During this time of racial unrest, it is utterly obscene for a local attorney to add to the instability. Jesse Quakenbush is determined to open a restaurant that deepens social tension among Mexican-Americans in Amarillo. That social tension is getting statewide press in the media.

Again, the views I express are those of my own and not of Townsquare Media. While some are bothered and others are not, we know right from wrong, and when something is wrong we must speak up. 


Perhaps that is Big Beaners intention? I hope not, using racial insensitivity to gain promotion or financial gain is reprehensible. The outrage has even deepened as Quackenbush has degraded the LGBTQ community in scathing social media rants. I honestly don’t understand his humanity.  I’m certainly not alone.

Today I received an email from Equality Texas a statewide organization that works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.

I am a friend of this group and who they seek to protect. During this month of Pride, there is no better time to stand up against the hate and rhetoric that Quakenbush publicly displays.

The email that I received today detailed the opinion of Equality Texas from CEO Ricardo Martinez on the ongoing Big Beaner controversy in Amarillo.

Here is what Martinez wrote:

 “The first time someone called me a beaner, I was in junior high school. I remember feeling othered, embarrassed, and ashamed. Since then, I’ve heard that word uttered at me, at family, and at friends more times than I care to admit or remember. I have an aversion to the word because of how it has been weaponized in the past to make people feel inferior. The term is reductive, dehumanizing, unacceptable, and racist. I’m sure that many other folks in Amarillo feel the same way. This isn’t political or hypersensitivity it’s about recognizing that words matter, and actions matter. It’s about choosing to empathize with someone’s lived experience and deciding, in turn, to make a restaurant welcoming to everyone. For Latino young people, particularly Mexican Americans, trying to find their place in the world, having a restaurant with that name delivers a painful message that is formative, damaging, and long-lasting.”

I stand with Equality Texas and urge Amarilloans who understand the negativity associated with the restaurant name and image to please sign this existing petition started by Ali Ramos.

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