BURRITO BANDITRY

Creatively named woman of colour Jagger Bleac grew up in privileged, mostly white Fairfield County, Connecticut but only experienced racial self-consciousness on moving with her white Mormon boyfriend to Portland, Oregon, “America’s whitest city”.Distressed by the unrelenting almost prejudice, Bleac retaliates via her position at the Portland Mercury by destroying a business recently opened by two entrepreneurial white females (bold in original):

Portland has an appropriation problem. 

This week in white nonsense, two white women—Kali Wilgus and Liz “LC” Connely—decided it would be cute to open a food truck after a fateful excursion to Mexico. There’s really nothing special about opening a Mexican restaurant—it’s probably something that happens everyday. But the owners of Kooks Burritos all but admitted in an interview with Willamette Week that they colonized this style of food when they decided to “pick the brains of every tortilla lady there in the worst broken Spanish ever.” 

“…You can eat $5 lobster on the beach,” Connelly said, “which they give you with this bucket of tortillas.” The “they” she was referring to were probably the Mexican “abuelitas” these two women preyed upon in order to appropriate the secrets of their livelihood. Suitably impressed, these tourists began asking the locals questions about how these tortillas were made. “They told us basic ingredients,” Connelly said, adding “[but] they wouldn’t tell us too much about technique.” Hmmm. Wonder why? This is where things go from quirky to predatory if you haven’t already guessed. 

 “…We were peeking into window of every kitchen, totally fascinated by how easy they made it look,” she said. So let’s recap the story thus far: These two white women went to Mexico, ate tacos, and then decided they would just take what the locals clearly didn’t want to give them. If that wasn’t bad enough, they decided to pack up all their stolen intellectual property and repackage it in one of the few places where such a business could plausibly work: Portland, Oregon.

Evil whites in Portland, one of America’s most liberal cities, refuse to acknowledge the extent of the problem:

Week after week people of color in Portland bear witness to the hijacking of their cultures, and an identifiable pattern of appropriation has been created. Several of the most successful businesses in this town have been birthed as a result of curious white people going to a foreign country, or an international venture, and poaching as many trade secrets, customs, recipes as possible, and then coming back to Portland to claim it as their own and score a tidy profit. Now don’t get me wrong: cultural customs are meant to be shared.However, that’s not what happens in this city.

Because of Portland’s underlying racism, the people who rightly own these traditions and cultures that exist are already treated poorly. These appropriating businesses are erasing and exploiting their already marginalized identities for the purpose of profit and praise.

 People of color are nothing more than an afterthought when the white perpetrators of this tradition continue to do this on a regular basis. While Portland is supposedly a progressive place, super liberal white people usually only have other super white liberal people to answer to—which means this cycle of cultural appropriation will never end until people of color call attention to it.

Cultural purist Blaec has no problem serving macaroni and cheese – appropriated from the British – at her wedding dinner.

Blaec the hypocrite revels in achievement of her objective:

While the closing of Kooks Burritos is a victory, it’s a small one and unless we continue to call this out it will happen again. In the meantime, it helps to support the originators of various cultures. If you’re really dying to get a burrito, here’s a list of six Latin owned restaurants that also exist in Portland.

Shut down every eatery serving appropriated dishes and there will be no restaurants.

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