The tongue in front of me is from the noted racist, bigot, and hypocrite, David White. At the time of his death, his estimated net worth was one hundred and twelve million dollars.
Today, we will be making tacos de lengua, or at least my version of tacos de lengua, which is traditionally made with beef tongue. I was given the following recipe by one of my friends whose abuela has been cooking lengua for years. Because beef tongues usually weigh a couple of pounds and David’s weighs only a tenth of one, I’ve had to make some adjustments to the recipe. Since I’m not a professional or even an amateur chef, you might have to make your own adjustments when you cook your own.
You’ll need the following ingredients to prepare David White’s tongue:
3-4 cloves of garlic
1-2 bay leaves
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
Before you start, do some research on televangelist David White. Note how his grandfather, Jackson White, was a slave owner whose tobacco plantation closed after the Civil War. Read up on how Leland White, his father, was a pastor whose reported net worth was one and a half million dollars in 1962, the year in which David was born. Listen to the words that Leland spoke, words he repeated to anyone who would listen, words recorded for posterity, where he advocated for segregation and isolationism and “America First”. Take in the history of David White’s family, his legacy, that enabled him to take his father’s inheritance and build an empire.
The first step is to fill a large pot two-thirds full with water. Crush the garlic cloves the way the rich crush the poor and less fortunate and disenfranchised under their heel. They do so metaphorically; crush the garlic cloves literally. Dice the onion. Put the crushed garlic, the bay leaves, the diced onion, and the chopped carrot into the pot. Put David’s tongue in last. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook the tongue for an hour or until tender. It may take longer than expected. David used his tongue, his voice, often to ill effect. He used it to spread hate. He used it to profit off of that hate. Boil the tongue until the hate dissolves away.
Remove the tongue from the pot and let it cool. Using your fingers, remove the tough, lightly colored exterior of the tongue. You could use a knife, but you want to feel the meat slip between your fingers. While you’re doing this, play a video of David preaching the “seed faith” doctrine: the belief that donations to his church were a form of “seed” that would grow and be rewarded back to those who donated. That by giving him money, his followers were practicing their faith; that by believing in God and believing in David, his followers would be rewarded financially and physically in this world and beyond measure in the next; that by amassing millions and millions of dollars, he was doing the Lord’s work and somehow benefiting humanity. Read up on prosperity theology, or the belief that the rich are rich because they have been blessed by God, and not because they fleece and bleed the poor.
Throw the tough exterior away. The same way you threw David’s body away. All reduced to trash, to ash. Save the tender meat from the inside of the tongue. Think back to 2006, after Hurricane Katrina, when David refused to open his megachurch to the thousands of people displaced because of flooding. Remember how he called them “filth” and “nonbelievers” from his yacht. Google some photos of the destruction caused by the hurricane and then look at the pictures of David’s empty mega-church surrounded by people at their lowest point, countless people whom David could have helped. Easily. Not only did he not help them, he chose not to in order to spite them. Note how little meat there actually is. Maybe enough to make one taco. Note how something so small could make such a big difference. Note how David chose to use his influence to hurt people. So many people. Over and over again.
Slice the tongue into thin strips, longways. To fry the tongue, you’ll need vegetable oil and a frying pan. Sauté the slices until they are a light brown. Remove the strips from the pan. Cube the strips of tongue by cutting them lengthwise and crosswise. Season with salt and pepper. Listen to David call immigrants “invaders.” Listen to him gripe about how he has to hear other people speak languages that aren’t English. Listen to him say that certain kids belong in cages, and that they deserve it because their parents broke the law. Listen to him explain that we have to “take care of real Americans first.” Now that the meat is prepared, gather the ingredients for the taco itself:
Pinch of diced cilantro
Diced red onion
Store-bought salsa verde (relish in the fact that David would be furious that any part of the taco was store-bought)
You can figure this part out, can’t you? Put the dang meat in the tortilla. Listen to the speech where David preached that homosexuals were corrupting the sanctity of marriage. Listen to how he called them deranged, depraved; listen to how he claimed erroneously that they were kidnapping children and converting them to homosexuality. Note how he gave this speech in November of 2017, weeks before a string of serial assaults against homosexuals began in Louisiana, one of which resulted in a death. Forget the name of the man who murdered Frank Wallace, but remember that David called the murderer “a good man” and said he shouldn’t be imprisoned for “an honest mistake.”
Dress the taco. Listen to the speech David gave on January 27th, 2018 where he rallied his flock against a mosque that had opened up twenty miles from his megachurch in Lafayette. Listen, really listen, to how he claimed that “ISIS is setting up shop in the real America.” Remember that he called Islam a disease and that he compared Muslims to rats and said “that if someone doesn’t do something, the same thing that happened to New York on 9/11 could happen here.”
Someone did do something. A man threw two Molotov cocktails in through the front door of the mosque on January 30th, 2018. Forget the name of the man who threw the bottles, but remember the names of the three human beings that were murdered by the man. That burned to death while in a place of worship. A place of peace. Omar Khan. Rahim Parekh and his daughter, Emily.
Eat the damn thing. It tastes better than you would expect, knowing where it came from. That part doesn’t matter so much—the eating itself. The more important part is that it is eaten. Chew the meat that used to be David White and turn it into paste. Swallow it and digest it with your bile. Then crap him out. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. Human crap to literal crap. That’s what he deserves, what he was always meant to be. David White’s millions can’t help him now.
Remember that, at the start of the NOVA-90 outbreak in 2019, David White refused to cancel any of his weekly Rising Sun shows. While every other nonessential business was closing, David White argued that his church was an essential business, and kept packing his megachurch full every Sunday. He closed his church to the Hurricane Katrina survivors, but he remained open during a pandemic. Remember the Easter mass that was televised live, where he told his congregation that God was speaking through him, that the breath of God purified any souls that walked through the doors to his church, and that God himself had told him to keep his church open and that He would keep White’s congregation safe.
It’s impossible to tell how many people were indirectly infected by David White, but we do know now that in the month he fought to keep his church open, three hundred and twenty of his flock were infected with NOVA-90 and eighteen died. It’s impossible to know how many people those people infected, how many they went out and killed because of White downplaying the virus, but we can pin those deaths on him. Those deaths were preventable but White wanted his tithe.
This isn’t a metaphor. Not anymore.
If you liked this recipe, consider donating to RAICES. Link in the description.
Until next time. Stay hungry.