From Intellectual Takeout

A burrito cart in Portland recently closed after citizens of one of America’s most progressive cities charged its owners with cultural appropriation. Accused of exploiting a marginalized culture by serving its food, two white women and their breakfast burritos were forced into early retirement.

According to the outraged and offended, households and consumers are in the clear. It’s businesses that need to watch out. Because it’s not about the burritos, really. It’s about power.

What happened to Kali Wilgus and Liz Connelly, the two women who had the misfortune to run a popular food cart in Portland, was this: In mid-May a local publication ran a short profile on the women and their business, Kooks Burritos. Wilgus and Connelly explained that they had visited Mexico and gushed over the tortillas in Puerto Nuevo. So they did what many entrepreneurial people do: they asked the chefs their methods and brought those insights back to their hometown and launched their own food cart.

Portlanders were outraged that the women would snag delicious tortilla recipes from Mexico and popularize them in the U.S. without compensating the Hispanic women who shared their secrets. Within a week, Kooks Burritos had shut down.

This sort of thing doesn’t happen only to restaurants (although there is now a full list of culturally appropriative restaurants in Portland, complete with politically correct alternatives). Those concerned about cultural appropriation want to dictate what you can wear (hint: not hoop earrings, if you’re a white woman), how you can work out (forget about doing yoga), and who you can cast as a marginalized character in a movie. Anything has the potential to become a misstep if minorities have the right to dictate how their cultures are spread.

The argument goes like this: White-run businesses that profit from some aspect of non-Western culture are using their power and privilege to take even more power and privilege away from minorities.

Read the complete article from Intellectual Takeout at the link below.
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