Kalamazoo, MI
one-hundred-forty Years of Service to the Student

Food Beat

Food Reviews and Intercultural Understanding

I made a mistake.

I wrote a review of a Mexican restaurant in town that was culturally insensitive. My goal was to portray the restaurant as accurately as possible, not realizing the limits of my narrow perspective as a white Midwesterner in achieving that accuracy. I know that I offended people and contributed to students’ feelings of discomfort on our campus. I want to apologize for not considering the full impact of my review, for not having the awareness to realize that I was critiquing a restaurant and its food that I don’t have a true knowledge of, and for enacting the cultural ignorance and insensitivity I feel I am trying to work against.

Being an ally to those who are feeling uncomfortable, isolated, unheard, or endangered takes vigilance. It takes constant, active, increasing awareness. It demands recognizing, owning, and learning from the mistakes we are all bound to make in that process.

As I demonstrated through my review, and as we’ve all seen in recent social media “conversations,” there is a great need for growth on this campus in intercultural understanding. In particular, those among us who have the privilege of not having think about systemic racism on a daily basis because our culture and identity is affirmed and normalized must do this work. We have a responsibility to educate ourselves and listen to those who are most impacted. I urge the administration and campus community to see and act on the need for support in this education.

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Food Reviews and Intercultural Understanding