The taco was supposed to be harmless, entertaining even.

The image of a hard-shell taco wielding maracas was posted Tuesday morning on a Florida county government Facebook page to commemorate the first day of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Instead, it prompted a wave of outrage on social media, with users decrying the depiction of the traditional Mexican food used to celebrate the richness and diversity of Latino cultures as a culturally insensitive stereotype. To others, it was the latest iteration of pervasive racism that has long targeted Latino communities.

Broward County quickly backtracked and took down the image a few hours later. It has since been replaced with a new, taco-less banner that states the dates of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

“A dancing taco is not representative of the Hispanic community and should not have been associated with the annual celebration,” Gregory Meyer, assistant director of the Broward County Office of Public Communications, told The Washington Post. “It was not our intention to offend anyone with our previous post, but rather acknowledge National Hispanic Heritage Month in a celebratory way.”

After he first saw the image, Meyer said, he told the employee who had created the image that the post was inappropriate and should be taken down immediately.

“You don’t have to be Hispanic to understand that that is insensitive and inappropriate and not reflective of the Hispanic community,” he said, adding that the employee, who is not Hispanic, “didn’t know any better” but has been counseled regarding sensitivity to all cultures.

But the genie had left the bottle.

The Twitter backlash was particularly poignant in a state where Hispanics or Latinos make up 26.4 percent of the population. In Broward County, that number stands at 31 percent, according to Census Bureau data from 2019.

“This is going to be on every single presentation in 2021 on how not to engage to Latinos. Feel free to contact me @BrowardCounty. We can get you back on track,” wrote Evelyn Pérez-Verdía, a strategist who focuses on the Latino diaspora in Florida.

In an interview Thursday, Pérez-Verdía, a Colombian American, said she was “surprised” when she saw the image, and said it served as a “sad example” of the persistent “misunderstanding and misrepresentation” of Latino cultures not only in Florida, but across America.

“There are so many other things that represent us as Latinos than a taco with sour cream on top. It’s just not who we are,” added Pérez-Verdía, who also works as an adviser on Latino issues for Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is running for governor.

“You would think this does not happen anymore in 2021,” she said. “But the sad truth is it happens not only in government, but in every field.”

The use of the imagery “is one of a multitude of visual microaggressions that have targeted Latinx communities for generations,” said Lindsay Pérez Huber, associate professor of social and cultural analysis in education at California State University. “This imagery is much more than cultural insensitivity, it is an everyday visual form of racism that has been perpetuated in film, media, television and now social media,” she added, citing the decades-long use of similar imagery such as the “Mexican bandit” in film and advertising.

But the backlash prompted by the image “shows that people will not remain silent to racism, and this is hopeful,” Pérez Huber said. “Latinx communities should feel offended that their cultures and histories continue to be reduced to racist caricatures of tacos and chihuahuas.”

Others derided, somewhat jokingly, that the image of a hard-tortilla taco, with what seems like sour cream on top, is an inaccurate representation of authentic Mexican cuisine, as it is common in Tex-Mex American tacos.

Hispanic Heritage Month dates to 1968, as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon B. Johnson, and is meant to celebrate and recognize the contributions, achievements, cultural diversity and extensive histories of American Latino communities.

Since then, the month has been celebrated through festivals, art exhibitions, conferences and community gatherings across the country.

On Tuesday, President Biden issued a presidential proclamation on National Hispanic Heritage Month, saying Hispanic heritage “is American heritage.”

“We see it in every aspect of our national life: on our television and movie screens, in the music that moves our feet, and in the foods we enjoy. We benefit from the many contributions of Hispanic scientists working in labs across the country to help us fight COVID-19 and the doctors and the nurses on the front lines caring for people’s health,” the proclamation said.