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Published:April 16th, 2009 11:20 EST
Will That Be Super-Sized With A Customary Angioplasty And A Racial Slur On The Side?

Will That Be Super-Sized With A Customary Angioplasty And A Racial Slur On The Side?

By Christopher HIllenbrand

Like one submitted by a freckle-faced youngster hoping to find a job at the "grease pit" nearest you, "Have it your way": Burger King`s slogan, has now taken on another application.

From the same fat-mongers who brought you the Enormous Omelet Sandwich and the sopping BK Triple Stacker, Burger King now advertises its latest ticking-time bomb waiting to blow the war in favor of heart disease sky high, the Texican: a new Tex-Mex inspired version of the Whopper. The only difference between the passe Whopper and the Mexas whopper (the same sandwich) is that the new burger has chile pepper seasonings, tangy mayo, carne meat, and a "tasteless" commercial insulting an entire race of people to go along with it.

Burger King`s ad campaign for the sandwich featured a stereotypically short Mexican draped in his native country`s flag standing next to a gristled cowpoke who is considerably taller than what some have called a "caricature" of a Mexican individual.

After seeing one of the posters depicting the image being disseminated all across Europe, the Mexican ambassador to Madrid complained that the campaign inappropriately showed the Mexican flag in a negative light. Mexican law prohibits any improper use of the national flag`s image in commercial enterprise.

The ambassador later sent a letter to Burger King executives, requesting that they discontinue the marketing campaign.

Though it`s completely without fault in this example, Mexico hasn`t been estranged from their own offensive oversights recently.

Last year, Mexico allowed Absolut Vodka to post billboard advertisements for their product displaying an early 19th century map of Mexico still having territory in what is now the United States. Absolut pulled down the billboards after the ads received criticism from U.S. citizens in the country.

Burger King issued an official apology for the advertisement on Tuesday, and claimed it would retool advertisements for the sandwich. The fast food chain also said they would replace the ads "as soon as commercially possible."

In a statement released by the corporation, Burger King said: "Burger King Corporation has made the decision to revise the Texican Whopper advertising creative out of respect for the Mexican culture and its people. The existing campaign falls fully within the legal parameters of the United Kingdom and Spain where the commercials are being aired and were not intended to offend anyone."

The TV spot for the ad campaign shows a Texas cowboy and a dwarf-sized Mexican wrestler with a nickname of "Just a Little Bit" sharing an apartment together. To put salt on the wound of ethnic bigotry, the cowboy then picks up the Mexican so he can put his wrestling trophy on a shelf out of his reach.

Spokespeople for Burger King said that the posters and television commercials were intended to meld influences from Mexico and the southwestern United States together, and to not abase anyone of Mexican ethnicity nor Mexican traditions and culture.

This is, by no means, the first time Burger King has been questioned for its business practices.

While not flirting with discrimination previously, Burger King has been a furtive offender where nutrition is concerned long before health watchdog groups actively attacked it`s food`s grab bag of carcinogen-friendly ingredients.

Though recent lawsuits by the likes of the Center for Science in the Public Interest have shed insight into how much trans-fat is used in preparing Burger King food, the problem was initially addressed back in 1985 by the same organization. With the cooperation of the British Heart Foundation, the City of New York, and the Spanish government, the Center argued that Burger King, among other fast food franchises, was responsible for the alarming rate of obesity and unhealthy eating habits in Western countries. The intiative would contend that Burger King included unhealthy amounts of calories, fat, trans-fat and salt in its food and attempted legal action for over twenty years until 2007 when the Center filed a state-level class action suit against the company.

The suit, filed in the District of Columbia, pertained to the dangerous servings of trans-fat Burger King used in their fried and frozen foods, and the company`s failure to comply by a national standard requiring businesses in the food industry to cut trans-fat from their products. The CSPI suit strived to make Burger King put prominently-featured health warning labels on their packaging that defined the effects of trans-fat and the actual amounts of trans-fat in each individual product. After the company submitted a motion to move the trial to Federal court, Burger King agreed to the terms of the lawsuit and in July 2007, it vowed to rid all trans-fats from its menu by the end of 2008.

The animal rights group PETA, backed by celebrities such as Alec Baldwin and Richard Pryor, staged demonstrations in front of various fast food franchises to protest the unethical treatment of chickens by many of the restaurants` distributors, one of which was Tyson Foods. Burger King was also a target by the group, and eventually conceded to their demands in requiring their suppliers to change their method of slaughtering the chickens to controlled atmosphere killing (CAK) which is purported to ensure minimal injury to the animal and the workers in the processing plants.

The company also drew controversy over labor disputes and issues with franchises in religiously-hostile regions in the Middle East in the late 90`s and early 2000`s.

Whether you savor the excessive fat content and their overpriced items with commercial cachet of its food or not, Burger King is still one of the most successful fast food restaurants in the world for those wrong reasons. The company is regularly subjected to intense scrutiny over the caloric content of its traditional fare as well as its self-proclaimed "healthy alternatives" that fall short in that misnomer. And like the rest of the kabal that is Corporate America, Burger King seem to couch their opinions accordingly and talk in dubious lingo to still maintain a high public approval, no matter what it`s menu may reveal of how the company regards the health of it`s esteemed customers.

And to those seeking legal action against any of the fast food giants over a weight problem or worse, I have to disagree with your complaints. First off, if you`re not a somnambulist who craves late night "fourth-meals" while sleepwalking, or anyone with a mind not of their own, then just admit that you instigated your problem and you have to come up with a solution to fix it.

I myself had a weight problem until I discovered that by not cramming inordinate amounts of tasty treats down my throat, I kept the scale from tipping any further to one side.

You may say that you can`t help it, and I empathize with you. It was difficult to kick the bad eating habits at first, simply because I had been programmed at an early age to dine on unhealthy portions. And as recent studies have shown, bad eating habits that start in infancy well up into adolescence can trigger lifelong struggles with the issue. Treatment is always a viable option, but good ole exercise and some character development works just as effectively.

So parents, stop the problem before it starts, and pry the Wii baton from your children`s hands, and force them to experience wide open fresh air instead of the simulated outdoors.

Fast food isn`t always bad, especially in moderation at special occasions, but think responsibly for your children`s future, notwithstanding the cliches.

But if the fact that Burger King slandered our neighbors to the south, makes the difference in your stance of whether "to eat or not to eat", then I`d respect your decision too.