if you have specific information on armed drug dealers and they happen to be one ethnicity of the other?
    The specific information could be they are black, white, Latino, Asian. You could even be more specific, Irish, Colombian or Haitian.
    If they said there were a bunch of armed white drug dealers it is ho-hum.
    If they have specific information about the dealers and they are another ethnicity… then saying who it is gets touchy.

  7. Nerdypants
    Posted September 11, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Eating tuna, you say? Well then, guess I’m a drug dealer. Better go turn myself in.

  8. Devonian
    Posted September 11, 2009 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    You’d (probably not) be surprised by how stupid some criminals are…

  9. Cactus Wren
    Posted September 11, 2009 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Is it possible that whoever conceived this “warning” did not know that “tuna” is the Spanish-language idiom for prickly-pear fruit?

  10. Sandra
    Posted September 12, 2009 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Don’t blame Smokey.

  11. stickinthemud
    Posted September 13, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad you posted this. Despite the fact that I’ve never done drugs and don’t drink (see username), I could be in real trouble at a state park if I don’t watch out. Since I’m learning Spanish I sometimes actually speak it, to practice, and I play Spanish music–loud. I’m from Los Angeles so eating tortillas is pretty standard. Now that I know the Forest Service would be suspicious of me based on that, I’ll stick to the local parks, where I can eat my tortillas and listen to Aventura in peace.
    Wow. Just wow.

Feministing In Your Inbox

Sign up for our Newsletter to stay in touch with Feministing
and receive regular updates and exclusive content.

192 queries. 0.478 seconds