FRAT Version, 2 white broads went to Mexico, learned how to make tortillas, came back and opened a burrito cart. Local activists were outraged by the cultural appropriation.
Kooks Burritos, and a War Over Cultural Appropriation Breaks Out
Within two hours, the women received death threats on their Instagram pages, then death threats on their personal cellphones.
What happened: WW reviewed a weekend breakfast burrito pop-up in Buckman called Kooks Burritos.
Then the internet exploded.
A loosely organized online campaign accused Connelly and Wilgus of "cultural appropriation" by stealing from the tortilla chefs in Porto Allegre. Within two hours, the women received death threats on their Instagram pages, then death threats on their personal cellphones. They closed Kooks before the following weekend.
Then the conservative media picked up on this story and Kooks' closure, and a second wave of people from all over the country got pissed off at the first wave.
Soon, national and international news outlets from The Washington Post to the London Daily Mail picked up on this story.
Everyone was very angry.
Why it mattered: The luckless founders of Kooks had stumbled into a long-standing battle between progressive activists and their right-wing foils over cultural appropriation.
For years, tensions had simmered about racism in Portland's restaurant industry, particularly regarding white chefs profiting from the cuisines of non-white cultures. Kooks' founders were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and WW's positive review of their pop-up, ironically, didn't help.
The Kooks controversy was one of the ugliest scuffles over appropriation seen in Portland or in the U.S. this year. But it was hardly the last. The same ingredients—hashtag activism, a heightened sensitivity to racial injustice, and the thrill of online righteousness that quickly shades into bullying—appeared again and again as America tried to deal with its collective political anger.
Wilgus and Connelly are no longer on social media and could not be reached for comment.