Patterico's Pontifications


Horde Of Haters Compel Women-Owned Business In Portland To Close

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:29 am

[guest post by Dana]

When these absurdities pop up, it reminds me yet again that there are none so closed-minded as those who loudly proclaim their open-minded progressivism while simultaneously dropping the authoritarian hammer on everyday Americans.

Two ambitious and hard working young women, and I have to mention that they are white because those are the rules, ran a small business in Portland known as Kooks Burritos. Due to accusations of “cultural appropriation,” Kooks Burritos is no longer in business.

Although the business had been operational for several months, and become increasingly popular, the hoopla began when the Williamette Week recently published an article about owners Kali Wilgus and Liz “LC” Connelly wherein they described how a trip to Mexico inspired them to learn how to replicate the unique and tasty tortillas of Puerto Nuevo when they got back home:

“In Puerto Nuevo, you can eat $5 lobster on the beach, which they give you with this bucket of tortillas,” Connelly says. “They are handmade flour tortillas that are stretchy and a little buttery, and best of all, unlimited.”

“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,” Connelly says. “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. They wouldn’t tell us too much about technique, but we were peeking into the windows of every kitchen, totally fascinated by how easy they made it look. We learned quickly it isn’t quite that easy.”

“On the drive back up to Oregon, we were still completely drooling over how good [the tortillas] were, and we decided we had to have something similar in Portland,” Connelly says. “The day after we returned, I hit the Mexican market and bought ingredients and started testing it out. Every day I started making tortillas before and after work, trying to figure out the process, timing, refrigeration and how all of that works.”

When they returned, they set up shop in a inside the Tight Tacos food cart in Portland. Tight Tacos describes itself as “an authentic street taquero”. The man behind Tight Tacos is Reggie Ballesteros, “a Hawaii transplant” who lived in California before landing in Oregon. Because “he couldn’t find tacos like the ones he ate growing up,” he opened Tight Tacos. And he apparently didn’t have a problem with two white girls using his food truck to make their popular breakfast burritos. (Q: Does this make Ballesteros an accomplice to two white girls’ cultural appropriation?)

Back to Wilgus and Connelly. After their interview in the Williamette Week, the aggrieved began their campaign of hate:

“Because of Portland’s underlying racism, the people who rightly own these traditions and cultures that exist are already treated poorly,” an article in the Portland Mercury reads. “These appropriating businesses are erasing and exploiting their already marginalized identities for the purpose of profit and praise.” also offered commentary: “In less than six months, Wilgus and Connelly have managed to build a business. And depending on how you look at it, their methods are either genius or the latest example of white folks profiting off the labor of people of color.”

Interestingly, writer Jamilah King, who is black (remember the rules), also said this in her report on Kooks:

The problem, of course, is that it’s unclear whether the Mexican women who handed over their recipes ever got anything in return. And now those same recipes are being sold as a delicacy in Portland.

That’s right, Jamilah. Because it’s unclear, you don’t know what transpired, and neither does anyone else. But sure, let’s infer, and assume the worst – privileged white girls stole from poor Mexican women. King, along with those whose attacks compelled the owners to shut down the business, have no clue what took place. Maybe the business partners paid a huge amount of money to the Mexican women, maybe they offered and were turned down. Maybe two American girls showing such a level of admiration, appreciation, interest and respect for the craft was enough for these tortilla makers. Why does King, or anyone else, assume that they would want compensation? Isn’t that projection of the worst kind? They’re a poor brown people in a poor land, pride in their workmanship isn’t enough, they want money!

Further, how aggravating that King chose not to focus on a tremendously noteworthy aspect of this report: Two gutsy young women built a successful business in a tough town for businesswomen in a mere six months! What a significant achievement. One that should have been cheered about by women of every color everywhere. Especially in Portland:

A new report on women owned businesses finds that Portland is one of the worst cities in the country. The data from America Express OPEN’s new report ranks Portland in the bottom ten cities in the country out of 100.

A commenter at The Mic left this fitting observation:

Sooooooo, let me get this straight. Are you all suggesting that Andy Ricker close Pok Pok? Should John Gorham close Toro Bravo? What about Expatriate? Should we force Kyle to stop serving Laotian tacos? Are you going to try and convince me you’ve never stood in line at Por Que No? Um, Bollywood Theater anyone? If learning how to make a food from another culture and selling it is now considered cultural appropriation, then why not take this issue up with the sucessful PDX businesses that have been doing this at a much larger scale for years, and stop harassing these two women struggling to start a small business.

Interestingly, Portland is home to 5 Taco Bells. Taco Bell was founded by [the very white] Glen Bell who learned how to make Mexican food by watching the cooks at of a nearby Mexican restaurant:

According to Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, Bell watched long lines of customers at a Mexican restaurant called the Mitla Cafe, located across the street, which attracted a dedicated customer base for its hard-shelled tacos.[4][5] Bell began eating there regularly, attempting to reverse-engineer the recipe, and eventually won the confidence of the proprietors such that they allowed him to see how the tacos and other foods were prepared.[4][5] In late 1951 or early 1952, he took what he had learned and opened a new stand, this time selling tacos under the name of Taco-Tia.[4][5]

Over the next few years, Bell owned and operated a number of restaurants in southern California including four called El Taco. Bell sold the El Tacos to his partner and built the first Taco Bell in Downey in 1962.

But, don’t worry. If you are in Portland and want to only patronize eateries where there is no cultural appropriation taking place, then here’s a convenient list for you: (Alternative To) White-Owned Appropriative Restaurants in Portland

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


70 Responses to “Horde Of Haters Compel Women-Owned Business In Portland To Close”

  1. I’m sorry that these young women caved so easily to the angry mobs. I think if they had stuck it out and stuck their thumb in the eye of the haters, they could have ridden out the storm, and continued being successful. I can understand how hard it would be though knowing what was being said. I wonder if they caved to the bullying, or did they believe they had actually committed a sin and appropriated, and closed shop in acknowledgement of that?

    Dana (023079)

  2. What are they planning to do about all the Koreans passing themselves off a Japanese so the can cash in on Sushi?

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  3. It’s Portland dana, like a whole other country

    narciso (d1f714)

  4. i was in the car with a friend the other day and we heard a white owned radio station playing music by black people


    happyfeet (28a91b)

  5. The customer is always right.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. Left wingers will tell you their orthodoxy is very nuanced. I have no issue with them when they tell us that diversity is good for America. We can enjoy a diverse culture and improve our lives from new ideas. And isn’t this view at its zenith when we adopt practices from other cultures. It is crazy to complain about a couple of women making burritos.

    Roy Choi is famous for selling his Korean taco from the Kogi trucks. Where was the protest?

    AZ Bob (f7a491)

  7. What are they planning to do about all the Koreans passing themselves off a Japanese so the can cash in on Sushi?

    In my neck of the woods we have Latinos serving as sushi chefs. Imagine the indignity of that!

    Seriously though, this whole cultural appropriation nonsense has to end. You might have come across the story of the Yale dean who has been put on leave because in her Yelp reviews referred to the “white trash” of New Haven and noted that one of her ideas seems to be that white people can’t properly judge the worthiness of Asian foods. And Kat Timpf at National Review Online seems to have a new story every day about someone saying that white people shouldn’t wear hoop earrings or paint pictures of indigenous people or whatever. At some point someone in authority or at least someone that SJWs have to listen to — college presidents or Barack Obama or somebody — needs to nip this garbage in the bud and call it out for the reverse-racism that it really is.

    JVW (42615e)

  8. What about mexicans selling americanized burritos?

    mg (31009b)

  9. Is it a case of teh left eating its own? If it is, I have another pressing engagement…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  10. I keep waiting for one of the victims of this kind of absurdity to let it all hang out;

    When asked for comment, Ms. Middle Class White Person said “Those privileged upper class white academic bitches can kiss my ass. They say they’re going to picket me? Bring it on, twunts. Better check if your Health Care covers plastic surgery.”

    C. S. P. Schofield (99bd37)

  11. as a strong black woman i find the trick for to make veggie burritos is to use the fat free refried beans as a base (not a whole lot, just as sort of the base for what you’re gonna do) – but the key thing is to drizzle the beans with a lil olive oil

    then you can put onions and tomatos

    and then something like sauteed cubes of summer squash or whatever you need to use up, and remember that no green is obscene so throw in some spinach or what have you

    then you microwave that stuff (unrolled) for a minute to a minute and a half

    then remember one of the neat things about a homemade burrito is you can mix hot and cold … so top it with some cold pesto or sour cream or some spinach or lettuce from the fridge or some salsa to really make it sing for you

    then you roll it up

    it’s really versatile if you start with that base i think – you can’t really mess it up unless you’re a noob and you pile more stuff in there than your tortilla can really accommodate

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  12. “Is it a case of the left eating its own?

    It most assuredly is, and the amazing thing is that in most cases these folks don’t even fight back, they prostrate themselves and beg forgiveness…..Soviet-style.

    harkin (141030)

  13. Let’s just look at everyone’s last name and see what business they’re allowed to operate.

    No Nazism to see here, folks.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  14. I have no issue with them when they tell us that diversity is good for America. We can enjoy a diverse culture and improve our lives from new ideas. And isn’t this view at its zenith when we adopt practices from other cultures.

    This time I don’t agree, AZ Bob. America was not built on “diversity”, it was built on UNITY ! Ergo , the name , United States and not Divided States. Diversity divides us , unity unites us.
    Diversity weakens, unity strengthens. Hence E Pluribus Unum, out of many, one (unless you’re Algore then it’s the opposite). That entire “diversity” meme is a leftist play to divide Americans because as long as we stand together they can’t control us. But when they get rich against poor, black against white, gay against straight they get their “diverse” victims and oppressors. That’s why those womyn (spelled that way because they too were leftist puppets or they would have NEVER closed) were “appropriating” another culture. They were the oppressors and the “people of color”, the other culture, was the victim.

    Though “new” ideas can and often do improve our lives, the failing ideas of the countries we left don’t need to be brought to seed here. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy an Americanized version of their food. And it would have to be Americanized to pass sanitation and adulteration standards. I’m 75% German and owned Italian restaurants, but since I’m a white racist and Italian food is from white racist oppressors and devils I committed no sin-of-appropriation.

    BTW, that’s also why they’re against English as an official language. It unites us.

    Rev.Hoagie® (630eca)

  15. Dana, in some places where the insane like the Portland Mercury writers are a minority, you can ride out the silliness. But in Portland, the insane have the reins of power, and you can’t wait them out because they have the support of the power brokers in the city.

    Portland was a great city once but its an insane asylum today.

    SPQR (156f39)

  16. they prostrate themselves and beg forgiveness…..Soviet-style.

    harkin (141030) — 5/26/2017 @ 9:36 am

    I was thinking Mao. But Stalin will do.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  17. oh. but this idea where it’s ok to put rice in a burrito is patriarchal nonsense

    i don’t care who you are that’s just something peasants started doing cause they’re poor

    it’s not really a thing

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  18. Think I’ll just go have some burnt steak with catsup cause that’s all the SJW’s will let me have…Oh, darn, cows cause global warming. Guess I’ll gnaw on some kale instead…I’ll see if I can get the most expensive variety, because if I get a deal, I’ll be exploiting some farm worker.

    Man, it is tough being a white guy and being saddled with all this privelege.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  19. The ladies went after a hipster market and the hipsters rejected them for hipster reasons. Me, I’m in the mood for Taco Bell and there’s one four minutes away. I’m thinking a burrito supreme and three soft tacos supreme.

    nk (dbc370)

  20. i’m so blessed not to have a Taco Bell four minutes away

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  21. i passed one on the way to that short-lived job in burbank

    there were consequences

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  22. …Man, it is tough being a white guy and being saddled with all this privelege.

    Appalled (d07ae6) — 5/26/2017 @ 9:45 am

    Just do what I did. Go to Zimbabwe and kill an elephant. That pisses everyone off.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  23. With a knife or a tomahawk, Steve57?

    mg (31009b)

  24. And I’m back. $9.79 including tax. And a very courteous, friendly and efficient young lady at the window made the trip entirely a pleasure.

    nk (dbc370)

  25. Now let me see if I can find a Machete movie.

    nk (dbc370)

  26. Mblockquote> Why does King, or anyone else, assume that they would want compensation? The assumpption is that they wouldn’t, and therefore they didn’t get it, but that was onl because they didn’t know it was worth money. Of course they wouldn’t because they themselves didn’t pay anything for it and at most one woman or another modified it slightly. And these two women actually made up their own recipe.

    Now a somewhat rational person would then call for the business to pay somthing or assign a percentage to the people who taught them, but this isn’t about compensating people, it’s about stepping on somebody else’s turf – the people in Portland, who don’t know anyone in Mexico, decided it is exclusively Mexican turf, and nobody else is allowed to cook like them because
    otherwise … what? They’d be pretending to be Mexican, which they aren’t.

    And if the business stops selling them, everything is fine.

    It probably only compounds the deceit in their eyes that these evil women didn’t even pay the Mexican women for teaching.

    Sammy Finkelman (bc65ac)

  27. That’s a very silly series, I like Robert Rodriguez earlier work, mostly devoid of agurprop.

    narciso (d1f714)

  28. Your headline is nonsense. Who has the power to “compel” the women to close? City officials could force a business to close under certain circumstances. Did that happen here? I’ve seen no reporting to indicate that it’s true.

    Or, a landlord could cause a business to close, again, under certain circumstances. Did that happen here? I’ve seen no reporting to indicate that’s the case. And, since their business operates out of taco truck, I doubt they had a landlord. Though, they may have been parking it on a lot where they had no permission to operate.

    Or, if the mobs were threatening them with physical violence, like stating they would kill them or set their truck on fire, I would say that it would be reasonable to say that they were forced to close.

    But, a bunch of nitwits criticizing them for cultural appropriation? That’s not force. That’s argument. And, you can’t even say it has the force of a good argument, since is just stupidity.

    Anon Y. Mous (9e4c83)

  29. I recommend the fish and shrimp burrito at Spencer Makenzie’s in Ventura, CA. Ask for it Brooklyn Style.

    AZ Bob (f7a491)

  30. That’s what I’m saying, Anon. They closed because they’re guilt-ridden white leftists not because anybody “forced” them. OTOH, their business may have been destroyed by the leftist purge. The left does have a way of bullying anybody they hate. All those Portland libs were probably too PC to be seen dining at the “white racist Taco Truck”. Haha. They do eat their own.

    Rev.Hoagie® (630eca)

  31. [class] diversity. The “color of their skin” is deemed to be wrong.

    n.n (7c7c96)

  32. Today’s secret ingredient is…ENVY!!!

    Pinandpuller (1643f8)

  33. Roberto Rodriguez made exactly one good movie, his first one, El Mariachi, and one good fake movie trailer, Machete Kills Again … In Space.

    nk (dbc370)

  34. Sammy Finkleman

    I guess I owe the estate of Randy Rhodes for some guitar lessons. And Mozart, Bach. And Beetoven et al.

    Pinandpuller (1643f8)

  35. i like his contribution to Grindhouse

    that was good silly fun

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  36. Sammy

    I took music theory in college (like a cooking class). I watched and observed other musicians techniques (how the dough gets made). I wrote my own music (recipes). Unless my song sounds like Welcome to the Jungle(for example) I don’t owe nobody nothing.

    Pinandpuller (1643f8)

  37. PandP… have a listen to the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s “Midnight in Harlem” chord progression and then take the way back machine to 1984 and the Replacements “Swinging Party”.

    Both great bands.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  38. Oregon is a magnificently beautiful state. Much of what constitutes the crazy left is to be found in pockets, along the coast. As it is in California and Washington.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  39. DCSCA had better think twice before visiting this state>>>

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  40. @36 Colonel Haiku

    I shall, arigato.

    Oh say, have you seen, by the dawn’s early light, the youtube video of the guy who does all the songs based off Pachbel’s Canon?

    Also I was just thinking of the scene in Amadeus where Mozart is playing “in the style of” Gluck etc.

    It’s not really hard to take a few ingredients and make something original within a certain structure.

    I live my life 12 bars at a time…

    Pinandpuller (1643f8)

  41. But for real, in order to get true Mexicans to cook for them, they would have needed to go to Gresham or Hillsboro, OR – those are the distance equivalents to Chicago’s collar county hood towns.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  42. “I live my life 12 bars at a time…”


    You should meet my oldest son. He’s a guitarist too, only he plays like Eddie Van Halen, his guitar hero.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  43. Isn’t “appropriation” a synonym for another no no word “assimilation”?

    Pinandpuller (1643f8)

  44. @41 Colonel Haiku

    I work in Nashville. I’m sure a ‘Yahoo’ like you could figure out how to get in touch if you or he ever came this way.

    I did actually play guitar on the street in Nashville one time. This guy named Guitar Gary, who was homeless, had a guitar and a battery powered amp he was playing for tips. I gave him some money to let me try it out. He was left handed which was kind of tough so I did the Hendrix thing and flipped it. Was still fun.

    Pinandpuller (1643f8)

  45. “But for real, in order to get true Mexicans to cook for them, they would have needed to go to Gresham or Hillsboro”

    I worked a technical audit in Beaverton around 2004. Oregon was issuing Drivers licenses to anyone, no matter how fake the birth certificate- Hillsboro was like little Mexico.

    harkin (bef919)

  46. It’s a good thing these people weren’t around in the 1920s or they would have strangled jazz in its cradle (since only African Americans from New Orleans should be allowed to play it.)

    As for Elvis Persley… let’s not think about it.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  47. @38. Haiku! Gesundheit!

    Sorry you got pinched and have a record now, Bozo. But thanks for the smokes– Virginia Tips, too! Flounder.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  48. But, a bunch of nitwits criticizing them for cultural appropriation? That’s not force. That’s argument. And, you can’t even say it has the force of a good argument, since is just stupidity.

    Think of liberalism as the Jedi religion. Then think of stupidity as the Force.

    They were forced.

    harkin (bef919)

  49. Hoagie can set us straight. Is two hipster ladies making and selling handmade boutique burritos out of somebody else’s burrito cart a sustainable business venture to begin with?

    It seems to me that
    1) If they want to make money, they’ve priced themselves out of the regular burrito cart market;
    2) If they want to keep the burrito cart market, they won’t make any money; and
    3) Do these ladies look like the kind who will be content to sell burritos out of a cart except as a lark for a brief time?

    nk (dbc370)

  50. I read the story the other day. Didn’t they only work the burrito wagon on weekends?

    harkin (bef919)

  51. if we let white people make burritos that’s just the camel’s nose

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  52. In another instance of lefties groveling before lefties…..

    “If there are students or members of the campus community who overheard the song in our playlist and were hurt by its inclusion and you’d like to talk with us about it and how we can do better, we welcome that. We also recognize you may not want to talk with us and we acknowledge that it is not your responsibility to educate us. Please know that we are taking the steps to educate ourselves further to ensure this error is avoided going forward.”

    This pathetic apology was for the horrific transgression of playing Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side”

    What was once an inside joke mixed with radical openness for the transsexual community is now deemed hurtful and offensive.

    They are not only eating themselves, they are burning their movement’s trailblazers at the stake.

    harkin (bef919)

  53. Toxic masculinity.

    It was not an inside joke, it was an out and out joke, like two guys getting married. But what was a joke to Boomers is deadly serious to GenXers and Millennials.

    Do colored girls still go tu turu turu turu tutu/tu turu turu turu tutu, though?

    nk (dbc370)

  54. It was not an inside joke,

    1972 AM radio was playing the line “even when she was giving head”

    A year later the same stations were bleeping the word “crap” out of Paul Simon’s Kodachrome.

    Believe me, it was an inside joke

    harkin (bef919)

  55. In 1972, we had one of them, a guy in a mini skirt, hanging around the McDonald’s by my high school at lunch time. I got the joke and I was not on the inside. I took it as a gritty version of “Lola”. And I had a GPz for a while, too, but that’s a different Lou Reed song.

    nk (dbc370)

  56. The SJ might be a little too strong in that land…those girls probably would have had their cart shoved into the Willamette for starters…

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  57. Not Mel Gibson drunk again! But what would he be doing in Portland?

    nk (dbc370)

  58. Nashville cats 🐱
    Been playin’ since theys babies
    Nashville cats 🐱
    They wild as mountain dew

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  59. great song

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  60. NK,the stupidity of rushing a possibly paranoid man is noted. But I would damn sure be tempted to turn this man into Chris Reeves or Stephen Hawking if he caught me answering a question from certain in-laws.

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  61. It sure sounds like self-defense on his part to me. First off, there’s no such thing as hate speech and, second, even if there was, a mob has no right to attack him for it. He needs a halfway competent lawyer, though.

    nk (dbc370)

  62. 49.I read the story the other day. Didn’t they only work the burrito wagon on weekends?
    harkin (bef919) — 5/26/2017 @ 6:44 pm

    Yes, during the week they teach Black Studies at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

    Rev.Hoagie® (630eca)

  63. So, it was a lark. They were probably glad of the excuse to quit. Working like a Mexican selling burritos out of a cart for your livelihood, is not the same as eating lobster and tortillas on the beach at Cancun.

    nk (dbc370)

  64. hoochies were about to get a sweet raise in July

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  65. this bastard support group in england looks like a worthy organization

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  66. To think, a few years back Harry was rumored to be somewhat of an alt righter (the Nazi Costume photo). Barry is doing research to see what made Harry turn.

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  67. Redheads are erratic. Fickle. Quirky. Inconstant. Unreliable. My father told me that and it dates back to republican Rome. No redhead would ever attain Senatorial status. Nobody would vote him to any of the responsible positions of the cursus honorum.

    nk (dbc370)

  68. Gingerism!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  69. The problem in Portland is that the inmates have reached critical mass. There’s a sufficient number of them – I’d estimate 20% of the working age population (kids don’t count, and the old farts are much more conservative) – that they can swing elections, and even more importantly, make enough “noise” to drown out any sane person.
    I looked at that link to the “Alternative to White-owned” spreadsheet, and the stupidity is breathtaking. One of their “appropriative” businesses is The Alibi, a Tiki bar that’s been on N. Interstate for more than a half-century. It “steals Polynesian culture”, like the natives were sitting on the beach with maraschino cherry garnished Singapore Sling‘s with a paper umbrella in them when they greeted Captain Cook.
    They don’t even realize hoe ridiculous they are. It’s like the Drama Club has taken over the high school, and demand that everybody believe that the poster painted cardboard really is downtown Manhattan.

    bud (b32f46)

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