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I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a chef friend from Portland, Oregon. For those not keeping up with the current cannibalism of Portland’s food community, it is engaged in an intramural suicide mission, “You can’t cancel me if I cancel you first.”
The names of the purportedly guilty are posted daily in the public square, aka, the once-adorable/now-abominable website Eater.

Sometimes, however, people can hear in advance the knives being sharpened.
My friend did, and contacted the key knife sharpener, demanding to know what evidence the sharpener had. The sharpener mentioned racism, misogyny, an allusion to fat-shaming, and then, with each claim stamped out, resorted to saying the conversation made her feel “unsafe.”
My friend did not counter, you mean as unsafe as someone having the business he’s built for fifteen years atomized overnight? He did not need to. He demanded receipts *before* his scheduled execution, and the executioner caved.
Which was really is no thing, not with the bulk of others on the block conceding, hiring PR, submitting to extortion, anything to get the untold numbers of people standing on their throats to get off.
It’s too much to hope that they might salvage anything of their businesses or reputations; what kind of pie-in-the-sky is that? But maybe just a little crumb, a little shred of dignity, a way to pay the mortgage, the kid’s school, the years of mental health help…
Nope! The answer comes back. These you shall not have. You shall have nothing, less than nothing.
The historically marginalized people whose labor you’ve profited from have, in essence, had oil leaking from their cars *for years*, and you have the temerity to complain about having your car blown up with you in it?
It’s the least you fucking deserve; this restaurant, this city, is ours now.
Good luck, Portland.
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