Last week's cover story on cuisine, cultural appropriation and Kooks Burritos ("You Can't Cook That," WW, June 7, 2017) revived a heated debate about whether white people selling other cultures' cuisine is an act of racial oppression.
Sara Rudolph, via wweek.com: "Did…did you think that maybe you might want to interview some Mexican restaurateurs? I mean…maybe?"
Sean Aaron Cruz, via wweek.com: "The larger story of cultural appropriation lies in the naming of the street the women were selling their Americanized burritos on, some 10 years ago, and the fact that there is still no place on the entire length of Portland's Cesar Chavez Boulevard where authentic Mexican food is prepared and sold by actual Mexican people."
Mike Nyre, via Facebook: "This is the stupidest thing. Can a Korean guy make fried chicken? Can a Mexican lady cook a hamburger? Why not, who cares? We have real, actual shit to worry about right now other than the skin color of a person making a burrito."
Tommy Murray, in response to Nyre: "Well, outside our privileged white world, racism and oppression are 'actual shit to worry about' for people of color. And did Korea colonize white people? Did Mexicans colonize white people? No. So sit back. Shut up. And maybe learn a thing or two about what cultural appropriation is."
Todd Dolyniuk, via Facebook: "From the late '60s through the early '80s, my Ukrainian grandmother had a pizza place here in Portland called the Italian Pizzeria. Nobody cared, because the pizza was awesome."
Patricia Escarcega, in Phoenix New Times: "If there's an enduring lesson embedded into the Kooks saga, maybe it's the sad realization that even well-meaning enterprises can blow up in your face. To enter someone else's culture, especially when you stand to profit from it, requires affection and respect, and careful attention to tone."
Last week's story on transit police ("Crime-Fighting Train," WW, June 7, 2017) incorrectly stated that 15 security guards TriMet contracted after May 26's stabbings carried guns. TriMet plans on hiring 20 contract security guards, who are not armed.
An item on 911 hold times (Murmurs, May 31, 2017) incorrectly stated the date that the Bureau of Emergency Communications discovered a problem with underreporting hold times for cellphone calls to 911. It was November 2015, not 2016. The bureau's misreporting of average hold times was for all calls to 911, not just cellphone calls.
WW regrets the errors.
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