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Hispanic Community Livid Over Restaurant’s “Illegal” Name

Hispanic Community Livid Over Restaurant’s “Illegal” Name


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Illegal Pete’s Burritos has been subject controversy with Mexican neighbors, who have called the name offensive

Hispanic Community Livid Over Restaurant’s “Illegal” Name

Illegal Pete’s Burritos, a small Chipotle-style burrito chain in Colorado, has caused a stir over its name. For Pete Turner, who has owned the mini-chain since 1995, the name means “countercultural,” but for the large Hispanic population in Fort Collins, where Pete will be opening his newest restaurant, the name evokes a different and offensive connotation due to the controversy over illegal immigration in the U.S.

A crowd of concerned residents attended a town meeting in Fort Collins to implore the owner to change his restaurant’s name.

"Social context is hugely important," Fort Collins immigration attorney and meeting moderator Kim Medina said, according to the Coloradoan. "We'll never get to big issues, such as immigration reform, until we can solve these smaller issues of language."

The restaurant’s name was likened to a local business hanging a Confederate Flag in their window. Turner has not yet responded regarding whether or not he will change the name of his restaurant to placate the community, which is slated to open by November 13.

"This is all very near and dear to me," Turner said at the meeting. "I've helped pay for citizenship for some of my employees."

For the latest happenings in the food and drink world, visit our Food News page.

Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi


In Amarillo, a Mexican Restaurant Named “Big Beaners” Provokes Controversy

After complaints, the owner says he’s not changing the name or logo.

Last Thursday, I logged on to Facebook and saw a post that knocked me in the gut. It was an op-ed about a new Mexican restaurant in Amarillo named Big Beaners the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo is a racial slur with a long and ugly history. The restaurant&rsquos red-and-green sign also features a cartoonish kidney-bean mascot, complete with a handlebar mustache, sombrero, and pointy cowboy boots. Together, the name and logo have all the trappings of debasing caricature that has long stereotyped Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and their food&mdashfrom the term &ldquowetback&rdquo to the infamous &ldquo sleeping Mexican &rdquo image once used by Taco Bell and other restaurants .

The news had already caused a ruckus on Reddit , where some presumably Mexican American users wrote that the name didn&rsquot offend them, while others called it &ldquovery racist&rdquo and marveled, &ldquoThis can&rsquot be real.&rdquo In the op-ed I&rsquod seen on Facebook, Amarillo radio deejay Danny Wright wrote that he initially assumed the name was a joke. He asked, &ldquoWould you accept a store that sold swimsuits called Wetbacks? I think not.&rdquo Wright was referring to another demeaning term, one first used in print in 1920 by the New York Times . It was also used in the name for President Dwight D. Eisenhower&rsquos mid-fifties mass deportation of Mexicans, Operation Wetback .

Over the weekend, as people across the nation protested the death of yet another unarmed black man in police custody, things intensified. A Change.org petition calling for restaurant owner Jesse Quackenbush to change the name and logo popped up as of this writing, about 6,700 people had signed. Someone also broke windows at the restaurant, according to a Facebook post by Quackenbush, who told Texas Monthly that the restaurant is set to open on June 19.

To understand the controversy, it&rsquos worth taking a step back and learning about the history of &ldquobeaner.&rdquo The pejorative derives from the millennia-long importance of beans to the Mexican diet. While from the white American perspective beans are often seen as a poverty food, they&rsquore high in nutrition and are eaten by cultures across the globe. Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, traces &ldquobeaner&rdquo back to a 1965 story in the Detroit Free Press . I also found an early instance of the word in a 1979 Fort Worth Star-Telegram story , which acknowledged that it was in usage at the time: &ldquoNow &hellip the brown-skinned people are &lsquoconks&rsquo or &lsquobeaners&rsquo or aliens.&rdquo A 1985 AP article in the Tyler, Texas, Courier-Times mentioned Beaner, an epileptic pet bobcat from Mexico. Over the decades, though, the term fell out of favor.

&ldquoFrankly, if you call Mexicans a beaner, you&rsquore a seventy-year-old racist at this point,&rdquo Arellano said. &ldquoNow they just call you &lsquoillegal&rsquo or an &lsquoillegal alien.&rsquo&rdquo Unfortunately, &ldquobeaner&rdquo has made a comeback . In 2018, a man named Pedro visited a Los Angeles&ndasharea Starbucks. His coffees arrived with the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo written on both cup s. (Starbucks, which was already planning employee-bias training due to an unrelated incident, apologized.) And in January of last year, the New York Times used &ldquobeaner&rdquo as an answer in its crossword (the question was about baseball). The paper later ran an apology.

For Omar Lopez, who grew up in the Panhandle town of Wheeler and now lives in Amarillo, &ldquobeaner&rdquo calls to mind painful memories from junior high and high school. &ldquoIt is a term that me and other Mexicans around my school would get called by some racist white people [when] we got into arguments or [when] they wanted to be edgy. Same with &lsquowetback,&rsquo&rdquo says Lopez, who is the administrator for the Amarillo Progressives Facebook group. The page members are currently compiling a list of Latino-owned businesses Amarillo residents can support.

Big Beaners owner Jesse Quackenbush defended his choice of name and logo in a Facebook screed , noting that he&rsquod gotten some complaints. &ldquoI have no intention of changing the name or cowering to pressure from these troublemakers, most of whom are not even Hispanic,&rdquo Quackenbush wrote. He added that he&rsquod gotten a call from Abel Bosquez, president of the Amarillo chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), urging him to change the name. Quackenbush also said that Bosquez name-dropped LULAC and the Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. &ldquoHe had no intentions of listening or understanding, so I cut the conversation short by advising him and his alleged complainers to &lsquof&mdash off and go to Starbucks!&rsquo&rdquo Quackenbush wrote, adding, &ldquoAble [sic] Bosquez is nothing more than a self-serving, wannabe politician with the common sense of a shit fly.&rdquo


In Amarillo, a Mexican Restaurant Named “Big Beaners” Provokes Controversy

After complaints, the owner says he’s not changing the name or logo.

Last Thursday, I logged on to Facebook and saw a post that knocked me in the gut. It was an op-ed about a new Mexican restaurant in Amarillo named Big Beaners the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo is a racial slur with a long and ugly history. The restaurant&rsquos red-and-green sign also features a cartoonish kidney-bean mascot, complete with a handlebar mustache, sombrero, and pointy cowboy boots. Together, the name and logo have all the trappings of debasing caricature that has long stereotyped Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and their food&mdashfrom the term &ldquowetback&rdquo to the infamous &ldquo sleeping Mexican &rdquo image once used by Taco Bell and other restaurants .

The news had already caused a ruckus on Reddit , where some presumably Mexican American users wrote that the name didn&rsquot offend them, while others called it &ldquovery racist&rdquo and marveled, &ldquoThis can&rsquot be real.&rdquo In the op-ed I&rsquod seen on Facebook, Amarillo radio deejay Danny Wright wrote that he initially assumed the name was a joke. He asked, &ldquoWould you accept a store that sold swimsuits called Wetbacks? I think not.&rdquo Wright was referring to another demeaning term, one first used in print in 1920 by the New York Times . It was also used in the name for President Dwight D. Eisenhower&rsquos mid-fifties mass deportation of Mexicans, Operation Wetback .

Over the weekend, as people across the nation protested the death of yet another unarmed black man in police custody, things intensified. A Change.org petition calling for restaurant owner Jesse Quackenbush to change the name and logo popped up as of this writing, about 6,700 people had signed. Someone also broke windows at the restaurant, according to a Facebook post by Quackenbush, who told Texas Monthly that the restaurant is set to open on June 19.

To understand the controversy, it&rsquos worth taking a step back and learning about the history of &ldquobeaner.&rdquo The pejorative derives from the millennia-long importance of beans to the Mexican diet. While from the white American perspective beans are often seen as a poverty food, they&rsquore high in nutrition and are eaten by cultures across the globe. Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, traces &ldquobeaner&rdquo back to a 1965 story in the Detroit Free Press . I also found an early instance of the word in a 1979 Fort Worth Star-Telegram story , which acknowledged that it was in usage at the time: &ldquoNow &hellip the brown-skinned people are &lsquoconks&rsquo or &lsquobeaners&rsquo or aliens.&rdquo A 1985 AP article in the Tyler, Texas, Courier-Times mentioned Beaner, an epileptic pet bobcat from Mexico. Over the decades, though, the term fell out of favor.

&ldquoFrankly, if you call Mexicans a beaner, you&rsquore a seventy-year-old racist at this point,&rdquo Arellano said. &ldquoNow they just call you &lsquoillegal&rsquo or an &lsquoillegal alien.&rsquo&rdquo Unfortunately, &ldquobeaner&rdquo has made a comeback . In 2018, a man named Pedro visited a Los Angeles&ndasharea Starbucks. His coffees arrived with the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo written on both cup s. (Starbucks, which was already planning employee-bias training due to an unrelated incident, apologized.) And in January of last year, the New York Times used &ldquobeaner&rdquo as an answer in its crossword (the question was about baseball). The paper later ran an apology.

For Omar Lopez, who grew up in the Panhandle town of Wheeler and now lives in Amarillo, &ldquobeaner&rdquo calls to mind painful memories from junior high and high school. &ldquoIt is a term that me and other Mexicans around my school would get called by some racist white people [when] we got into arguments or [when] they wanted to be edgy. Same with &lsquowetback,&rsquo&rdquo says Lopez, who is the administrator for the Amarillo Progressives Facebook group. The page members are currently compiling a list of Latino-owned businesses Amarillo residents can support.

Big Beaners owner Jesse Quackenbush defended his choice of name and logo in a Facebook screed , noting that he&rsquod gotten some complaints. &ldquoI have no intention of changing the name or cowering to pressure from these troublemakers, most of whom are not even Hispanic,&rdquo Quackenbush wrote. He added that he&rsquod gotten a call from Abel Bosquez, president of the Amarillo chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), urging him to change the name. Quackenbush also said that Bosquez name-dropped LULAC and the Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. &ldquoHe had no intentions of listening or understanding, so I cut the conversation short by advising him and his alleged complainers to &lsquof&mdash off and go to Starbucks!&rsquo&rdquo Quackenbush wrote, adding, &ldquoAble [sic] Bosquez is nothing more than a self-serving, wannabe politician with the common sense of a shit fly.&rdquo


In Amarillo, a Mexican Restaurant Named “Big Beaners” Provokes Controversy

After complaints, the owner says he’s not changing the name or logo.

Last Thursday, I logged on to Facebook and saw a post that knocked me in the gut. It was an op-ed about a new Mexican restaurant in Amarillo named Big Beaners the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo is a racial slur with a long and ugly history. The restaurant&rsquos red-and-green sign also features a cartoonish kidney-bean mascot, complete with a handlebar mustache, sombrero, and pointy cowboy boots. Together, the name and logo have all the trappings of debasing caricature that has long stereotyped Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and their food&mdashfrom the term &ldquowetback&rdquo to the infamous &ldquo sleeping Mexican &rdquo image once used by Taco Bell and other restaurants .

The news had already caused a ruckus on Reddit , where some presumably Mexican American users wrote that the name didn&rsquot offend them, while others called it &ldquovery racist&rdquo and marveled, &ldquoThis can&rsquot be real.&rdquo In the op-ed I&rsquod seen on Facebook, Amarillo radio deejay Danny Wright wrote that he initially assumed the name was a joke. He asked, &ldquoWould you accept a store that sold swimsuits called Wetbacks? I think not.&rdquo Wright was referring to another demeaning term, one first used in print in 1920 by the New York Times . It was also used in the name for President Dwight D. Eisenhower&rsquos mid-fifties mass deportation of Mexicans, Operation Wetback .

Over the weekend, as people across the nation protested the death of yet another unarmed black man in police custody, things intensified. A Change.org petition calling for restaurant owner Jesse Quackenbush to change the name and logo popped up as of this writing, about 6,700 people had signed. Someone also broke windows at the restaurant, according to a Facebook post by Quackenbush, who told Texas Monthly that the restaurant is set to open on June 19.

To understand the controversy, it&rsquos worth taking a step back and learning about the history of &ldquobeaner.&rdquo The pejorative derives from the millennia-long importance of beans to the Mexican diet. While from the white American perspective beans are often seen as a poverty food, they&rsquore high in nutrition and are eaten by cultures across the globe. Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, traces &ldquobeaner&rdquo back to a 1965 story in the Detroit Free Press . I also found an early instance of the word in a 1979 Fort Worth Star-Telegram story , which acknowledged that it was in usage at the time: &ldquoNow &hellip the brown-skinned people are &lsquoconks&rsquo or &lsquobeaners&rsquo or aliens.&rdquo A 1985 AP article in the Tyler, Texas, Courier-Times mentioned Beaner, an epileptic pet bobcat from Mexico. Over the decades, though, the term fell out of favor.

&ldquoFrankly, if you call Mexicans a beaner, you&rsquore a seventy-year-old racist at this point,&rdquo Arellano said. &ldquoNow they just call you &lsquoillegal&rsquo or an &lsquoillegal alien.&rsquo&rdquo Unfortunately, &ldquobeaner&rdquo has made a comeback . In 2018, a man named Pedro visited a Los Angeles&ndasharea Starbucks. His coffees arrived with the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo written on both cup s. (Starbucks, which was already planning employee-bias training due to an unrelated incident, apologized.) And in January of last year, the New York Times used &ldquobeaner&rdquo as an answer in its crossword (the question was about baseball). The paper later ran an apology.

For Omar Lopez, who grew up in the Panhandle town of Wheeler and now lives in Amarillo, &ldquobeaner&rdquo calls to mind painful memories from junior high and high school. &ldquoIt is a term that me and other Mexicans around my school would get called by some racist white people [when] we got into arguments or [when] they wanted to be edgy. Same with &lsquowetback,&rsquo&rdquo says Lopez, who is the administrator for the Amarillo Progressives Facebook group. The page members are currently compiling a list of Latino-owned businesses Amarillo residents can support.

Big Beaners owner Jesse Quackenbush defended his choice of name and logo in a Facebook screed , noting that he&rsquod gotten some complaints. &ldquoI have no intention of changing the name or cowering to pressure from these troublemakers, most of whom are not even Hispanic,&rdquo Quackenbush wrote. He added that he&rsquod gotten a call from Abel Bosquez, president of the Amarillo chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), urging him to change the name. Quackenbush also said that Bosquez name-dropped LULAC and the Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. &ldquoHe had no intentions of listening or understanding, so I cut the conversation short by advising him and his alleged complainers to &lsquof&mdash off and go to Starbucks!&rsquo&rdquo Quackenbush wrote, adding, &ldquoAble [sic] Bosquez is nothing more than a self-serving, wannabe politician with the common sense of a shit fly.&rdquo


In Amarillo, a Mexican Restaurant Named “Big Beaners” Provokes Controversy

After complaints, the owner says he’s not changing the name or logo.

Last Thursday, I logged on to Facebook and saw a post that knocked me in the gut. It was an op-ed about a new Mexican restaurant in Amarillo named Big Beaners the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo is a racial slur with a long and ugly history. The restaurant&rsquos red-and-green sign also features a cartoonish kidney-bean mascot, complete with a handlebar mustache, sombrero, and pointy cowboy boots. Together, the name and logo have all the trappings of debasing caricature that has long stereotyped Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and their food&mdashfrom the term &ldquowetback&rdquo to the infamous &ldquo sleeping Mexican &rdquo image once used by Taco Bell and other restaurants .

The news had already caused a ruckus on Reddit , where some presumably Mexican American users wrote that the name didn&rsquot offend them, while others called it &ldquovery racist&rdquo and marveled, &ldquoThis can&rsquot be real.&rdquo In the op-ed I&rsquod seen on Facebook, Amarillo radio deejay Danny Wright wrote that he initially assumed the name was a joke. He asked, &ldquoWould you accept a store that sold swimsuits called Wetbacks? I think not.&rdquo Wright was referring to another demeaning term, one first used in print in 1920 by the New York Times . It was also used in the name for President Dwight D. Eisenhower&rsquos mid-fifties mass deportation of Mexicans, Operation Wetback .

Over the weekend, as people across the nation protested the death of yet another unarmed black man in police custody, things intensified. A Change.org petition calling for restaurant owner Jesse Quackenbush to change the name and logo popped up as of this writing, about 6,700 people had signed. Someone also broke windows at the restaurant, according to a Facebook post by Quackenbush, who told Texas Monthly that the restaurant is set to open on June 19.

To understand the controversy, it&rsquos worth taking a step back and learning about the history of &ldquobeaner.&rdquo The pejorative derives from the millennia-long importance of beans to the Mexican diet. While from the white American perspective beans are often seen as a poverty food, they&rsquore high in nutrition and are eaten by cultures across the globe. Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, traces &ldquobeaner&rdquo back to a 1965 story in the Detroit Free Press . I also found an early instance of the word in a 1979 Fort Worth Star-Telegram story , which acknowledged that it was in usage at the time: &ldquoNow &hellip the brown-skinned people are &lsquoconks&rsquo or &lsquobeaners&rsquo or aliens.&rdquo A 1985 AP article in the Tyler, Texas, Courier-Times mentioned Beaner, an epileptic pet bobcat from Mexico. Over the decades, though, the term fell out of favor.

&ldquoFrankly, if you call Mexicans a beaner, you&rsquore a seventy-year-old racist at this point,&rdquo Arellano said. &ldquoNow they just call you &lsquoillegal&rsquo or an &lsquoillegal alien.&rsquo&rdquo Unfortunately, &ldquobeaner&rdquo has made a comeback . In 2018, a man named Pedro visited a Los Angeles&ndasharea Starbucks. His coffees arrived with the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo written on both cup s. (Starbucks, which was already planning employee-bias training due to an unrelated incident, apologized.) And in January of last year, the New York Times used &ldquobeaner&rdquo as an answer in its crossword (the question was about baseball). The paper later ran an apology.

For Omar Lopez, who grew up in the Panhandle town of Wheeler and now lives in Amarillo, &ldquobeaner&rdquo calls to mind painful memories from junior high and high school. &ldquoIt is a term that me and other Mexicans around my school would get called by some racist white people [when] we got into arguments or [when] they wanted to be edgy. Same with &lsquowetback,&rsquo&rdquo says Lopez, who is the administrator for the Amarillo Progressives Facebook group. The page members are currently compiling a list of Latino-owned businesses Amarillo residents can support.

Big Beaners owner Jesse Quackenbush defended his choice of name and logo in a Facebook screed , noting that he&rsquod gotten some complaints. &ldquoI have no intention of changing the name or cowering to pressure from these troublemakers, most of whom are not even Hispanic,&rdquo Quackenbush wrote. He added that he&rsquod gotten a call from Abel Bosquez, president of the Amarillo chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), urging him to change the name. Quackenbush also said that Bosquez name-dropped LULAC and the Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. &ldquoHe had no intentions of listening or understanding, so I cut the conversation short by advising him and his alleged complainers to &lsquof&mdash off and go to Starbucks!&rsquo&rdquo Quackenbush wrote, adding, &ldquoAble [sic] Bosquez is nothing more than a self-serving, wannabe politician with the common sense of a shit fly.&rdquo


In Amarillo, a Mexican Restaurant Named “Big Beaners” Provokes Controversy

After complaints, the owner says he’s not changing the name or logo.

Last Thursday, I logged on to Facebook and saw a post that knocked me in the gut. It was an op-ed about a new Mexican restaurant in Amarillo named Big Beaners the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo is a racial slur with a long and ugly history. The restaurant&rsquos red-and-green sign also features a cartoonish kidney-bean mascot, complete with a handlebar mustache, sombrero, and pointy cowboy boots. Together, the name and logo have all the trappings of debasing caricature that has long stereotyped Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and their food&mdashfrom the term &ldquowetback&rdquo to the infamous &ldquo sleeping Mexican &rdquo image once used by Taco Bell and other restaurants .

The news had already caused a ruckus on Reddit , where some presumably Mexican American users wrote that the name didn&rsquot offend them, while others called it &ldquovery racist&rdquo and marveled, &ldquoThis can&rsquot be real.&rdquo In the op-ed I&rsquod seen on Facebook, Amarillo radio deejay Danny Wright wrote that he initially assumed the name was a joke. He asked, &ldquoWould you accept a store that sold swimsuits called Wetbacks? I think not.&rdquo Wright was referring to another demeaning term, one first used in print in 1920 by the New York Times . It was also used in the name for President Dwight D. Eisenhower&rsquos mid-fifties mass deportation of Mexicans, Operation Wetback .

Over the weekend, as people across the nation protested the death of yet another unarmed black man in police custody, things intensified. A Change.org petition calling for restaurant owner Jesse Quackenbush to change the name and logo popped up as of this writing, about 6,700 people had signed. Someone also broke windows at the restaurant, according to a Facebook post by Quackenbush, who told Texas Monthly that the restaurant is set to open on June 19.

To understand the controversy, it&rsquos worth taking a step back and learning about the history of &ldquobeaner.&rdquo The pejorative derives from the millennia-long importance of beans to the Mexican diet. While from the white American perspective beans are often seen as a poverty food, they&rsquore high in nutrition and are eaten by cultures across the globe. Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, traces &ldquobeaner&rdquo back to a 1965 story in the Detroit Free Press . I also found an early instance of the word in a 1979 Fort Worth Star-Telegram story , which acknowledged that it was in usage at the time: &ldquoNow &hellip the brown-skinned people are &lsquoconks&rsquo or &lsquobeaners&rsquo or aliens.&rdquo A 1985 AP article in the Tyler, Texas, Courier-Times mentioned Beaner, an epileptic pet bobcat from Mexico. Over the decades, though, the term fell out of favor.

&ldquoFrankly, if you call Mexicans a beaner, you&rsquore a seventy-year-old racist at this point,&rdquo Arellano said. &ldquoNow they just call you &lsquoillegal&rsquo or an &lsquoillegal alien.&rsquo&rdquo Unfortunately, &ldquobeaner&rdquo has made a comeback . In 2018, a man named Pedro visited a Los Angeles&ndasharea Starbucks. His coffees arrived with the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo written on both cup s. (Starbucks, which was already planning employee-bias training due to an unrelated incident, apologized.) And in January of last year, the New York Times used &ldquobeaner&rdquo as an answer in its crossword (the question was about baseball). The paper later ran an apology.

For Omar Lopez, who grew up in the Panhandle town of Wheeler and now lives in Amarillo, &ldquobeaner&rdquo calls to mind painful memories from junior high and high school. &ldquoIt is a term that me and other Mexicans around my school would get called by some racist white people [when] we got into arguments or [when] they wanted to be edgy. Same with &lsquowetback,&rsquo&rdquo says Lopez, who is the administrator for the Amarillo Progressives Facebook group. The page members are currently compiling a list of Latino-owned businesses Amarillo residents can support.

Big Beaners owner Jesse Quackenbush defended his choice of name and logo in a Facebook screed , noting that he&rsquod gotten some complaints. &ldquoI have no intention of changing the name or cowering to pressure from these troublemakers, most of whom are not even Hispanic,&rdquo Quackenbush wrote. He added that he&rsquod gotten a call from Abel Bosquez, president of the Amarillo chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), urging him to change the name. Quackenbush also said that Bosquez name-dropped LULAC and the Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. &ldquoHe had no intentions of listening or understanding, so I cut the conversation short by advising him and his alleged complainers to &lsquof&mdash off and go to Starbucks!&rsquo&rdquo Quackenbush wrote, adding, &ldquoAble [sic] Bosquez is nothing more than a self-serving, wannabe politician with the common sense of a shit fly.&rdquo


In Amarillo, a Mexican Restaurant Named “Big Beaners” Provokes Controversy

After complaints, the owner says he’s not changing the name or logo.

Last Thursday, I logged on to Facebook and saw a post that knocked me in the gut. It was an op-ed about a new Mexican restaurant in Amarillo named Big Beaners the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo is a racial slur with a long and ugly history. The restaurant&rsquos red-and-green sign also features a cartoonish kidney-bean mascot, complete with a handlebar mustache, sombrero, and pointy cowboy boots. Together, the name and logo have all the trappings of debasing caricature that has long stereotyped Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and their food&mdashfrom the term &ldquowetback&rdquo to the infamous &ldquo sleeping Mexican &rdquo image once used by Taco Bell and other restaurants .

The news had already caused a ruckus on Reddit , where some presumably Mexican American users wrote that the name didn&rsquot offend them, while others called it &ldquovery racist&rdquo and marveled, &ldquoThis can&rsquot be real.&rdquo In the op-ed I&rsquod seen on Facebook, Amarillo radio deejay Danny Wright wrote that he initially assumed the name was a joke. He asked, &ldquoWould you accept a store that sold swimsuits called Wetbacks? I think not.&rdquo Wright was referring to another demeaning term, one first used in print in 1920 by the New York Times . It was also used in the name for President Dwight D. Eisenhower&rsquos mid-fifties mass deportation of Mexicans, Operation Wetback .

Over the weekend, as people across the nation protested the death of yet another unarmed black man in police custody, things intensified. A Change.org petition calling for restaurant owner Jesse Quackenbush to change the name and logo popped up as of this writing, about 6,700 people had signed. Someone also broke windows at the restaurant, according to a Facebook post by Quackenbush, who told Texas Monthly that the restaurant is set to open on June 19.

To understand the controversy, it&rsquos worth taking a step back and learning about the history of &ldquobeaner.&rdquo The pejorative derives from the millennia-long importance of beans to the Mexican diet. While from the white American perspective beans are often seen as a poverty food, they&rsquore high in nutrition and are eaten by cultures across the globe. Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, traces &ldquobeaner&rdquo back to a 1965 story in the Detroit Free Press . I also found an early instance of the word in a 1979 Fort Worth Star-Telegram story , which acknowledged that it was in usage at the time: &ldquoNow &hellip the brown-skinned people are &lsquoconks&rsquo or &lsquobeaners&rsquo or aliens.&rdquo A 1985 AP article in the Tyler, Texas, Courier-Times mentioned Beaner, an epileptic pet bobcat from Mexico. Over the decades, though, the term fell out of favor.

&ldquoFrankly, if you call Mexicans a beaner, you&rsquore a seventy-year-old racist at this point,&rdquo Arellano said. &ldquoNow they just call you &lsquoillegal&rsquo or an &lsquoillegal alien.&rsquo&rdquo Unfortunately, &ldquobeaner&rdquo has made a comeback . In 2018, a man named Pedro visited a Los Angeles&ndasharea Starbucks. His coffees arrived with the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo written on both cup s. (Starbucks, which was already planning employee-bias training due to an unrelated incident, apologized.) And in January of last year, the New York Times used &ldquobeaner&rdquo as an answer in its crossword (the question was about baseball). The paper later ran an apology.

For Omar Lopez, who grew up in the Panhandle town of Wheeler and now lives in Amarillo, &ldquobeaner&rdquo calls to mind painful memories from junior high and high school. &ldquoIt is a term that me and other Mexicans around my school would get called by some racist white people [when] we got into arguments or [when] they wanted to be edgy. Same with &lsquowetback,&rsquo&rdquo says Lopez, who is the administrator for the Amarillo Progressives Facebook group. The page members are currently compiling a list of Latino-owned businesses Amarillo residents can support.

Big Beaners owner Jesse Quackenbush defended his choice of name and logo in a Facebook screed , noting that he&rsquod gotten some complaints. &ldquoI have no intention of changing the name or cowering to pressure from these troublemakers, most of whom are not even Hispanic,&rdquo Quackenbush wrote. He added that he&rsquod gotten a call from Abel Bosquez, president of the Amarillo chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), urging him to change the name. Quackenbush also said that Bosquez name-dropped LULAC and the Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. &ldquoHe had no intentions of listening or understanding, so I cut the conversation short by advising him and his alleged complainers to &lsquof&mdash off and go to Starbucks!&rsquo&rdquo Quackenbush wrote, adding, &ldquoAble [sic] Bosquez is nothing more than a self-serving, wannabe politician with the common sense of a shit fly.&rdquo


In Amarillo, a Mexican Restaurant Named “Big Beaners” Provokes Controversy

After complaints, the owner says he’s not changing the name or logo.

Last Thursday, I logged on to Facebook and saw a post that knocked me in the gut. It was an op-ed about a new Mexican restaurant in Amarillo named Big Beaners the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo is a racial slur with a long and ugly history. The restaurant&rsquos red-and-green sign also features a cartoonish kidney-bean mascot, complete with a handlebar mustache, sombrero, and pointy cowboy boots. Together, the name and logo have all the trappings of debasing caricature that has long stereotyped Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and their food&mdashfrom the term &ldquowetback&rdquo to the infamous &ldquo sleeping Mexican &rdquo image once used by Taco Bell and other restaurants .

The news had already caused a ruckus on Reddit , where some presumably Mexican American users wrote that the name didn&rsquot offend them, while others called it &ldquovery racist&rdquo and marveled, &ldquoThis can&rsquot be real.&rdquo In the op-ed I&rsquod seen on Facebook, Amarillo radio deejay Danny Wright wrote that he initially assumed the name was a joke. He asked, &ldquoWould you accept a store that sold swimsuits called Wetbacks? I think not.&rdquo Wright was referring to another demeaning term, one first used in print in 1920 by the New York Times . It was also used in the name for President Dwight D. Eisenhower&rsquos mid-fifties mass deportation of Mexicans, Operation Wetback .

Over the weekend, as people across the nation protested the death of yet another unarmed black man in police custody, things intensified. A Change.org petition calling for restaurant owner Jesse Quackenbush to change the name and logo popped up as of this writing, about 6,700 people had signed. Someone also broke windows at the restaurant, according to a Facebook post by Quackenbush, who told Texas Monthly that the restaurant is set to open on June 19.

To understand the controversy, it&rsquos worth taking a step back and learning about the history of &ldquobeaner.&rdquo The pejorative derives from the millennia-long importance of beans to the Mexican diet. While from the white American perspective beans are often seen as a poverty food, they&rsquore high in nutrition and are eaten by cultures across the globe. Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, traces &ldquobeaner&rdquo back to a 1965 story in the Detroit Free Press . I also found an early instance of the word in a 1979 Fort Worth Star-Telegram story , which acknowledged that it was in usage at the time: &ldquoNow &hellip the brown-skinned people are &lsquoconks&rsquo or &lsquobeaners&rsquo or aliens.&rdquo A 1985 AP article in the Tyler, Texas, Courier-Times mentioned Beaner, an epileptic pet bobcat from Mexico. Over the decades, though, the term fell out of favor.

&ldquoFrankly, if you call Mexicans a beaner, you&rsquore a seventy-year-old racist at this point,&rdquo Arellano said. &ldquoNow they just call you &lsquoillegal&rsquo or an &lsquoillegal alien.&rsquo&rdquo Unfortunately, &ldquobeaner&rdquo has made a comeback . In 2018, a man named Pedro visited a Los Angeles&ndasharea Starbucks. His coffees arrived with the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo written on both cup s. (Starbucks, which was already planning employee-bias training due to an unrelated incident, apologized.) And in January of last year, the New York Times used &ldquobeaner&rdquo as an answer in its crossword (the question was about baseball). The paper later ran an apology.

For Omar Lopez, who grew up in the Panhandle town of Wheeler and now lives in Amarillo, &ldquobeaner&rdquo calls to mind painful memories from junior high and high school. &ldquoIt is a term that me and other Mexicans around my school would get called by some racist white people [when] we got into arguments or [when] they wanted to be edgy. Same with &lsquowetback,&rsquo&rdquo says Lopez, who is the administrator for the Amarillo Progressives Facebook group. The page members are currently compiling a list of Latino-owned businesses Amarillo residents can support.

Big Beaners owner Jesse Quackenbush defended his choice of name and logo in a Facebook screed , noting that he&rsquod gotten some complaints. &ldquoI have no intention of changing the name or cowering to pressure from these troublemakers, most of whom are not even Hispanic,&rdquo Quackenbush wrote. He added that he&rsquod gotten a call from Abel Bosquez, president of the Amarillo chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), urging him to change the name. Quackenbush also said that Bosquez name-dropped LULAC and the Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. &ldquoHe had no intentions of listening or understanding, so I cut the conversation short by advising him and his alleged complainers to &lsquof&mdash off and go to Starbucks!&rsquo&rdquo Quackenbush wrote, adding, &ldquoAble [sic] Bosquez is nothing more than a self-serving, wannabe politician with the common sense of a shit fly.&rdquo


In Amarillo, a Mexican Restaurant Named “Big Beaners” Provokes Controversy

After complaints, the owner says he’s not changing the name or logo.

Last Thursday, I logged on to Facebook and saw a post that knocked me in the gut. It was an op-ed about a new Mexican restaurant in Amarillo named Big Beaners the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo is a racial slur with a long and ugly history. The restaurant&rsquos red-and-green sign also features a cartoonish kidney-bean mascot, complete with a handlebar mustache, sombrero, and pointy cowboy boots. Together, the name and logo have all the trappings of debasing caricature that has long stereotyped Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and their food&mdashfrom the term &ldquowetback&rdquo to the infamous &ldquo sleeping Mexican &rdquo image once used by Taco Bell and other restaurants .

The news had already caused a ruckus on Reddit , where some presumably Mexican American users wrote that the name didn&rsquot offend them, while others called it &ldquovery racist&rdquo and marveled, &ldquoThis can&rsquot be real.&rdquo In the op-ed I&rsquod seen on Facebook, Amarillo radio deejay Danny Wright wrote that he initially assumed the name was a joke. He asked, &ldquoWould you accept a store that sold swimsuits called Wetbacks? I think not.&rdquo Wright was referring to another demeaning term, one first used in print in 1920 by the New York Times . It was also used in the name for President Dwight D. Eisenhower&rsquos mid-fifties mass deportation of Mexicans, Operation Wetback .

Over the weekend, as people across the nation protested the death of yet another unarmed black man in police custody, things intensified. A Change.org petition calling for restaurant owner Jesse Quackenbush to change the name and logo popped up as of this writing, about 6,700 people had signed. Someone also broke windows at the restaurant, according to a Facebook post by Quackenbush, who told Texas Monthly that the restaurant is set to open on June 19.

To understand the controversy, it&rsquos worth taking a step back and learning about the history of &ldquobeaner.&rdquo The pejorative derives from the millennia-long importance of beans to the Mexican diet. While from the white American perspective beans are often seen as a poverty food, they&rsquore high in nutrition and are eaten by cultures across the globe. Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, traces &ldquobeaner&rdquo back to a 1965 story in the Detroit Free Press . I also found an early instance of the word in a 1979 Fort Worth Star-Telegram story , which acknowledged that it was in usage at the time: &ldquoNow &hellip the brown-skinned people are &lsquoconks&rsquo or &lsquobeaners&rsquo or aliens.&rdquo A 1985 AP article in the Tyler, Texas, Courier-Times mentioned Beaner, an epileptic pet bobcat from Mexico. Over the decades, though, the term fell out of favor.

&ldquoFrankly, if you call Mexicans a beaner, you&rsquore a seventy-year-old racist at this point,&rdquo Arellano said. &ldquoNow they just call you &lsquoillegal&rsquo or an &lsquoillegal alien.&rsquo&rdquo Unfortunately, &ldquobeaner&rdquo has made a comeback . In 2018, a man named Pedro visited a Los Angeles&ndasharea Starbucks. His coffees arrived with the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo written on both cup s. (Starbucks, which was already planning employee-bias training due to an unrelated incident, apologized.) And in January of last year, the New York Times used &ldquobeaner&rdquo as an answer in its crossword (the question was about baseball). The paper later ran an apology.

For Omar Lopez, who grew up in the Panhandle town of Wheeler and now lives in Amarillo, &ldquobeaner&rdquo calls to mind painful memories from junior high and high school. &ldquoIt is a term that me and other Mexicans around my school would get called by some racist white people [when] we got into arguments or [when] they wanted to be edgy. Same with &lsquowetback,&rsquo&rdquo says Lopez, who is the administrator for the Amarillo Progressives Facebook group. The page members are currently compiling a list of Latino-owned businesses Amarillo residents can support.

Big Beaners owner Jesse Quackenbush defended his choice of name and logo in a Facebook screed , noting that he&rsquod gotten some complaints. &ldquoI have no intention of changing the name or cowering to pressure from these troublemakers, most of whom are not even Hispanic,&rdquo Quackenbush wrote. He added that he&rsquod gotten a call from Abel Bosquez, president of the Amarillo chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), urging him to change the name. Quackenbush also said that Bosquez name-dropped LULAC and the Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. &ldquoHe had no intentions of listening or understanding, so I cut the conversation short by advising him and his alleged complainers to &lsquof&mdash off and go to Starbucks!&rsquo&rdquo Quackenbush wrote, adding, &ldquoAble [sic] Bosquez is nothing more than a self-serving, wannabe politician with the common sense of a shit fly.&rdquo


In Amarillo, a Mexican Restaurant Named “Big Beaners” Provokes Controversy

After complaints, the owner says he’s not changing the name or logo.

Last Thursday, I logged on to Facebook and saw a post that knocked me in the gut. It was an op-ed about a new Mexican restaurant in Amarillo named Big Beaners the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo is a racial slur with a long and ugly history. The restaurant&rsquos red-and-green sign also features a cartoonish kidney-bean mascot, complete with a handlebar mustache, sombrero, and pointy cowboy boots. Together, the name and logo have all the trappings of debasing caricature that has long stereotyped Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and their food&mdashfrom the term &ldquowetback&rdquo to the infamous &ldquo sleeping Mexican &rdquo image once used by Taco Bell and other restaurants .

The news had already caused a ruckus on Reddit , where some presumably Mexican American users wrote that the name didn&rsquot offend them, while others called it &ldquovery racist&rdquo and marveled, &ldquoThis can&rsquot be real.&rdquo In the op-ed I&rsquod seen on Facebook, Amarillo radio deejay Danny Wright wrote that he initially assumed the name was a joke. He asked, &ldquoWould you accept a store that sold swimsuits called Wetbacks? I think not.&rdquo Wright was referring to another demeaning term, one first used in print in 1920 by the New York Times . It was also used in the name for President Dwight D. Eisenhower&rsquos mid-fifties mass deportation of Mexicans, Operation Wetback .

Over the weekend, as people across the nation protested the death of yet another unarmed black man in police custody, things intensified. A Change.org petition calling for restaurant owner Jesse Quackenbush to change the name and logo popped up as of this writing, about 6,700 people had signed. Someone also broke windows at the restaurant, according to a Facebook post by Quackenbush, who told Texas Monthly that the restaurant is set to open on June 19.

To understand the controversy, it&rsquos worth taking a step back and learning about the history of &ldquobeaner.&rdquo The pejorative derives from the millennia-long importance of beans to the Mexican diet. While from the white American perspective beans are often seen as a poverty food, they&rsquore high in nutrition and are eaten by cultures across the globe. Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, traces &ldquobeaner&rdquo back to a 1965 story in the Detroit Free Press . I also found an early instance of the word in a 1979 Fort Worth Star-Telegram story , which acknowledged that it was in usage at the time: &ldquoNow &hellip the brown-skinned people are &lsquoconks&rsquo or &lsquobeaners&rsquo or aliens.&rdquo A 1985 AP article in the Tyler, Texas, Courier-Times mentioned Beaner, an epileptic pet bobcat from Mexico. Over the decades, though, the term fell out of favor.

&ldquoFrankly, if you call Mexicans a beaner, you&rsquore a seventy-year-old racist at this point,&rdquo Arellano said. &ldquoNow they just call you &lsquoillegal&rsquo or an &lsquoillegal alien.&rsquo&rdquo Unfortunately, &ldquobeaner&rdquo has made a comeback . In 2018, a man named Pedro visited a Los Angeles&ndasharea Starbucks. His coffees arrived with the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo written on both cup s. (Starbucks, which was already planning employee-bias training due to an unrelated incident, apologized.) And in January of last year, the New York Times used &ldquobeaner&rdquo as an answer in its crossword (the question was about baseball). The paper later ran an apology.

For Omar Lopez, who grew up in the Panhandle town of Wheeler and now lives in Amarillo, &ldquobeaner&rdquo calls to mind painful memories from junior high and high school. &ldquoIt is a term that me and other Mexicans around my school would get called by some racist white people [when] we got into arguments or [when] they wanted to be edgy. Same with &lsquowetback,&rsquo&rdquo says Lopez, who is the administrator for the Amarillo Progressives Facebook group. The page members are currently compiling a list of Latino-owned businesses Amarillo residents can support.

Big Beaners owner Jesse Quackenbush defended his choice of name and logo in a Facebook screed , noting that he&rsquod gotten some complaints. &ldquoI have no intention of changing the name or cowering to pressure from these troublemakers, most of whom are not even Hispanic,&rdquo Quackenbush wrote. He added that he&rsquod gotten a call from Abel Bosquez, president of the Amarillo chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), urging him to change the name. Quackenbush also said that Bosquez name-dropped LULAC and the Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. &ldquoHe had no intentions of listening or understanding, so I cut the conversation short by advising him and his alleged complainers to &lsquof&mdash off and go to Starbucks!&rsquo&rdquo Quackenbush wrote, adding, &ldquoAble [sic] Bosquez is nothing more than a self-serving, wannabe politician with the common sense of a shit fly.&rdquo


In Amarillo, a Mexican Restaurant Named “Big Beaners” Provokes Controversy

After complaints, the owner says he’s not changing the name or logo.

Last Thursday, I logged on to Facebook and saw a post that knocked me in the gut. It was an op-ed about a new Mexican restaurant in Amarillo named Big Beaners the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo is a racial slur with a long and ugly history. The restaurant&rsquos red-and-green sign also features a cartoonish kidney-bean mascot, complete with a handlebar mustache, sombrero, and pointy cowboy boots. Together, the name and logo have all the trappings of debasing caricature that has long stereotyped Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and their food&mdashfrom the term &ldquowetback&rdquo to the infamous &ldquo sleeping Mexican &rdquo image once used by Taco Bell and other restaurants .

The news had already caused a ruckus on Reddit , where some presumably Mexican American users wrote that the name didn&rsquot offend them, while others called it &ldquovery racist&rdquo and marveled, &ldquoThis can&rsquot be real.&rdquo In the op-ed I&rsquod seen on Facebook, Amarillo radio deejay Danny Wright wrote that he initially assumed the name was a joke. He asked, &ldquoWould you accept a store that sold swimsuits called Wetbacks? I think not.&rdquo Wright was referring to another demeaning term, one first used in print in 1920 by the New York Times . It was also used in the name for President Dwight D. Eisenhower&rsquos mid-fifties mass deportation of Mexicans, Operation Wetback .

Over the weekend, as people across the nation protested the death of yet another unarmed black man in police custody, things intensified. A Change.org petition calling for restaurant owner Jesse Quackenbush to change the name and logo popped up as of this writing, about 6,700 people had signed. Someone also broke windows at the restaurant, according to a Facebook post by Quackenbush, who told Texas Monthly that the restaurant is set to open on June 19.

To understand the controversy, it&rsquos worth taking a step back and learning about the history of &ldquobeaner.&rdquo The pejorative derives from the millennia-long importance of beans to the Mexican diet. While from the white American perspective beans are often seen as a poverty food, they&rsquore high in nutrition and are eaten by cultures across the globe. Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, traces &ldquobeaner&rdquo back to a 1965 story in the Detroit Free Press . I also found an early instance of the word in a 1979 Fort Worth Star-Telegram story , which acknowledged that it was in usage at the time: &ldquoNow &hellip the brown-skinned people are &lsquoconks&rsquo or &lsquobeaners&rsquo or aliens.&rdquo A 1985 AP article in the Tyler, Texas, Courier-Times mentioned Beaner, an epileptic pet bobcat from Mexico. Over the decades, though, the term fell out of favor.

&ldquoFrankly, if you call Mexicans a beaner, you&rsquore a seventy-year-old racist at this point,&rdquo Arellano said. &ldquoNow they just call you &lsquoillegal&rsquo or an &lsquoillegal alien.&rsquo&rdquo Unfortunately, &ldquobeaner&rdquo has made a comeback . In 2018, a man named Pedro visited a Los Angeles&ndasharea Starbucks. His coffees arrived with the word &ldquobeaner&rdquo written on both cup s. (Starbucks, which was already planning employee-bias training due to an unrelated incident, apologized.) And in January of last year, the New York Times used &ldquobeaner&rdquo as an answer in its crossword (the question was about baseball). The paper later ran an apology.

For Omar Lopez, who grew up in the Panhandle town of Wheeler and now lives in Amarillo, &ldquobeaner&rdquo calls to mind painful memories from junior high and high school. &ldquoIt is a term that me and other Mexicans around my school would get called by some racist white people [when] we got into arguments or [when] they wanted to be edgy. Same with &lsquowetback,&rsquo&rdquo says Lopez, who is the administrator for the Amarillo Progressives Facebook group. The page members are currently compiling a list of Latino-owned businesses Amarillo residents can support.

Big Beaners owner Jesse Quackenbush defended his choice of name and logo in a Facebook screed , noting that he&rsquod gotten some complaints. &ldquoI have no intention of changing the name or cowering to pressure from these troublemakers, most of whom are not even Hispanic,&rdquo Quackenbush wrote. He added that he&rsquod gotten a call from Abel Bosquez, president of the Amarillo chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), urging him to change the name. Quackenbush also said that Bosquez name-dropped LULAC and the Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. &ldquoHe had no intentions of listening or understanding, so I cut the conversation short by advising him and his alleged complainers to &lsquof&mdash off and go to Starbucks!&rsquo&rdquo Quackenbush wrote, adding, &ldquoAble [sic] Bosquez is nothing more than a self-serving, wannabe politician with the common sense of a shit fly.&rdquo


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