I’ve been out of town for the past few days, but have tried to respond to the comments on my last post objecting to the name of the restaurant “Illegal Pete’s.” After reading the comments, I suspect that those readers and others might appreciate seeing the following links to give you an idea of how the conversation is unfolding. I’ve posted them in chronological order.
These are in addition to other relevant links I included in the comments section of my last post. Please take a look at those, too.
- a reprint of Antero Garcia’s open letter to Pete Turner on 10/19 expressing concern about the restaurant’s name. The letter first appeared on his blog, The American Crawl. You can also read his subsequent posts on the topic there.
- A brief editorial by the Denver Post editorial board on 10/23
- A 10/24 news article covering the original meeting with Illegal Pete’s from The Coloradoan, Fort Collins’s local newspaper
- A 10/24 article by the Denver Post reporting on hate calls received by Mr. Turner and by the law office of Kim Medina, the immigration lawyer who facilitated the meeting last week
- Video and print coverage on CBSNews Denver on 10/25 that captures responses made after the meeting by Mr. Turner and Cheryl Distaso, coordinator of the social justice nonprofit Fort Collins Community Action Network
- A 10/27 opinion piece by Erin Stephenson, a publishing editor of The Coloradoan
I haven’t included other links that are word-for-word reprints of the 10/24 Coloradoan article. Although these have appeared in several news outlets and on blogs, they don’t add new content.
Having attended the meeting last Wednesday, I was disappointed in the Coloradoan’s coverage because it bore little resemblance to the civil, thoughtful dialogue I witnessed taking place between Mr. Turner and my CSU colleagues, our students, and Fort Collins community members. Quotations were stripped of the context in which they were uttered, making them sound unduly inflammatory. For instance, a reference to Mr. Turner’s discomfort made by the person of color was actually made in response to Mr. Turner’s own opening remarks. It was part of a larger conversation that acknowledged Mr. Turner’s contributions to the community.
Language matters. That was the point of the meeting in the first place. The Coloradoan’s report is getting taken up by other news outlets, so it’s important that our local news source gets it right. Hopefully that will happen as the conversation continues to unfold.