Thursday, June 1, 2017

Food Problems

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.

5 comments:

Elizabeth Pfeffer said...

This whole situation is a MAJOR waste of time and energy Michael you are allowed to eat foods that you enjoy CASE CLOSED!

Anonymous said...

the other problem is most people are already 2nd or 3rd generation american, so even they dont know how to make really authentic food anymore. Also, where does it end? Can only italian americans make and eat pizza or spaghetti?

Also, to assume every white person is rich is not true. Plus, it takes a lot of hard work and effort to open a business, and anyone can do it, but few succeed, all the money in the world wont make a restaurant popular without hard work. I dont even know the color of skin of owners at the place I eat, only the quality of the food, so the best should win.

I am so scared of where this is all going, it all seems taking america back to the 1950s segregation. I dont understand it.

Elizabeth Pfeffer said...

Coming back to add that 2 pizza palaces I go to here in Fort Worth are NOT owed by Italians and their cooks are Mexican. Joe's Pizza is owned by a Russian and Big Joe's is owned by Syrians. They both make wonderful food and I enjoy them both very much. I really don't care who owns the palaces I go to eat as long as they have good food. I really hope that we don't go back to 1950's segregation that would be awful. I blame Trump and people like him for this.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could blame trump, but this SJW movement has been going on for many years on college campuses, even on TV stations like MTV, it started gaining traction around 2010, only the election brought it mainstream. It is the academics to blame for these theories based on cultural Marxist ideology.

You can google to find out more, but it will only make you angry and sad. It a rabbit hole that is best left untouched. It is crazy what has been going on in universities.

I had a friend who went back for her Masters around 2012 and when I saw her a year later, she yelled at me as racist when I suggested we get Chinese food.

Mindabean said...

I think it is ridiculous to ban people from celebrating food they love that come from other cultures. America is a melting pot, with many Americanized versions cultural dishes from Pizza to Hummus to Carne Asada Fries and many more. To incorporate and adopt food from other cultures into our lives and love it enough to learn how to make it and make it well is not a sign of racism, rather it is the opposite.

I am first generation Lebanese, and my daughter is half white-half Lebanese. Is she only allowed to make half of Lebanese food or only enjoy dishes that compose her overall ethnicity such as Irish and British dishes? Of course not. The argument is ridiculous. It is sad to see two female entrepreneurs who worked up the courage to start their own business bullied into failure. If anything, that act alone is grounds for those that contributed to their failure to be called women haters. That's the logic these awful people presented. Clearly these labels are used more to perpetrate than to protect.