Commentary

Reader: "I'm Embarrassed That This Fight Is Happening on Behalf of My Culture"

"For Pete's Sake," Patricia Calhoun, October 30

Illegal Procedure

Illegal Pete's in Fort Collins should unequivocally keep its name. As a Hispanic person whose family is comprised almost entirely of immigrants, I support the Illegal Pete's name and believe that the concerned citizens are misinterpreting the situation, fighting the wrong fight, and — if anything — doing more to damage perception of Hispanic culture by needlessly, incorrectly scandalizing a restaurant name.

Unlike the words "redskin" or "nigger," which have historically only been used as racial slurs, the word "illegal" has many applications and its positive or negative connotations are determined by context. In the context of the Illegal Pete's name, the connotations are not racial or ethnic.

Fort Collins immigration attorney and meeting moderator Kim Medina said that "social context is hugely important." Equally important is reading such context correctly. In this case, the objectors to the Illegal Pete's name are reading the context incorrectly and attempting to stage a fight based on their own error. If anything, that is the action that will create a negative perception of Hispanics, not the restaurant name.

As a Hispanic person, I am embarrassed that this fight is happening on behalf of my culture. Illegal Pete's has done nothing but serve good food and forge itself as one of the strongest supporters of arts and music in Colorado. That is the social context of Illegal Pete's.
A.M. Rix
Denver

This shows a few people have too much time on their hands. There are many, many much more important issues to fuss about.
Don Heldenbrand
Posted on Facebook

The only illegals are the white man who stole this land from Native America.
Aaron Gallegos
Posted on Facebook

I'm white, and Cracker Barrel doesn't bother me.
Deena Duncan
Posted on Facebook

"A Sporting Chance," Alan Prendergast, October 23

Ball's In Your Court

I was very moved by Alan Prendergast's cover story about the soccer team of young refugees. If only more people took the initiative that Jason Hicks has in coaching these kids. Thanks to Westword for sharing their story, and for showing us that there's still good news in this world!
Jayne Powers
Denver

Two stories about immigration, two very different levels of response. I wish all the people who are commenting about the Illegal Pete's controversy had read Alan Prendergast's story about the refugees who fought so hard to come to America and still need help now that they're here.
Danny Miles
Aurora