From Jeffrey M. Pilcher, The Rise and Fall of the Chili Queens, in Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food (2012):
Mexican food [from worker-owned street vendors] was also seen as a threat to white workers, both through unfair competition and labor radicalism. Nativist opponents of immigrant workers claimed that the Mexican diet of tortillas and chili, like the Chinese staple rice, undermined the nation’s standard of living. Mexican food was also associated with anarchism and union organizing. Tamale vendors were blamed for the Christmas Day Riot of 1913, when police raided a labor rally in Los Angeles Plaza. Milam Plaza in San Antonio, where the chili queens worked in the 1920s, was a prominent recruiting ground for migrant workers. Customers could eat their chili while listening to impassioned speeches by anarcho-syndicalists of the [Industrial] Workers of the World and the Partido Liberal Mexicano.
— Jeffrey M. Pilcher, The Rise and Fall of the Chili Queens
in Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food (2012), p. 113
So I just stumbled across this passage today; it’s kind of like a perfect addendum to the
Xenophobia and Anarchophobia /
U.S. vs. Them section of my old No Borders / No State presentation, reheated, perfectly seasoned and cooked up together with everything I have to say about worker-owned, informal-sector food vendors and disruptive social and economic agoras.