Taco Trucks and the Soul of America: Millennial Take

By Andrew Hess

On Tuesday, September 13th, staff writer for The Atlantic Molly Ball came to the IOP to speak about the role of multiculturalism in the 2016 election, and about her broader work in both print and online media.  

Ball spoke about the importance the general public appears to place on diversity, but delved deeper into what that really means. She said that according to recent polls, 10 percent of the population of some European countries believe diversity makes their country stronger, while more than half of Americans believe the same. It remains a question whether Americans actually feel this way, because it’s possible the polls are somehow skewed, or people just know the politically correct thing to say.

When asked about Latinos for Trump co-founder Marco Gutierrez’s "taco trucks on every corner" comment, Ball plainly said she is sure a lot of people would respond by saying "Tacos are delicious!" However, she went deeper into the sentiment behind it, claiming that much of the Donald Trump phenomenon is driven by people who feel that their dominant way of life is being threatened. They see the world changing around them, and they don't like what they see, even though everyone else around them tells them diversity is good for the country.  

Focusing back on her own work in the media, Ball said that the development of online news sources is great for news organizations, because it means more people now have access to more news, from both small and large sources. Ball recalled that when she first worked in Toledo, Ohio, only the 100,000 people who got the newspaper at their doorstep could read her stories. Now, if a story catches fire on Facebook or Twitter, millions upon millions of people can read it. This creates more exposure for news organizations and keeps more people involved. While there is still a concern that people only use the news outlets that agree with them, this proliferation of news outlets is great for accessibility and is great for journalism.