Depending on who you ask, either two young and enthusiastic entrepreneurs decided to start a breakfast burrito pop-up inside of a food cart, or two menacing, appropriative, white capitalists stole secret tortilla recipes from helpless old ladies in a desperate attempt to get rich off the backs of working class people of color. Either way, Kooks' Burritos was forced to close after one of the whitest, most rapidly gentrifying city in America decided to take a firm stance against tortillas made by white women.
But while Kooks' story proves how quickly this city has dissolved into a satire of itself, questions and complications regarding cultural appropriation aren't just a problem in Portland.
Recently, Pittsburgh residents expressed their frustrations at the thought of a white-owned, hip-hop-themed fried chicken restaurant opening in a gentrifying neighborhood. The worst part is that the proprietors had originally planned on calling their establishment The Coop, which means that they missed out on a golden opportunity to own a faux-soul food restaurant named GentriFried Chicken.
In Australia, a gay porno titled Didgeridoo Me was recently panned as being culturally offensive because it featured a man performing a sex act with a didgeridoo. And while that's certainly a less appetizing example of cultural appropriation, it is no less valid. (Also, I wonder if there was an apathetic Aboriginal who heard that news and thought, "Well, white guys have already figuratively fucked our culture, so it only makes sense that they'd start literally fucking our instruments.")
And just last week, I overheard a black guy with a mohawk complain about a white guy with dreadlocks, and now I have no idea which race is allowed to have what haircut.
When it comes to cultural appropriation, it's often difficult to know of who's right, what's wrong, and if there's any real difference between fusion comfort food and appropriative cuisine.
Regardless, in the midst of all this hoopla, I wanted to find something that would give me hope that in a divided world, there's still hope for different races, cultures, and ethnicities to take from each other in order to create something beautiful. And after scouring the internet, I finally found the story I was searching for:
The recipient was black man who'd lost his penis seventeen years ago in a botched circumcision. His new penis was donated by a recently deceased white man.
Ripping the dick off of a dead white dude and surgically placing it onto a black guy (who plans on tattooing his new member so that it better fits his natural skin tone) may sound like a terrifying scene from one of Mary Shelley's wet dreams, but I think it's actually a big step towards healing old wounds (both the literal wounds left from the patient's botched circumcision and the figurative wounds of a nation famously divided by racial tension). South Africa has an unfortunate history of racism and apartheid. But now, at long last, white and black South Africans have been symbolically joined in unity at the base of a man's new cock.
Overnight, that man went from being dickless to having the most metaphorical penis in all of Africa, if not the world. And that wouldn't have been possible had a black man not appropriated a white man's penis (and I'm just assuming that it counts as appropriation since he plans on tattooing the member, which means he'll be a black man with a white dick in blackface).
Look, it's impossible to deny that there are vicious people out there who actively exploit oppressed cultures. And you have to admit that there are plenty of people online who act out mock outraged for no discernible reason. But at the end of the day I think we can all agree on two things: 1.) You can cross any racial divide if you need a penis bad enough, and 2.) If you want a really good tortilla, it doesn't matter if it was made by a white woman or a woman of color. Just so long as it was made by a woman—AM I RIGHT?!