Northeast Mississippi is blessed to have fantastic and creative chefs and cooks who offer a variety of mouth-watering offerings. On any day you can find almost everything from Southern comfort to soul, from Mexican to Thai, from Indian to Japanese, from barbecue to Italian.
Several Facebook pages have developed over the years serving as review sites for restaurants. And you take them for what they’re worth • what one diner likes you may not and vice versa.
The reviews for the most part are generally positive, and sprinkled with restaurants offering their daily specials and whatnot.
I’m no stranger to the forums myself, having posted a few reviews over the years. But I’m writing as Dennis the diner, not Dennis the reporter, so as the saying goes, my views don’t necessarily reflect those of the Daily Journal.
Now that we got that out of the way, I wanted to bring up a couple of recent posts that were thankfully taken down by site administrators.
The question was asked if any Chinese restaurants were open, and two answers stood out like a sore:
“I won’t eat Chinese now,” was one reply. Another said, “Who cares? Buy American products.”
So let’s break this down.
The first person who said she wouldn’t eat Chinese I just had to respond with this: “Let me guess ... because coronavirus started in China, then Chinese people in America are guilty as well?”
“Nailed it,” was the answer.
It’s difficult enough for any restaurant these days to have to deal with the pandemic and not being able to open their dining rooms. Then having ignorance piled on top makes it even that much harder.
I don’t pretend to know every immigrant that owns a restaurant, Chinese or otherwise, but I can tell you they followed the path blazed by others before them, including my parents.
They’re hard-working, looking to raise their families here and to lead a better life for all. They’ve been paying their share of taxes, hired local employees, bought from local vendors and others, and been a part of our communities. They’ve fed me and you, our friends and neighbors.
Do you seriously think they want to jeopardize their standing in the community by serving sweet and sour bat or General Wuhan chicken?
I have relatives up north who have talked about some of the discriminatory and racist actions by some toward Chinese in the bigger cities because of the pandemic. Before the virus had gotten bad, Chinese restaurants were seeing backlash from people fearing the worst from them. But up until last week, I was glad I hadn’t seen anything like that.
Here’s a clue: The Chinese restaurants are buying American products to make almost all their foods. A few spices and herbs here and there may be from China or other parts of Asia, but for the most part they’re buying American.
As the saying goes, they’re almost as American as apple pie.
I’m looking forward to when all the restaurants reopen, especially the Chinese ones. Their food may be mostly “Americanized Chinese,” but I’ll be happy to support them.
And show them that ignorance has no place in America or anywhere. So put that in your fortune cookie.