With Mexico on the mind because of Cinco de Mayo, Anthony Bourdain took to Tumblr to talk about America's troubling relationship with its neighbor.
He began by talking about how much Americans love Mexican food before jumping into the crux of his point:
Despite our ridiculously hypocritical attitudes towards immigration, we demand that Mexicans cook a large percentage of the food we eat, grow the ingredients we need to make that food, clean our houses, mow our lawns, wash our dishes, look after our children. As any chef will tell you, our entire service economy—the restaurant business as we know it—in most American cities, would collapse overnight without Mexican workers. Some, of course, like to claim that Mexicans are "stealing American jobs". But in two decades as a chef and employer, I never had ONE American kid walk in my door and apply for a dishwashing job, a porter's position—or even a job as prep cook. Mexicans do much of the work in this country that Americans, provably, simply won't do.
He juxtaposed a drug war fueled by American appetites that has killed 80,000 Mexicans, with the richness, beauty, and culture Americans all too often don't see.
He wrote about how his attachment and fondness for Mexico comes from the kindness he was given from its people.
"So much of my career as a chef I relied on Mexicans," he said in an interview previewing the latest episode of his show Parts Unknown.
Many on Twitter were touched by his fierce passion on the issue.
And then Bourdain concluded by waxing nostalgic about the lesser-known beauty the country has to offer:
In years of making television in Mexico, it's one of the places we, as a crew, are happiest when the day's work is over. We'll gather round a street stall and order soft tacos with fresh, bright, delicious tasting salsas—drink cold Mexican beer, sip smoky mezcals, listen with moist eyes to sentimental songs from street musicians. We will look around and remark, for the hundredth time, what an extraordinary place this is.
The Mexico episode airs on Sunday, May 4 at 9 p.m. ET on CNN.
Adrian Carrasquillo is the White House correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Adrian Carrasquillo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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