Monday, July 21, 2008

Stuff Brown People Like

The quest to blame Mexico for the recent outbreak of salmonella continues apace. First, the FDA blamed, on the basis of virtually no evidence, Mexican tomatoes, and in the process destroyed the state of Sinaloa's biggest legitimate crop. (Sinaloa's other major exports being Colombian nose candy and undocumented workers. The US can keep out one, probably not two and definitely not all three of the above, so it seems like tomatoes would be the one we ought to encourage, no?) Then there was some talk of cilantro being the culprit. Now it's jalapeño peppers, which do come from Mexico, but, as the FDA concedes, could very easily have been contaminated in Texas. (Incidentally, the FDA has issued this helpful warning:

the agency had discouraged high-risk people -- elderly people, infants and those with impaired immune systems -- from eating serrano and jalapeño peppers.

(Seriously, if you're feeding your infant jalapeño peppers, salmonella really ought to be the least of your problems.)

But it's hard not see this this as part of a nationwide crackdown on All Things Messican. The white supremacist crowd has already been sounding the alarm on this Mexican assault on our precious bodily fluids. (Comedy bonus: Click here for a video warning of "a possible illegal alien defecating in public.") And California officials recently warned against using molcajetes, the Mexican volcanic rock mortar-and-pestle - which has been used in California since well before the first Spanish settlers arrived - because it's porous, and therefore hard to clean. (The video at the link recommends using what we think could be accurately described as a molcajete condom.) Add to this the repeated attempts - amply documented over at Undismayed to shut down "Mexican rodeos" (as opposed to, y'know, rodeos...) and it starts to feel like something of a culture war, no?

Maybe when President Obama forces all our kids to learn Spanish....

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