— Memphis, TN
Last night Midtown Memphis resident Stan Dupp eradicated lingering guilt about being a middle class White male by taking his girlfriend to eat dinner at an authentic Mexican restaurant on Summer Avenue.
“This is what real Latinos and Latinas eat,” Dupp said, over pronouncing ‘Latino’ and ‘Latina’ while eating an order of pastor tacos. “It gets me in touch with other cultures and, at least for a little while, helps me forgive myself for my White privilege. Also, you know, it makes me feel like I’m doing better with the diversity.”
Dupp explains there’s an “ethnic hierarchy” behind his culinary choices. “We will eat authentic Latino/Latina food on an average White guilt day. But when things get really bad, I try to go deeper into the ethnic well.”
Last week, after he was pulled over for a traffic stop without getting a ticket, Dupp invited several white co-workers out for authentic dim sum. Following a promotion at his job, the same “posse” went out to sample genuine Ethiopian fare. “It was an especially guilty day and I had to do something,” Dupp said, adding that Injera, the stretchy bread served with Ethiopian stews, “really soaks in the guilt.”
“There’s so many kinds of ethnic food to choose from these days,” Dupp says, listing ethnic food options ranging from hummus and falafel to palak paneer and Korean barbecue.
“I tell all my younger friends they don’t know how good they have it,” he says. “When I was a younger, guiltier man the choices were limited to fried rice or maybe a gyro. But nowadays, sky’s the limit!”
A version of this article originally appeared on the Memphis Flyer’s Fly on the Wall Blog.