Portland Mercury Published 'Hit Piece' on White Women Who Dared to Make Burritos
The Portland Mercury has published a 'hit piece' article written by Jagger Blaec which attacked to female entrepreneurs for 'cultural appropriation.'
The target of the attack was Kooks Burritos, a small two-woman startup.
Kali Wilgus and Liz “LC” Connelly, the two white women who started Kooks earlier this year, have been accused of stealing their techniques from the “tortilla ladies” of Puerto Nuevo, Mexico — because Connelly told Willamette Week that they gathered their recipes and tortilla-making processes during a holiday road-trip to the Baja California village.
"I picked the brains of every tortilla lady there in the worst broken Spanish ever, and they showed me a little of what they did," she told the site. "They told us the basic ingredients, and we saw them moving and stretching the dough similar to how pizza makers do before rolling it out with rolling pins.”
In the profile, which first ran May 16, Connelly also claimed that, when the Mexican cooks wouldn’t give up their trade secrets, she and Wilgus “were peeking into the windows of every kitchen, totally fascinated by how easy they made it look.”
Connelly then said she used a trial-and-error process to recreate a tortilla with the same flavor and texture after returning to Portland. She and Wilgus then opened their weekend pop-up inside a taco truck on SE Cesar Estrada Chavez Boulevard, and began serving their Mexican-style tortillas filled with California-inspired ingredients.
Though the eatery had been open for several months, the owners of Kooks were only recently accused of cultural appropriation by The Portland Mercury and Mic.com based on Connelly’s revelations.
"Because of Portland’s underlying racism, the people who rightly own these traditions and cultures that exist are already treated poorly," The Portland Mercury said, calling the closure of Kooks a "victory."
Portland Mercury's writer Jagger Blaec continued to accuse the entrepreneurs of stealing intellectual property and repackaging it saying "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."
The article continues,"These appropriating businesses are erasing and exploiting their already marginalized identities for the purpose of profit and praise."
Social media users were outraged at the attack. Even drawing criticism from some prominent figures:
The writer herself responded in an unprofessional manner by mocking the women:
The inciting and reckless piece of journalism has demonized two entrepreneurs who dared to be inspired by Mexican cooking techniques.
Rather than attack Chipotle or every other non-Mexican owned food shop that sells burritos, writer Jagger Blaec took it upon herself to choose a relatively easy target to focus in on. The women have since deleted all of their social media in fear and have had their livelihoods, and even lives, ruined by the attack.
The article brands the women as "white perpetrators" and implies that food culture cannot be shared and enjoyed by everyone. If The Portland Mercury is implying that only those from the culture can cook traditional foods, half of the country's restaurants are going to need to be shut down in this era of 'political correctness.'
The only mistake that these entrepreneurs made was caving to the attacks rather than standing their ground. They should be seeking legal council to combat this irresponsible and reckless piece of journalism that has not only implied they are racist thieves but has also put their lives in danger.
Is it really worth destroying lives in the name of political correctness?