Is food racist? Here in Portland, there was a big backlash against a Mexican-themed food cart which is run by two white women. White people selling ethnic food?
It was argued that this is cultural appropriation, with a side of racism. They were forced to close their business. Some people are hoping to build this momentum, in order to close down every white-owned restaurant that serves non-white food, including my favorite Mexican restaurant in Portland, Santeria.
What do you readers think? I understand the argument that it's bad for a rich white person to come in, and put all the poor non-white restaurants out of business, by stealing their food recipes. But I don't like the argument that white-owned restaurants can't sell non-white food; that sounds too close to food segregation to me. I have a particular fondness for multicultural buffets, which wouldn't be allowed under "you can only make food that fits your own ethnicity".
Follow-up question: What about the reverse situation? The place where I regularly got lunch in downtown Portland is Hope's Deli. That's an Asian-owned restaurant which only sells American food, burgers and salad. The Internet tells me that they used to sell Korean food, including a great orange chicken, but I never saw that available; their lunch menu was only burgers. Are they guilty of cultural appropriation, non-whites selling white food?
Another follow-up question: Is there a point, where it becomes inappropriate for a white person like me to eat non-white food? Like, are there circumstances which would make it racist for me to eat a burrito, ever again? I would be sad if that was the case. Burritos can be delicious.