¡Ask a Mexican! tackles BurritoGate

Flour tortillas are really easy to make, I’ve made them, they were not that great, certainly not as good as my moms tortillas, but they were waaaay better than store bought flour tortillas. It wouldn’t take much for any person from any cultural background to make decent flour tortillas, and trust me, fresh made flour tortillas are great.

The thing that bothers me a little bit is that idea of introducing “authenticity” into making flour tortillas for burritos, which are widely associated in Mexico more with tex-mex cuisine than they are with traditional Mexican cuisine, In fact Mrs Tachin (And she’s not alone in this) doesn’t even consider flour tortillas “real” tortillas. I don’t know enough about this story if this was a selling point for the burritos or if its just how they learnt their recipe for flour tortillas but didn’t really hype it up as part of their business, because that would be a better way to understand where on the scale of cultural appropriation this falls under.

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You say avoid, I hear enjoy.



I can’t see what’s going on there, too small.

You’re talking about Bronx, right? Or is there more?


Actually, no, that’s not the definition of racism, very or otherwise. Racism requires privilege, specifically institutional privilege. In the United States, and here in Portland, the apparatus of institutional privilege is white supremacy. There are plenty of bigots in this country, of all shapes and sizes. Only one class- whites, has the power to impose biases on other classes. That is racism.

No, it’s not simple really. The gains whites have made over the past five centuries at the expense of others via colonialism/imperialism are the foundation of the disparity in the first place. Whether or not you feel you personally contribute to white supremacy doesn’t make a damned bit of difference (hint, you are currently putting yourself in service of it.) You simply can not untangle the wealth of the west from the centuries past. What I do not understand is how whites believe they can fleece the world over an epoch of mass armed conflict, slavery, and extraction and not be asked to pay that back, even according to our own lofty ideals of justice…

Any white person’s place in this world is built upon that foundation. This includes myself. Completely untangling the wealth and power we’ve justly earned from that we’ve stolen through global domination is a long and complicated problem. The place to start is within yourself, which is not all that difficult to find.

What disappoints me most is that in the year 2017 Donald Fucking Trump is our goddamned president seriously wtf and we still have to talk about this shit. All the techno wizardy in the world, the so-called gifts of the white man to the world, well la di da. Why do westerners even bother with philosophy besides ur-fascist irrational nonsense? We don’t apply it to anyone else but us whiteys. FFS. We’re the most reactionary humans on the damn planet, and this and the companion thread is chock full of it. Funny, this is pretty much exactly the same sentiment that @Missy_Pants made in the gendered objectification thread re: male response to women/feminism. Reactionary and defensive.

Awww, so concern for the poor white people. You’re blatantly ignoring the real purpose of the doc in the first place- to highlight restaurants owned by people of color so that they might actually enjoy some of the economic benefits of their own cultural production. Ya know, to keep the people of color you’re so obviously unconcerned about from losing their livelihoods.

I wish I had more time to engage on this than I do at the moment. One of the things I’ve taken away from the various people of color that I’ve been reading, listening to, watching, listening is that I need to confront basic white people shit more often. Because I do not have time to write more, I’ll leave a collection of links that I’ve compiled in addition to the recommendations made by the authors of the google doc.

bell hooks- Eating the Other
Essay by Ijeoma Olua on cultural appropriation
Comic by Shing Yin Khor
Essay by Soliel Ho

Note on Commercial Theatre by Langston Hughes
You’ve taken my blues and gone
You sing 'em on Broadway
And you sing 'em in Hollywood Bowl,
And you mixed 'em up with symphonies
And you fixed 'em
So they don’t sound like me.
Yep, you done taken my blues and gone.
You also took my spirituals and gone.
You put me in Macbeth and Carmen Jones
And all kinds of Swing Mikados
And in everything but what’s about me
But someday somebody’ll
Stand up and talk about me,
And write about me
Black and beautiful
And sing about me,
And put on plays about me!
I reckon it’ll be
Me myself!
Yes, it’ll be me.


Yes, Bronx is excellent. Also -
Sicilian Thing
Pizzeria Luigi
Pizzeria Bruno
Buona Forchetta
The latter is a trattoria but the pizza is great. As is everything on the menu. It’s the closest I’ve ever found like the little places we ate at in Florence and Lucca.
I have a couple slices at Sicilian Thing once a week.

Excuse me, I’ll just continue dying in the barren wasteland of pizza that is Rancho Bernardo.

(But I’m keeping the good pho.)

There’s always the weekend. Also, if you’re into our awesome local beer, Sicilian Thing is a good jumping off spot to walk to lots of fun places.

When it comes to beer, I typically crawl through the breweries in Mira Mesa. North/South Park is also not particularly friendly to 4yo tastes and interest levels. He’ll learn in time, but for now it’s the tyranny of Panda Express.

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At this point it seems to me like you don’t know the definition of the word ‘definition’.

The actual definition of racism is prejudice against a person based on their membership of a racial category. That’s it. There’s a related definition of racialism, which is the belief that distinct biological categories called races exist, some dictionaries record these two as synonymous, but I think they’re pretty obviously distinct concepts. I don’t believe in racialism.

What you’re describing is the sociological theory of institutional racism, which is a separate thing to plain ol’ racism, it’s a distinct form of racism. There may be some truth to be found in said sociological theory, but it’s worth remembering that sociology isn’t a science, and that sociological theories aren’t facts (i.e. they’re not theories in the same way that the theory of gravity is a theory), and whatever truth may be found in there it doesn’t override the simple definition of racism, prejudice against a person based on their belonging to a racial grouping is racism.

There has obviously been a very real attempt to muddy the waters around these definitions over recent years, but thankfully privileged academics don’t get to define how we use language.


Who writes the dictionaries? The oppressor or the oppressed?


Uh, neither, that would be the lexicographers.

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Holy shit, who knew? A gentle reminder, the topic specifically involves institutional racism or just racism (for those who understand that words are not just a description in an entry somewhere but living, evolving cultural products) so yes, that is the definition of racism I am using. You can whinge about good ol’ fashioned all you want, we are not discussing a case of personal bigotry. [quote=“caze, post:175, topic:101812”]
but it’s worth remembering that sociology isn’t a science, and that sociological theories aren’t facts

What you seem to forget is that facts don’t mean shit without theory.

I get that you know things. The facts you possess are not the problem- they are just objects.
I think you and @Max_Blancke would make for an outstanding trivia team.


I don’t care what definition of racism you are using, you were responding to a post I made, where I called some people out for being racists, the only important thing is what definition I was using in that post.

Actually, facts stand by themselves, they exist whether or not people are aware of them. Theories can help us discover them, but their existence isn’t dependent on them.

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The funniest thing about this back and forth is that the only way you can invalidate my argument is whingeing on a semantic technicality.

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Nope. I called some people racists, you said they can’t be racist because they’re not white. Your definition of racist and my definition of racist weren’t the same, so at the end of the day what you said wasn’t actually an argument against anything I was saying (so there’s nothing for me to invalidate here, we’re both in agreement that these people aren’t subjecting these white business owners to institutional racism), this isn’t merely a semantic technicality, it’s a total failure in the logic of your argument


I like the argument about power and privilege being required for racism. I don’t think it comes anywhere near to being a valid argument, but it is an interesting tactic. Just change the definitions of words as an easy way to solve difficult problems. We could eliminate poverty just by redefining the word to exclude most of the poor. Much easier than actually solving messy and complicated problems.
But even though this discussion has moved in interesting directions, at it’s core, it is about cultural and technological exchange as a very complicated subject. [quote=“wait_really, post:170, topic:101812”]
to keep the people of color you’re so obviously unconcerned about from losing their livelihoods.

Portland is over 1,800 km from Puerto Neuvo. The restaurants are not in competition with each other. There is no person who was planning on eating dinner in Puerto Nuevo, then decided to eat instead at Kooks food cart. So that is not really the subject of the debate here. It is more complicated than that. Just like actual history is much more complicated and nuanced a subject than blaming one group of people for the all world’s “mass armed conflict, slavery, and extraction”.
That is not an accurate view of history.

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