Breaking Bread: Appropriation or Appreciation? The Case of Mexican Food

Lovers of Mexican food in San Diego and beyond must seriously evaluate our own immigration politics. Yes, many of us who grew up along the border lived on streets with Spanish names; a relic of Spanish colonialization. We know the words. We know the ingredients in the food. We take our friends for “the best enchilada you’ve ever had.” But, if we can’t think critically about the effect of conservative immigration policy on our neighbors, perhaps we should not partake in the cuisine. When we lovingly eat Mexican food and claim it as part of our regional identity, but vote for people like Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas or for former Rep. Brian Bilbray of San Diego, this is what we are saying: “I will take the parts of your identity and presence in my community that suit me, and deport the rest.”

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