Donald Trump’s blatant xenophobia has been earning him a lot of support among the low-brow racists of America, but the more rational and tolerant among us understand that not only are his delusional fantasies of deporting eleven million immigrants morally reprehensible and enormously impractical, but they would also have devastating effects on the American economy.
World-famous chef and food critic Anthony Bourdain took to SiriusXM radio before the third Republican debate, where he slammed Trump for his offensive xenophobia and disparaging comments about the work ethic of Hispanic-Americans, without whom the restaurant industry would “instantly collapse:”
I rolled out of a prestigious culinary institute and went to work in real restaurants. I walked into restaurants and always, the person who had been there the longest, who took the time to show me how it was done, was always Mexican or Central American. The backbone of the industry — meaning most of the people in my experience cooking, preparing your food. Twenty of those years in this business I was an employer, I was a manager employer. Never, in any of those years, not once, did anyone walk into my restaurant — any American-born kid — walk into my restaurant and say I’d like a job as a night porter or a dishwasher. Even a prep cook — few and far between. Just not willing to start at the bottom like that.
A 2008 Pew Report found that found that about 20 percent of the nearly 2.6 million chefs, head cooks, and cooks are undocumented, along with a further 360,000 dishwashers are also undocumented, as reported by ThinkProgress. These men and women often work multiple jobs for very low pay, allowing restaurants to skirt minimum wage laws and eke out higher profit margins. In this author’s personal experience (four years as a line cook in Philadelphia restaurants), these undocumented workers are the kindest and hardest-working people he’s ever met, and they deserve so much better than to be rudely disparaged by an abrasive buffoon like Donald Trump.
Listen to the whole interview here:[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/230533276″ params=”color=ff5500&show_artwork=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.