U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, Louisiana,
During a subcommittee hearing of the Senate, held on May 10, you stated: “Without the people of America, Mexico, figuratively speaking, would be eating cat food out of a can and living under a tent behind an outback.”
As I was listening, my initial reaction was to answer you in the same low, uninformed, and arrogant tone as the one you used. But it is always better to use your brain instead of your guts, so I recalled the vibrant relationship that exists between Mexico and the United States: I thought of the 33 million American tourists who, last year, visited Mexico eager to learn more about our culture; the $800 billion dollars of trade between our two countries came to mind; and of course, the delicious Mexican food that most Americans consume in thousands of crowded restaurants. I remembered that most Americans are friends of Mexico and that two million Americans actually live in Mexico.
Louisiana benefits from a relationship with Mexico
To enlighten you, Louisiana greatly benefits from its relationship with Mexico. Last year, it exported to us $40 billion and bought $15 billion, with a surplus balance in favor of Louisiana of $25 billion. Furthermore, the jobs in Louisiana generated by all this trade support 70,000 families in that great state.
I don’t think the people of Louisiana feel represented by the vulgar and racist words you used.
You are obliged to offer an apology to your citizens because what you asserted is not worthy of the state of Louisiana, known for being a cultural melting pot.
No reconsideration expected
Given the moral standards expressed in your unfortunate statement, we do not expect any reconsideration from you at all.
However, speaking of those who actually “live under a tent behind an outback” in Louisiana, you owe them an apology indeed since they don’t live like this because they want to but as a consequence of social, economic, and health problems that deserve to be considered. Those are issues that a senator should be focusing on.
Nevertheless, in Mexico, we choose to nourish the image of Louisiana, which is admired in the world precisely because of its coexistence in diversity, which can only be achieved with generosity, inclusion, and heart.
When your racist and xenophobic insults were known in Mexico, people wondered, “How can a Kennedy say that?” since the image of President John F. Kennedy in Mexico is a beacon that illuminates the path of freedom, democracy, and inclusion. He reflects the best of America, and his example continues to educate millions of people around the world about universal values.
Source: El Universal