TxDOT Doesn't Want Mexicans to Drink and Drive this Easter

loteria.jpg
Photo by Dyanna Hyde
What's missing is the card for El borracho, or the drunk.
This glorious Easter season, the Texas Department of Transportation has taken it upon themselves to disrespect the state's flourishing Latino population. How, you might ask?

By using the Mexican game of chance known as lotería. The game is part of the branding for an anti-drunk driving initiative directed toward the state's Latinos.

It's being labeled a "culturally relevant campaign" that runs through May 5 (yeah, Cinco de Mayo, which in all honesty is more of an American bro holiday than an outright Mexican celebration).

And get this, a lunch truck van will make the rounds in Laredo, McAllen, Corpus Christi and Lubbock, luring people to mass games of awareness over driving liquored up.

Playing on the law of averages TxDOT is doing their part to save lives, according to them:

In 2013, there were 25,158 DUI-alcohol crashes in Texas that resulted in 8,702 serious injuries and 1,022 deaths. Of those DUI-alcohol crashes, 11,867 - or nearly 37 percent - involved a Hispanic driver. Among young male drivers ages 17-34, Hispanics accounted for nearly half (47 percent) of all crashes where drivers were under the influence of alcohol.

So, according to those stats, it's Hispanics overall, not just Mexicans. Still, it makes sense to target Mexicans since stereotypically, they are what the folks at TxDOT see when they see a Spanish-speaking person.

The entire dumbing-down of the campaign is just all kinds of wrong. And it doesn't appear that TxDOT even has a clue.

"It's much like how we remind people not to drink and drive over the holidays, or over Spring Break," David Glessner, TxDOT spokesperson said. "It's all about saving lives and we want people to think twice about drink and drive."

DWILoteria.JPG
Courtesy of TxDOT
Yeah, fun times right there.
While he said the campaign isn't new, what is new is the use of the loteria symbolism and this year's slogan; a phrase for the dumbfounded, "De Veras" (For Real), which reads in full: "Drink. Drive. Go to Jail. For real?"

Yes, even in Mexico and probably all over Latino America, you can get pulled over at a DUI checkpoint and taken to jail. (Of course, there are potentially ways out of that, involving a little cash in hand, if you know what I mean, but I digress.)

"It's not so much about singling out a particular demographic. This being Texas we have a large and growing Hispanic population," Glessner told Hair Balls. Good intentions aside, it goes without saying that the folks on TxDOT's community outreach team are out of touch, even though according to a press release there was a token organization on board in planning this, the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce.

"Texas is home to a large Hispanic population, and we see a definite need to address the issue
of drinking and driving in a way that resonates with these drivers and connects with them on a
cultural level," Pauline Anton the organization's executive director said. We hope she's well aware that Mexican culture is far different that the cultures in Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, and Venezuela, places whose citizens live here as well.

We just find it hard to believe that this campaign will do any good, since the people TxDOT should be worried about, who come from all cultures, won't be sitting down playing bingo during the holidays, they'll be out pounding shots


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15 comments
thekritter
thekritter

It's easy to sit in the peanut gallery and throw stones.  What are you doing to prevent the tragedy caused by drunk driving?  Your argument makes about as much sense as a hair ball.

leoleo2014
leoleo2014

I'm Mexican American and I don't drink or get high. I can barely speak Spanish and I wouldn't know a Mexican game or national anthem from a Bulgarian game or theme.

Texas is the most racist state in the nation. This is why the GOP will never gain the Mexican American vote.

wordlover
wordlover

By far, one of the lamest ideas I've ever heard. De veras!

D.j. Yackley
D.j. Yackley

It's not like it's not plastered around the country in different ways for the English speaking populatin. Who has a problem with telling people not to drink and drive in whatever way possible?

dpm1937
dpm1937

It's not TXDOT's job to be politically correct. The last time I checked, there were more Mexicans here than other folks from Latin America. In fact, while living in San Antonio, I was scolded by a Mexican for referring to her as Hispanic. The bottom line is that the article sounds like you are looking for an axe to grind over some perceived injustice or generalization. This is the kind of garbage that makes good liberal Americans look bad.

Chris Zapata
Chris Zapata

Let's get drunk and get that bastard to drive us around.

Arthur Zapata
Arthur Zapata

Everyone else can drink and drive but not the Mexicans

Amanda Kazmierski
Amanda Kazmierski

Educated people make some of the most uneducated remarks and actions.

Jay Francis
Jay Francis

Apparently, Camilo Smith has never heard of the "hypodermic effect" in advertising.

wordlover
wordlover

@dpm1937  I'm just curious what method of "checking" you used to come to your conclusion that there are more Mexicans here than from Latin America, since to my knowledge, Mexicans are also latinos.  

dpm1937
dpm1937

I qualified it with the word "other". Read. http://www.pewhispanic.org/states/state/tx/. That will provide you with the information that you need and solid evidence to support my assertion that there are more Hispanics of Mexican origin than those of other Latin American origins. Other refers to other countries outside of Mexico. i.e. Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, etc. In addition, since Mexico is our neighbor and the border is over a thousand miles long, it would be safe to assume that there would be more immigrants of Mexican descent than those of other, much further nations, without having to qualify it with exact scientific data. I did not feel the necessity to quantify because I felt that any logically thinking person would have the common sense to draw that conclusion. However, after reading your retort to my criticism of this article, I'm aware that some folks cannot read correctly and probably don't have the common sense to draw a proper conclusion. In addition, instead of asking me what method I used, you could have done a bit of homework yourself and gotten that data.

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