I’m a political person, but this isn’t an explicitly political blog. That said, I think that food is relevant to fighting racism in there is no food without culture. There’s no dish out there that’s ‘just food’– everything we eat has a story. Food tells us things about the culture(s) that created it: its influences, its history, the ingredients used. It’s impossible to understand a dish or a cuisine fully without delving into its politics and history.
In the US, we are blessed with an ‘American cuisine’ which blends influences from every immigrant group that’s touched these shores, as well as those who were brought here against their will as slaves and indentured servants, and those whose cultures have existed on this continent for tens of thousands of years. In a time when immigrants are the targets of racism, discrimination, and violence both individual and institutional, I think it’s more important than ever to speak out for the rights of immigrants, and of people of color whatever their background. I don’t think that a food blog, of all things, is any substitute for political action– for marching in the streets, overturning anti-immigrant laws, and fighting back however possible. I do, however, think that this blog, in some small way, can help by celebrating the contributions immigrants have made to this culture.
Actually… scratch that. This blog celebrates the fact that immigrants are our culture, and that the world is getting smaller every day. I want to help my readers learn about foods that are not their own, to appreciate the thought and care that people around the world put into their food, to know that great cuisine doesn’t have to be French. I want to help people to understand the historical forces that have shaped and are still shaping everything we put into our mouths.
I want to know what you think about how we can do that. And while I’m all for having an International Blog Against Racism Week, it’s a bit patronizing… how about an International Fight Back Against Racism Decade?
And now I’ll cede the floor to some Bloggers of Color whose words I enjoy:
First, on food:
And on politics and culture:
And I hope you all will add to this list in the comments section.