Published June 12, 2017

Doug Casey on Cultural Appropriation

Justin’s note: White people shouldn’t make burritos.

At least, that’s what some people in Portland think…

It all started after two white women from Portland took a road trip to Mexico. There, they met the “tortilla ladies” of Puerto Nuevo. They asked about their process…learned their basic ingredients…and watched them roll tortillas from scratch.

When the two women returned to Portland, they opened their own restaurant, Kooks Burritos, using what they’d learned. They also shared the story of their Mexican road trip with a local publication.

A week after that story broke, their restaurant shut down due to accusations of “cultural appropriation.” In other words, it’s apparently racist to replicate another culture’s cuisine.

After reading this ridiculous story, I called Doug Casey to get his take. As you can imagine, Doug had some interesting things to say. Below is a transcript of our conversation…


Justin: Doug, what did you make of this story? Does the punishment fit the “crime”?

Doug: This actually beggars the imagination that a couple of girls take a trip to Mexico, improve their cooking skills—and are punished for it. And apparently not by Mexicans living in Portland, but apparently by other white people, since Portland is a very white city. Although it’s impossible to determine from press reports the racial makeup of the protestors. In today’s ultra-PC world, reporters wouldn’t mention that unless it seemed to prove that whites were oppressing non-whites.

It’s safe to conjecture, however, that there’s a cadre of activists who make their living by being professional brown or black people, who’ve rounded up some self-hating whites to act as their running dogs. The tactic has worked well for “community organizers” like Al Sharpton and Barack Obama.

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People that perceive themselves as being underprivileged, or minorities, or People of Color, or whatever they want to call themselves, have captured the semantic and philosophical high ground. At this point, however, these people (am I being non-PC in using that phrase? Maybe… it’s so hard to stay current) aren’t driven by any rationality for things done to them, or their ancestors. They’re just being driven by hatred, envy, and avarice. A civilization is in trouble when vices have captured the philosophical high ground.

It’s as if it’s become a bad thing to be a white person. Which is rather amazing, because essentially all of the things that make life easy and pleasant—science, literature, music, inventions, industry, technology—have been created by white Europeans. Today, however, it’s considered shameful to be of European extraction. White people supposedly aren’t allowed to take advantage of the very few things that Third Worlders actually have produced.

So it seems to me that, at the very time community organizers and the chattering classes are accusing whites of racism, we’re actually building towards some kind of a serious race war. One that they’re actively trying to foment, at least as much as the Ku Klux Klan ever did. Which is really a pity, because personally, I choose my friends based upon their character and what they do, not based on some accident of birth.

At the same time, it’s got to be said that ever since humans became biologically modern about 100,000 years ago—although anthropologists are starting to think it may be as long as 300,000–500,000 years ago—anybody from an outside group that looked different or dressed differently was viewed with suspicion. Because they might be pursuing the same deer that you are. And maybe the only thing you had in common was the deer that you both wanted to kill and take home for dinner. That was the start of racism, or “my groupism.” If you look different, you’re not part of my group. If you’re not part of my group, you’re probably an enemy. Which was probably, factually, the case in the days of scarce resources.

Racism, therefore, isn’t entirely irrational. And it’s probably a genetic characteristic at this point. “Discrimination” is necessary and laudable; it’s entirely a question of how rational it is.

Justin: But Doug, humans no longer have to fight each other for meals to survive. And yet, racism seems to be getting worse.

Doug: Yes, it’s perverse that at the very time when resources are becoming vastly more abundant that racism seems to be becoming more of an issue, not less of an issue. This is very disturbing. Racism itself is a perfectly natural thing, and has survival value. But race hatred, which is what these people are fomenting, makes no sense. Neither does making laws against it make any sense.

I prefer that people be at liberty to openly express their beliefs, and the state of their psyches. Not have to cover these things up. I like to know whom I’m dealing with…

Perhaps the reason we’re seeing a resurgence of race hatred is that these people have spent most of their lives in government schools, and have been inculcated with Cultural Marxism. Because the schools seem to be getting worse, I don’t see that the situation is going to get better.

Justin: I agree, Doug. This kind of thinking is incredibly destructive. Can you imagine if people thought like this in the 1950s or ’60s? We wouldn’t have rock and roll, which came from the blues. The Rolling Stones might have been crucified.

Doug: Very good point. A free man can say what he thinks, and an honest man thinks what he says. Today’s PC culture is making it hard not to act like a hypocritical slave. It’s disgusting. And another sign of the ongoing collapse of Western Civilization.

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Justin: At the end of the day, cultures borrow from each other. This is how society evolves. Yet, a growing number of people can’t seem to grasp this. It’s comical as much as it is disturbing.

Doug: This is the kind of thinking that wound up making people serfs, where if you were born in one place and one occupation, you were obligated to stay there. You weren’t allowed to borrow from somebody else or learn a different trade, you were only supposed to do what tradition dictated. So I guess in PC World only blacks are supposed to make chitlins, and eat collard greens and watermelon, and only Mexicans are supposed to make burritos and tacos. I suppose the French aren’t supposed to cook German food, either. Etc., etc.

It reminds me of that stupid meme Bush created, where “French fries” were renamed “Freedom fries” during the Gulf War. The whole thing is crazy. These people are criminally insane. As well as stupid.

It’s like the minorities need protection because they’re stupid and incompetent. And the white people will steal their cuisine from them, like they, idiotically, think they’ve stolen everything else. But if you look at it that way, these people have in fact stolen all the inventions of white people. Which is to say, just about everything you have in the world that’s worth having today. It’s a sign of psychological aberration. There’s absolutely no intellectual, moral, or any other argument that can be made for this stupidity. But it’s growing, not diminishing.

Trends in motion tend to stay in motion, until a crisis happens. Then a new trend evolves. But who’s to say the new trend is going to be better than this one? It might be worse.

Justin: Yes, unfortunately, this isn’t just a problem in Portland. It’s a nationwide epidemic.

Doug: It’s a good argument for why the US should break up into little sub-countries. And the breakup should be done on cultural grounds. Because the people of Portland have very little in common with the ranchers in eastern Oregon. Just like the people in San Francisco and Los Angeles have very little in common with the people in the California desert and farm country. And the people who live in pot country in Mendocino County have very little in common with the people that live in San Diego. It’s ridiculous that California be one state. It should be several.

The same is true of most states in the US, and the US as a whole, quite frankly. They’re historic artifacts. They have very little reason for existence. And it’s also true of most countries in the world, and I’m very gratified to see Catalonia making real efforts to break off from Spain. Part of the same problem. This is a cultural thing. There are no political solutions to cultural problems.

Justin: So, if the government can’t fix this, what can? Is there even a cure?

Doug: That’s a good question. It’ll only get worse if the government makes more laws to “solve” this problem. And I don’t know they’ll ever even see the real problem. As they pass more laws, they’re inevitably going to either aggravate the situation or clamp down on the pressure cooker so the explosion will be even bigger.

I’m glad to be here in South America most of the time. We don’t have these problems in Argentina. Well, we do, but they’re not as serious. Perhaps because this is a fairly culturally homogeneous country.

A final parenthetical note. Years ago I spent a week in Acapulco, staying at a house owned by a rich friend of mine in Hong Kong. In his visitor’s book, he noted that there weren’t any good Mexican restaurants in the city. Shockingly, he was right. Maybe that was because all the best chefs had emigrated to the US, or Mexico was then too poor to afford good ingredients for its own cuisine, or whatever, I don’t know. But, in my experience, Americans have improved Mexican food. That’s what “fusion” cuisine is all about, and I love it.

“Authentic” food from backward places—whatever its merits—is often unsanitary, coarse, unreliably prepared, and made from often questionable local materials. I’ve eaten plenty around the world, and native cuisines are almost always greatly improved when they’re done over in America.

Let me hasten to add that I expect hate mail from Social Justice Warriors who occasionally troll this site, and believe anything from the primitive world is corrupted when it lands in the US. But I look forward to reading hate mail. It’s more amusing than watching Comedy Central.

Justin: It sounds like you made the right decision by relocating to Argentina. If this keeps up, I might have to follow in your footsteps.

Anyway, that’s all I got for you today. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me, Doug.

Doug: My pleasure, Justin.


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