Racist Bars in Lincoln Park celebrating “Derby De Mayo”

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Concerned Chicagoans happily debuts through a light, even comical, but nonetheless frustrating and discriminatory encounter with racist local businesses in Chicago. We hope to begin our work of promoting justice and accountability throughout Chicago moving forward. If you would like to be a contributing writer/reporter/motivator/source please email us at concernedchicagoans@gmail.com

The following letter was written in response to Living Social and myDrinkOn’s collaborative event called “Derby De Mayo” (http://bit.ly/18ju8dJ) at the following Lincoln Park Bars: Sedgwick’s, Gamekeepers, Four Fartherings, Twisted Shamrock II, Maxbar, O’Malley’s West, Lion’s Head, Wisefools, Hi-Tips, Dillinger’s and Bar Forza. This event promotes cultural appropriations of Cinco De Mayo through wearing mustaches, sombreros and getting really drunk off of Coronas and tequila and is taking place on Saturday, May 4, 2013 (today). The photo above was taken from the Living Social website promoting this event. Unfortunately, at the time this blog post was released, the event was already taken down by Living Social. Please see the letter we sent through this link: http://wp.me/p3umF7-f

Below our letter is a response received from a representative at Four Farthings justifying the racism perpetuated by this “Derby De Mayo Crawl” followed by a general message from My Drink On. What we ask is that folks think critically about the Chicago community. We are not post-racial. If we look at the make-up and hardships (or lack of hardship – based on where you live), you can easily tell and feel the racial division and injustice in this city. Events like “Derby De Mayo” are manifestations of countless institutional forms of racism that have kept Chicago decades behind the majority of cities in this country particularly in regards to racism and segregation. Please think of the following questions: Do these participating companies deserve our business when they are supporting events such as these that contribute to the dehumanization and hurt of an entire people and culture? What are ways we can prevent these acts of ignorance and intolerance to push our community forward? That is for you to decide. This is something Chicagoans have wondered about and hurt over for generations.

This letter was sent on Friday, May 3 to Living Social, MyDrinkOn and the aforementioned participating bars.

Dear Living Social, MyDrinkOn and Participating Bars*,

A number of concerned Chicagoans and allies have come together as an event you all are coordinating has been disturbingly brought to our attention. We are writing to you in response to your “Derby de Mayo Pub Crawl” taking place in Lincoln Park on Saturday, May 4, 2013. We would like to express our extreme frustration, disgust and public condemnation of this offensive and appalling event.

This event undoubtedly represents racism and cultural appropriation. One example of overt racism is the event page’s use and encouragement of wearing sombreros and mustaches to characterize what Mexican culture is. According to the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, the ancestries present in Lincoln Park are: German, Irish, English, Polish, Italian. Please note that this does not include any culture that commonly celebrates Cinco De Mayo, so it raises the question of why your businesses, your bars, and this particular community feels the need to celebrate Cinco De Mayo in this fashion to begin with. We believe these acts are deeply rooted in racism and we are more than ready to begin a public campaign against participating businesses and entities involved.

Your actions as businesses and as a community have direct implications on Chicago at large. Not only are people of color in Chicago being displaced through gentrification that invites an affluent white majority into the city (of which Lincoln Park has a $77,000 median family income) at the expense of historically Latino/Black/Asian neighborhoods, but we often see our his and herstories being appropriated through this new form of racism that believes we are post-racial. This new racism uses events like Cinco De Mayo and Martin Luther King day to perpetuate stereotypes that are condemned in collegiate institutions that have now permeated within entire neighborhoods and cities. This is the same cultural practice being performed by the gentrifiers of Lincoln Park and we see it all throughout urban areas. We are also sure that many of the participants do not even understand what Cindo De Mayo actually is, which in and of itself is problematic.

While you all may think this constitutes as embracing diversity and celebrating cultures, you are doing the exact opposite. You are contributing to the dilution and destruction of our cultures by bastardizing and claiming celebrations such as this, as your own. Our communities do not benefit from institutional support and infrastructure and yet privileged communities that do benefit from these systems portray our lived experiences disrespectfully and inappropriately. In fact, the entire metra system is designed to divide and isolate us, meanwhile the center of the city is ever-growing with a population returning from white-flight (who knew their tickets were round trip, huh?). This privileged community is isolated, too. The metra, the highways, the countless borders intentionally structured in Chicago protects this community from the reality of hardship and violence in Chicago. They are sheltered from the heartbreak of school closings, gang violence, deportation, of all forms of violence that plague every block in this BUT theirs. There are so many things wrong with this event and how it further communicates the extent of racism and discrimination in Chicago.

In 1959, Chicago was declared the most segregated city in the nation by the U.S. Civil Rights Committee and that continues ring true as long as we ignore the (white) elephant in the room and how local government benefits from ousting and segregating communities of color to invite a whiter, affluent population into our city at the expense of existing communities, while additionally imposing overt acts of racism, intolerance and microaggressions on underserved communities and minority groups. We will not overcome the continual cultural genocide that STARTS from pretending racism does not exist and is not perpetuated by our actions. Being able to reduce someone’s culture to a drinking festivity that has no cultural relation to those participating is the exact privilege and power dynamic that makes this even unjust and oppressive.

We demand that you cancel this event and that all participating parties release a public apology for the of racism you have accepted and openly promoted through this event. We hope that you and your patrons begin encourage more diversity, inclusivity and understanding in your future actions.

Sincerely,

Concerned Chicago Residents and Allies

*Participating bars include:

Sedwick’s

Gamekeepers

Four Farthings

Twisted Shamrock II

Maxbar

O’Malley’s West

Lion’s Head

Wisefools

Hi-Tops

Dillinger’s

Bar Forza

Sources:

http://www.lincolnparkchamber.com/business/lincoln-park-demographic-information/

http://ecleader.org/2012/03/06/chicago-remains-most-segregated-us-city/

The following are the responses received from John Corry of Four Farthings Tavern and Grill as well as some automated messaging system of My Drink On.

I appreciate your concern and I can see how the idea of a Cinco De Mayo pub crawl may seem offensive to you.  As a christian I share the good will and celebrations of Christmas with everyone regardless of their religious affiliation.  As an Irish American, I share the most celebrated day in our country which is St Patrick’s Day where many people drink and wear green and have no idea what the day is truly about.  At Halloween, kids and adults dress up in many offensive costumes and drink to excess at parties.  On Mexican and Puerto Rican Independence days I see Mexican and Puerto Rican flags waving outside cars for about three days and it is happening in AMERICA which I 100% am offended by!  Now if you can tell me in your heart of hearts that you or anyone in your concerned Chicagoan group have never participated in any of the above mentioned events, then I will consider pulling out of this event.
My point is that these events are just another reason to have a party and people aren’t thinking any deeper than that.  I do not get offended when people depict all Irish as drunks on t-shirts or on party invitations because I know their hearts are about the celebration.  One thing to note, We are simply participating bars.  We are not the creators of this event.  Our job is to bring people in our doors and events like this do just that.  If we felt like this was disrespectful then we wouldn’t participate.
I appreciate you sending us all this note to express your concern about the Derby de Mayo pub crawl.  So you are aware, we are not the organizers of this event.  We are participating bars.  Our job is to fill our bars with fun events for people to enjoy.  If we thought for a moment that an event was in any way overtly offensive to the general population, we would not be participants.
There are many local and national Holidays which emanated from countries across the globe which are celebrated every month and year, here in the United States.  Almost all of them have been bastardized into parties and/or drinking celebrations regardless of their original intent.  The Christmas season has been completely commercialized to the point where it is celebrated by anyone regardless of their religious belief.  As a Christian I am unhappy with this but not insulted.  As an Irish American I don’t like the depiction of the drunk Irishman that I see all over t-shirts and St Patrick’s day parties yet I am not offended because I know people are just thinking about the party.  I am intelligent enough to know that people don’t look at me as an Irishman and prejudge me as a drunk.  On Halloween there are children and adults alike wearing costumes which may be considered offensive to many different groups of people and again we all know that it is about the celebration rather than an overt insult to a particular group or person.
If you can tell me, in your heart of hearts that you or no one in your group of concerned chicogoans has participated in any of these events then I stand corrected.  I will tell you that as an American, on Mexican and Puerto Rican Independence Day I am 100% offended when I see the display of Mexican and Puerto Rican flags outside of cars driving down the street and hanging above or as a temporary replacement of American flags on homes or businesses.  The reason I am offended is because every American outside of native Americans, came from someplace else.  We all took a pledge that we would make AMERICA our home and protect and rally around each other collectively! We did not make a pledge to rally around only “our” nationalities.  It is insulting an un American to have a celebration for our former countries independence when we have our own Independence Day!  If you are an American, YOUR Independence Day is July 4th!  Now you can say it is “just a celebration” which makes your argument against our Derby De Mayo the same defense as mine.  America is under constant assault from every other country and many of it’s own citizens for almost everything you can think of to the point where we have become handcuffed with political correctness.  This is a celebration of the Kentucky Derby with a mix of  Cinco De Mayo.  The wearing of sombreros and mustaches is part of that celebration not a purposeful racial swipe at Mexico or people of Mexican Heritage.
You and I are not blind.  We both know and see racial injustice on a daily basis.  I can tell you that it has improved since I was a kid and It is still improving.  There will always be jerks and racists and bullies in our world even 100 years from now.  There will always be disagreements like the one we seem to be having now.  The most important thing is dialogue and understanding.  I don’t agree with you celebrating an Independence Day for a country you are no longer a member of but I know the intent is a celebration.  You don’t agree with us participating in a Derby de Mayo celebration with people wearing sombreros and mustaches but I am assuming that you know it is simply about a celebration.  Thank you again for your note.
John Corry
Four Farthings Tavern & Grill
A response to the perpetuators
To John Corry:
  1. You are a nativist racist.
  2. Puerto Rico does not have an Independence Day (please do some research on PR’s relationship with the Imperial United States of America)
  3. Cinco De Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day (as mentioned in the letter, hardly anyone participating in these drinking festivities would know that because you all refuse to learn anything more about a population/culture you are explicitly appropriating and subjugating to your racist deeds). Hint: It has roots in civil rights, but I bet you didn’t know that and if you surveyed people participating tomorrow, I doubt you would receive a cohesive, let alone remotely accurate response.
  4. Dialogue and Understanding is the exact OPPOSITE of what you did in your letter. If anything, you just demonstrated how intellectually and culturally insensitive and incapable you are and further push our agenda of educating you and everyone else who is participating in these offensive events if only to prevent this kind of unjust knowledge disparity to continue.
  5. Nothing good has ever come of making caricatures or making light of a culture. The “Chinaman” image has not done anything good for Asian people as a diverse population, the “chief” and other forms of white American retelling of what Native Americans look/act/feel like have not helped the indigenous population of this country gain rights to their land or to be recognized as a significant, underserved community that has been continually assaulted by the United States, and the public humiliation of women and LGBTQAI people through infinite forms of shaming, sexualization, objectification, limiting or non-existent legislation have not led our communities to be treated any more human or pushed our fight for human rights any further. If you think what you are doing is okay, you are just an extension of this oppressive system. If you think brushing everyone’s identities under one American flag and cultural identity is positive or even healthy, then we are happy not to be living under your dictatorship.
  6. Just to be clear, we are not policing language or interested in political correctness per se. We believe in language and action that does not exclude any member of our society and community. For example, using blind as a metaphor for lack of awareness communicates that people that are visually impaired are not aware. Stigmatizing disabilities in our language leads to emotional challenges that temporarily able-bodied people would never understand. We use language with care and caution as it has historically been used as a weapon against our communities and we are finally learning to reclaim and have agency over our language to be a weapon of healing and inclusion. We wish you could and hope you will understand that someday.
  7. Please read a book or at least reference wikipedia once in a while.

An automated response from My Drink On:

Dear Concerned Chicagoans,
Thank you for reaching out to us and letting us know about your concerns regarding the event. Our intention is never to offend any individuals and always to promote events that bring individuals of all background/beliefs to enjoy.
We definitely acknowledge the issues that you have brought to our attention in regards to our Derby de Mayo Crawl.  We will use such information in the planning of future events and would be happy to meet with you all to better understand how we can improve.
We apologize if we have offended you in any way and look to maintain a positive/constructive relationship with the community.
Sincerely,
My Drink On
To My Drink On:
We do not accept your apology since you are obviously still going through with this event. We have made our demands about canceling this event and releasing a public apology for the ignorance you have condoned and spread within our community, but clearly you have failed at that and we are now delightfully compelled to publicly shame you and the rest of the businesses that have failed to respond to our letter and demands.
Peace, Love and Consciousness,
Concerned Chicagoans

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41 comments

  1. At sundown that whole area turns into one giant magnet for overprivileged, racist, and clueless co-bags.

  2. Jonas Ecke · · Reply

    The response to this particular person to John Korry is extremely patronizing and insulting. It begins with the words, “You are a nativist racist,” and concludes with the words, “Please read a book or at least reference wikipedia once in a while.” One can, and indeed should, argue about the wisdom of celebrating Cinco De Mayo like this, but this debate will never be accomplished by ad hominem attacks that depict somebody who wrote a respectful response as racist and uneducated. Worse yet, in my view such rhetoric does activists, who work against economic marginalization and political repression, a disfavor.

    1. Thank you for your response, Jonas Ecke. It’s interesting that communities that are victimized by these bars and systems in general are asked to respond with poise and sensitivity while we are the targets of such racism and discrimination adding to the amount of stress and hardship of our communities, then we are asked to present our struggle and demands with in sugar coated manner. This is not the space for further suppression of marginalized communities. Lessons are learned through the will of an individual to understand. We choose to provide information and knowledge in a manner that is real, honest, and based on our experiences. John Korry was extremely condescending and racist in his commentary as well as contradictory and unwilling to understand or even empathize with the issue we are presenting. For us to not discuss this matter and target these attributes of privileged white males or whatever privileged/problematic system/group/individual we are referring to is a disservice to the struggle we are fighting in and the communities we are advocating with and for.

      1. Couldn’t agree more with Jonas. I don’t see how your condescending responses will help prevent future displays of cultural ignorance. John Korry was at least willing to be engaged. From my perspective it seems like it would have been more productive to educate him rather simply attempt to humiliate him. You claim to want to discuss this matter but seem unwilling to do so with the very people who perpetuate these problems. I don’t think civility hurts the cause.

      2. “Oppressors always expect the oppressed to extend to them the understanding so lacking in themselves” –Audre Lorde.

        Thank you for commenting. We hope you are acting as an agent of change beyond criticizing the methods of others. We are respectful of differing methods to change as all are part of collective action and we hope you are able to recognize this now or in the future. Otherwise, your criticisms are the divisive kind that breaks movements towards progress. We are not here for that. We respectfully disagree with feeding our oppressors’ egos rather than feeding each other with knowledge and empowerment.

        We do not intend to carry the weight of the privileged and our oppressors on our shoulders. We are here to engage in dialogue and encourage critical thought and awareness, however, when that opportunity is thrown in our faces and injustice is justified by the oppressor, we believe a greater response as organizers is necessary. We provided Corry with bits of knowledge he can chew on, but don’t believe his response deserves any further energy than what has been placed. If you see his comment on this post, he shares and promotes stereotyping and racism even further.

        We are also not here to create divisions with allies (which John Corry has proven not to be. If he ever will, at this point, is unforeseeable). We respect pacifistic methodologies, though we do not find this tactic suitable for this instance. We encourage us all to act, to not exhaust energy where it will do a disservice to our fight, and finally we encourage us all to be unapologetic in calling out forms of oppression in whatever way is contextually acceptable.

        We do not support racist businesses and the racist profiteering people that run them and reserve the right to publicly express our disagreement how we see fit. Respect is earned. We are here to be radical, responsive, and preventative. There is no time or space for passivity here. Please accept this response as it is. We are targets of cultural terrorism that trivializes our people and stereotypes us in ways that are systemically damaging and perpetually harmful. Additionally, we are now being terrorized by well-intended, holier than thou responses by supposed allies/self-proclaimed superior beings. We are merely existing and highlighting ignorance. It is the elitism of saying one organizing method reigns supreme over another in organizing that has divided most if not all movements. We do not have time or energy to waste for such microaggression and criticism from people that think we are working towards justice together. When in reality it is really based on context and learning. We are dignified and we are justified.

        Act. Respect. Move forward. Thank you!

    2. Tomas · · Reply

      Jonas nailed it.

      1. “Oppressors always expect the oppressed to extend to them the understanding so lacking in themselves” –Audre Lorde.

        Thank you for commenting. We hope you are acting as an agent of change beyond criticizing the methods of others. We are respectful of differing methods to change as all are part of collective action and we hope you are able to recognize this now or in the future. Otherwise, your criticisms are the divisive kind that breaks movements towards progress. We are not here for that. We respectfully disagree with feeding our oppressors’ egos rather than feeding each other with knowledge and empowerment.

        We do not intend to carry the weight of the privileged and our oppressors on our shoulders. We are here to engage in dialogue and encourage critical thought and awareness, however, when that opportunity is thrown in our faces and injustice is justified by the oppressor, we believe a greater response as organizers is necessary. We provided Corry with bits of knowledge he can chew on, but don’t believe his response deserves any further energy than what has been placed. If you see his comment on this post, he shares and promotes stereotyping and racism even further.

        We are also not here to create divisions with allies (which John Corry has proven not to be. If he ever will, at this point, is unforeseeable). We respect pacifistic methodologies, though we do not find this tactic suitable for this instance. We encourage us all to act, to not exhaust energy where it will do a disservice to our fight, and finally we encourage us all to be unapologetic in calling out forms of oppression in whatever way is contextually acceptable.

        We do not support racist businesses and the racist profiteering people that run them and reserve the right to publicly express our disagreement how we see fit. Respect is earned. We are here to be radical, responsive, and preventative. There is no time or space for passivity here. Please accept this response as it is. We are targets of cultural terrorism that trivializes our people and stereotypes us in ways that are systemically damaging and perpetually harmful. Additionally, we are now being terrorized by well-intended, holier than thou responses by supposed allies/self-proclaimed superior beings. We are merely existing and highlighting ignorance. It is the elitism of saying one organizing method reigns supreme over another in organizing that has divided most if not all movements. We do not have time or energy to waste for such microaggression and criticism from people that think we are working towards justice together. When in reality it is really based on context and learning. We are dignified and we are justified.

        Act. Respect. Move forward. Thank you!

  3. I agree that this is highly offensive, but does ignorance equal fault? A more favorable conclusion might be reached if circumstances like these are used as an opportunity to inform rather than attack.

    1. “Oppressors always expect the oppressed to extend to them the understanding so lacking in themselves” –Audre Lorde.

      Thank you for commenting. We hope you are acting as an agent of change beyond criticizing the methods of others. We are respectful of differing methods to change as all are part of collective action and we hope you are able to recognize this now or in the future. Otherwise, your criticisms are the divisive kind that breaks movements towards progress. We are not here for that. We respectfully disagree with feeding our oppressors’ egos rather than feeding each other with knowledge and empowerment.

      We do not intend to carry the weight of the privileged and our oppressors on our shoulders. We are here to engage in dialogue and encourage critical thought and awareness, however, when that opportunity is thrown in our faces and injustice is justified by the oppressor, we believe a greater response as organizers is necessary. We provided Corry with bits of knowledge he can chew on, but don’t believe his response deserves any further energy than what has been placed. If you see his comment on this post, he shares and promotes stereotyping and racism even further.

      We are also not here to create divisions with allies (which John Corry has proven not to be. If he ever will, at this point, is unforeseeable). We respect pacifistic methodologies, though we do not find this tactic suitable for this instance. We encourage us all to act, to not exhaust energy where it will do a disservice to our fight, and finally we encourage us all to be unapologetic in calling out forms of oppression in whatever way is contextually acceptable.

      We do not support racist businesses and the racist profiteering people that run them and reserve the right to publicly express our disagreement how we see fit. Respect is earned. We are here to be radical, responsive, and preventative. There is no time or space for passivity here. Please accept this response as it is. We are targets of cultural terrorism that trivializes our people and stereotypes us in ways that are systemically damaging and perpetually harmful. Additionally, we are now being terrorized by well-intended, holier than thou responses by supposed allies/self-proclaimed superior beings. We are merely existing and highlighting ignorance. It is the elitism of saying one organizing method reigns supreme over another in organizing that has divided most if not all movements. We do not have time or energy to waste for such microaggression and criticism from people that think we are working towards justice together. When in reality it is really based on context and learning. We are dignified and we are justified.

      Act. Respect. Move forward. Thank you!

      P.S. Ignorance is not innocence. It hasn’t been during any genocide where people were ignorant and simply conforming and it is not now or ever will be justified in any oppressive context.

  4. Jonas Ecke · · Reply

    Few people know about the context of Mexican migration, and it needs to be explained to them. Even if we feel personally affected by these processes, as activists we cannot shut down people like this, especially if they write a letter that seeks to respond to criticisms. In a way, dialogue is a goal of activism, for it’s the only vehicle for change. His response could have been an opportunity to talk about NAFTA, and the roles of Mexican immigration in society. John Corry’s response was deeply flawed. He seems to think that St. Patrick Day’s caricature of the Irish is as bad as the discrimination of Mexican immigrants. The Cinco de Mayo event is worse because it is compounded by constant discrimination in society, which is what the Irish used to go through when they were not considered white. There is a lot of sociological data on current discrimination. This context could have been explained. I think these attacks, which were much more forceful than those by the initial commentator, distract from important messages. In my classes students usually say that racism is no longer a problem, then I show them ‘The New Jim Crow,’ and then I ask them for reactions. I realize not everybody can do that, and that me having a conversation might partly be because of my own positionality as a white male. This responder felt personally offended by the response and responded through various ad hominem attacks. Maybe doing so is acceptable and it is certainly understandable. Yet if we want political change, then such a strategy might not work well. It does not compute to any theory of change that I know of. For example, I am opposed to militarism and think it is extremely dangerous, and deadly to hundreds of thousands of people. I could resort to all kinds of ad hominem attacks in Indiana, where I currently live and militarism is a serious problem, but I don’t. I am oftentimes confronted with people that I disagree with, though—unlike others—I am never a victim of discrimination. The question for me is how I can effectively respond to this feeling and channel it into effective outcomes? I certainly do not have an answer to this, and I sure have a lot to learn. Activism seems to be partly about the purity of the message. To an equal extent, though, it seems to be about conveying the message, about building alliances, and living with ambiguity, which means that we have to form alliances with people that we agree with on some points and disagree with on other points, and certainly we need to talk to people that we otherwise do not agree with. It seems to me that activism is a constant tradeoff between not watering down the message and building alliances. The civil rights movement was about enabling the building of alliances, living with ambiguity, and yet made people feel uncomfortable, and so were other successful movements for social change, from Ghandi to Jubilee 2000.

    1. This wasn’t a learning moment for the responder. We prefer to self-preserve and call out white, male, xenophobic, nativist racism where it is necessary. The rule of thirds is a method of organizing that allows us to distinguish who are allies, who are folks we can mobilize and the other third that is in complete opposition. We reserve our right to self-preserve by highlighting the ignorance of people we have already attempted to engage from the beginning and have denied the opportunity for growth and knowledge exchange.

      This is not a space to discuss better activism methodologies, approached and ideologies. That’s how activism becomes hierarchical, divisive, and it wastes a lot of time when we could be organizing and respecting one another’s methods. This was not a context to expound on NAFTA and deeper injustices among other communities when John Corry already communicated his views and rejection of our stance on this issue. He does not see this as offensive and is only interested in profiting from this racism. That is not okay and to respond tenderly would make us bystanders to injustice. We are here to feed knowledge, not feed the egos of our oppressors.

      1. Claire Fletcher · ·

        Ok, I agree that the event seems ignorant and racist. I would like to see a day when we can laugh about differences without demeaning or reducing a group’s culture, when one group does not feel (justifiably) threatened by another. While there is nothing wrong with caricature, per se, when it takes the place of true understanding of a situation or person or people, then it becomes a problem.

        But the same intransigence and unwillingness to meet in the middle John Corry displayed in his reply was mirrored and even amplified by Concerned Chicagoans. Since when do two wrongs make a right? Judging by the number of responses calling them out as being inflammatory and elitist, using ad hominem attacks to make a point that could more eloquently and respectably have been made without them, their vitriole did more to harm their cause than help it. Speaking as a self-identified “ally” in Concerned Chicagoans’ “rule of thirds”, I did not feel proud after reading their responses. I felt ashamed and frustrated that otherwise well-meaning people could damage the integrity and unification of the cause by 1) Using a reductionist ad hominem attack, and 2) Alienating an entire portion of the population involved in our own cause by making disparaging remarks about lack of education equaling ignorance.

        It is clear that the spokesperson for Concerned Chicagoans has had the good fortune to have access to tertiary education, judging by his/her use of terms like “nativist racist”, “agency”, etc. Most people are not exposed to these ideas, however, and have to take initiative to seek them out if they feel so inclined. And then the spokesperson correlates not reading books with not being culturally sensitive. Hmm. So where does that leave the members of minority populations who have never had the opportunity for a primary, secondary, or tertiary education? By condescending this man, assuming intellectual, and therefore moral, superiority over him, Concerned Chicagoans has inadvertently insulted many others it purports to represent and defend.

        Finally, I was concerned and distressed by Concerned Chicagoans’ response to Living Social’s public apology. They say they are “delightfully compelled” to publicly shame the groups and businesses that have failed to respond to letters and demands. While I see no problem with boycotts and public awareness campaigns, this group indicates that they are “delightfully compelled” to take action. It sounds like they want to go further than simply stopping the problem, taking the additional step of enjoying their revenge. It’s blatantly vindictive. How is that supposed to garner support? It makes me respect them even less. Especially when contrasted with their self-righteous, saccharine departing line: “Peace, Love and Consciousness”. The irony and hypocrisy made me cringe when reading it.

        Take a leaf out of your own book, Concerned Chicagoans. If you want to see more peace, love, and consciousness in the world, trying showing a bit of it to those whose minds you hope to change. Even if they aren’t affected, others, those folks you hope to mobilize, might be.

      2. “Oppressors always expect the oppressed to extend to them the understanding so lacking in themselves” –Audre Lorde.

        Thank you for commenting. We hope you are acting as an agent of change beyond criticizing the methods of others. We are respectful of differing methods to change as all are part of collective action and we hope you are able to recognize this now or in the future. Otherwise, your criticisms are the divisive kind that breaks movements towards progress. We are not here for that. We respectfully disagree with feeding our oppressors’ egos rather than feeding each other with knowledge and empowerment.

        We do not intend to carry the weight of the privileged and our oppressors on our shoulders. We are here to engage in dialogue and encourage critical thought and awareness, however, when that opportunity is thrown in our faces and injustice is justified by the oppressor, we believe a greater response as organizers is necessary. We provided Corry with bits of knowledge he can chew on, but don’t believe his response deserves any further energy than what has been placed. If you see his comment on this post, he shares and promotes stereotyping and racism even further.

        We are also not here to create divisions with allies (which John Corry has proven not to be. If he ever will, at this point, is unforeseeable). We respect pacifistic methodologies, though we do not find this tactic suitable for this instance. We encourage us all to act, to not exhaust energy where it will do a disservice to our fight, and finally we encourage us all to be unapologetic in calling out forms of oppression in whatever way is contextually acceptable.

        We do not support racist businesses and the racist profiteering people that run them and reserve the right to publicly express our disagreement how we see fit. Respect is earned. We are here to be radical, responsive, and preventative. There is no time or space for passivity here. Please accept this response as it is. We are targets of cultural terrorism that trivializes our people and stereotypes us in ways that are systemically damaging and perpetually harmful. Additionally, we are now being terrorized by well-intended, holier than thou responses by supposed allies/self-proclaimed superior beings. We are merely existing and highlighting ignorance. It is the elitism of saying one organizing method reigns supreme over another in organizing that has divided most if not all movements. We do not have time or energy to waste for such microaggression and criticism from people that think we are working towards justice together. When in reality it is really based on context and learning. We are dignified and we are justified.

        Act. Respect. Move forward. Thank you!

      3. You’re not here to feed the egos of oppressors, but you’re also not here to feed your own egos – or are you? Responding in an insulting, patronizing way only feeds your own ego – your own sense of self-righteousness – and doesn’t change the minds of your target audience or observers.

        It doesn’t change the minds of John Corry or anyone else, it makes you seem incapable of defending your ideas in a rational manner – it comes across as “well, you’re a dummy-head.” And, yes, I did intentionally just call your actions childish.

        Whether you deem it “fair” or not, if you’re serious about defending and advancing your position, taking the high road is the only real option. Anything less won’t succeed and any success it seems to have will be transitory and Pyrrhic because it will have helped destroy the goal of civil discourse that should be a goal of anyone who seeks justice.

      4. “Oppressors always expect the oppressed to extend to them the understanding so lacking in themselves” –Audre Lorde.

        Thank you for commenting. We hope you are acting as an agent of change beyond criticizing the methods of others. We are respectful of differing methods to change as all are part of collective action and we hope you are able to recognize this now or in the future. Otherwise, your criticisms are the divisive kind that breaks movements towards progress. We are not here for that. We respectfully disagree with feeding our oppressors’ egos rather than feeding each other with knowledge and empowerment.

        We do not intend to carry the weight of the privileged and our oppressors on our shoulders. We are here to engage in dialogue and encourage critical thought and awareness, however, when that opportunity is thrown in our faces and injustice is justified by the oppressor, we believe a greater response as organizers is necessary. We provided Corry with bits of knowledge he can chew on, but don’t believe his response deserves any further energy than what has been placed. If you see his comment on this post, he shares and promotes stereotyping and racism even further.

        We are also not here to create divisions with allies (which John Corry has proven not to be. If he ever will, at this point, is unforeseeable). We respect pacifistic methodologies, though we do not find this tactic suitable for this instance. We encourage us all to act, to not exhaust energy where it will do a disservice to our fight, and finally we encourage us all to be unapologetic in calling out forms of oppression in whatever way is contextually acceptable.

        We do not support racist businesses and the racist profiteering people that run them and reserve the right to publicly express our disagreement how we see fit. Respect is earned. We are here to be radical, responsive, and preventative. There is no time or space for passivity here. Please accept this response as it is. We are targets of cultural terrorism that trivializes our people and stereotypes us in ways that are systemically damaging and perpetually harmful. Additionally, we are now being terrorized by well-intended, holier than thou responses by supposed allies/self-proclaimed superior beings. We are merely existing and highlighting ignorance. It is the elitism of saying one organizing method reigns supreme over another in organizing that has divided most if not all movements. We do not have time or energy to waste for such microaggression and criticism from people that think we are working towards justice together. When in reality it is really based on context and learning. We are dignified and we are justified.

        Act. Respect. Move forward. Thank you!

  5. Andrew · · Reply

    Honestly, it is these exact types of things that are tearing America apart. And I’m not talking about Derby de Mayo. I’m talking about these types of articles. It is absolutely ridiculous that this type of thing is even posted. You overly negative liberals attack literally anything and everything that bears the slightest resemblance to a mention of race. If you do not like the event, then do not attend. There is no need to go on ridiculous, one-sided tirades that berate people whom you do not even know for just going to a bar for a drink. Look at your language. Is that even close to good journalism? You seem to be aware of “collegiate institutions” but have an absolutely horrid, extremist writing style. Do you personally know the owners of the bars? Do you personally know the attendees? If your response is what I think it is, then you are just as at fault for what you believe to be wrong as everyone else whom you blame? Who is going to listen to some extreme, condescending ass on an issue that they obviously have not researched both sides on? You seem pretty in to politics and social issues. That’s a good start. However, any social/political researcher knows that the truth lies in the middle. The middle-ground is the area where both sides of the story meet. Why on earth would any citizen like to see schools close and gang violence in their area? It’s ridiculous to blame others for forcing these problems out of their neighborhoods when that is exactly what other neighborhoods affected are doing now. It’s ridiculous to say that white people celebrating Cinco de Mayo is wrong when every race celebrates St. Patrick’s Day. Find something productive with your time, like fixing your problems instead of blaming others for them. It seems like a groundbreaking idea, I know.

    1. Andrew, please don’t let the pettiness cloud the fact that there is a genuine problem here. As a Mexican-American and recipient of the dreaded Act. Respect. memo, the fact that my culture is being co-oped and bastardized brings me great pain. I react the same way to St Patrick’s Day. Why does celebrating Irish culture have to mean that everyone needs to get black-out-drunk? It perpetuates a negative stereotype. Instead, I choose to honor the Irish-American soldiers that defected from the American army to fight with Mexico during the Mexican-American War. El Battalion de San Patricio noticed that they were in a divide and conquer scenario and fought with Mexicans instead of against them. They’re the Irishmen that I think of in March. Not leprechauns and shamrocks. I hope you too will see that we have more in common that we have differences. We just want to prevent our culture from being diminished.

      1. Andrew · ·

        It’s fine to recognize an issue that you believe to coincide with a major, underlying problem. But it’s how you act and respond to that issue that drives progress. You do not see Irish bars complaining about misrepresentation anywhere. In fact, Irish Americans were as oppressed as many in the early 1900’s. Why do they not take up arms against drinking on a day that celebrates their country’s Anglicization? Because they realize it as means of profit. No one is acting with maliciousness when they wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. I could say the same for 95% of people who wear sombreros on Cinco de Mayo. It isn’t about bastardization by any means. What it is about, for the patrons, profit. Build on profit. Instead of maliciously attacking people who attend (i.e. the author of this article) invite others to join in and make a buck of them. Use that American liberty to other means besides free speech.

      2. I’d like to thank for engaging civilly because this is an underlying issue. You mention the early 1900s as a pivotal moment for your cultural identity. Mine is undergoing that transition now and letting profits guide my reaction to it does a disservice to those that follow me. That’s why I’m happy to take the time to engage you in this conversation. Because I value free speech over profit. No malice here, just perspective. Thanks for sharing yours.

  6. Andrew · · Reply

    P.S. It is hard to “publicly shame” several very popular businesses (that, I sincerely promise you will still make a killing every weekend, regardless of your onslaught) when you have just as easily publicly shamed yourself.

    1. “Oppressors always expect the oppressed to extend to them the understanding so lacking in themselves” –Audre Lorde.

      Thank you for commenting. We hope you are acting as an agent of change beyond criticizing the methods of others. We are respectful of differing methods to change as all are part of collective action and we hope you are able to recognize this now or in the future. Otherwise, your criticisms are the divisive kind that breaks movements towards progress. We are not here for that. We respectfully disagree with feeding our oppressors’ egos rather than feeding each other with knowledge and empowerment.

      We do not intend to carry the weight of the privileged and our oppressors on our shoulders. We are here to engage in dialogue and encourage critical thought and awareness, however, when that opportunity is thrown in our faces and injustice is justified by the oppressor, we believe a greater response as organizers is necessary. We provided Corry with bits of knowledge he can chew on, but don’t believe his response deserves any further energy than what has been placed. If you see his comment on this post, he shares and promotes stereotyping and racism even further.

      We are also not here to create divisions with allies (which John Corry has proven not to be. If he ever will, at this point, is unforeseeable). We respect pacifistic methodologies, though we do not find this tactic suitable for this instance. We encourage us all to act, to not exhaust energy where it will do a disservice to our fight, and finally we encourage us all to be unapologetic in calling out forms of oppression in whatever way is contextually acceptable.

      We do not support racist businesses and the racist profiteering people that run them and reserve the right to publicly express our disagreement how we see fit. Respect is earned. We are here to be radical, responsive, and preventative. There is no time or space for passivity here. Please accept this response as it is. We are targets of cultural terrorism that trivializes our people and stereotypes us in ways that are systemically damaging and perpetually harmful. Additionally, we are now being terrorized by well-intended, holier than thou responses by supposed allies/self-proclaimed superior beings. We are merely existing and highlighting ignorance. It is the elitism of saying one organizing method reigns supreme over another in organizing that has divided most if not all movements. We do not have time or energy to waste for such microaggression and criticism from people that think we are working towards justice together. When in reality it is really based on context and learning. We are dignified and we are justified.

      Act. Respect. Move forward. Thank you!

  7. I applaud your fight. As an Asian immigrant-now-citizen, I feel strongly against this type of blatant commercialistic opportunism applied to cultural identities. I do, however, also believe that we should never sink to the level of those we condemn so about your response to Mr. Corry, I agree with Mr. Ecke. Let them call us ignorant, stupid, or unimportant; we rise above with dignity in our language, actions, and our passions.

    1. “Oppressors always expect the oppressed to extend to them the understanding so lacking in themselves” –Audre Lorde.

      Thank you for commenting. We hope you are acting as an agent of change beyond criticizing the methods of others. We are respectful of differing methods to change as all are part of collective action and we hope you are able to recognize this now or in the future. Otherwise, your criticisms are the divisive kind that breaks movements towards progress. We are not here for that. We respectfully disagree with feeding our oppressors’ egos rather than feeding each other with knowledge and empowerment.

      We do not intend to carry the weight of the privileged and our oppressors on our shoulders. We are here to engage in dialogue and encourage critical thought and awareness, however, when that opportunity is thrown in our faces and injustice is justified by the oppressor, we believe a greater response as organizers is necessary. We provided Corry with bits of knowledge he can chew on, but don’t believe his response deserves any further energy than what has been placed. If you see his comment on this post, he shares and promotes stereotyping and racism even further.

      We are also not here to create divisions with allies (which John Corry has proven not to be. If he ever will, at this point, is unforeseeable). We respect pacifistic methodologies, though we do not find this tactic suitable for this instance. We encourage us all to act, to not exhaust energy where it will do a disservice to our fight, and finally we encourage us all to be unapologetic in calling out forms of oppression in whatever way is contextually acceptable.

      We do not support racist businesses and the racist profiteering people that run them and reserve the right to publicly express our disagreement how we see fit. Respect is earned. We are here to be radical, responsive, and preventative. There is no time or space for passivity here. Please accept this response as it is. We are targets of cultural terrorism that trivializes our people and stereotypes us in ways that are systemically damaging and perpetually harmful. Additionally, we are now being terrorized by well-intended, holier than thou responses by supposed allies/self-proclaimed superior beings. We are merely existing and highlighting ignorance. It is the elitism of saying one organizing method reigns supreme over another in organizing that has divided most if not all movements. We do not have time or energy to waste for such microaggression and criticism from people that think we are working towards justice together. When in reality it is really based on context and learning. We are dignified and we are justified.

      Act. Respect. Move forward. Thank you!

  8. Jonas Ecke thinks John Korry wrote a RESPECTFUL response? We must not be reading the same letter.

  9. It’s wonderful living in such a culturally diverse area as Chicagoland. So much variety of food, art, and entertainment!!! The thing many Americans resent is the continued influx of immigrants (from Anywhere, not just Mexico) who are undocumented, living and working here illegally, consuming taxpayer-paid resources, having multiple children they can’t support on their own, and those who don’t even try to learn the English language, not to mention the criminal element. America was built on immigration, but the illegal immigration is going to destroy it.

    1. Chicago is culturally diverse, but also culturally segregated and there is a huge disparity in terms of socio-economic class based on race. This structure is not coincidental. From public housing issues, access to health services, public school education it is minority groups that suffer from the institutional racism that exists in Chicago. Undocumented immigrants are human beings that pay taxes please see here: http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/unauthorized-immigrants-pay-taxes-too

      Also, whether you have papers or not, countless groups and families have children they can’t support. It is extremely unfair, ignorant and inaccurate to believe that undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes or have children they can’t afford to support. We advise that our community looks at the exploitation of workers, the amount of money being allocated to war versus education, the fact that health care access and access to education is not a right in this country, and other structures that tell us we need to fight for resources rather than fight for all of our rights to be treated as human. Countless industries depend on undocumented immigrants and all of us benefit from that.

      Please check out the following for more about what you don’t know regarding undocumented immigrants:

      http://mediamatters.org/research/2013/02/01/10-myths-conservative-media-will-use-against-im/192494

  10. socolaura · · Reply

    Corry’s response was basically, “Yeah, it may seem racist to you, but we’re just having fun, so that makes it all ok.” That’s bullshit, and he needed to be called on it.

  11. I have to agree with Jonas’ initial response. It didn’t register at first because I was inspired by your denouncement of using language as a weapon. It’s a high standard and poisoning a response by calling someone a racist doesn’t live up to it. Keep fighting the good fight.

    1. “Oppressors always expect the oppressed to extend to them the understanding so lacking in themselves” –Audre Lorde.

      Thank you for commenting. We hope you are acting as an agent of change beyond criticizing the methods of others. We are respectful of differing methods to change as all are part of collective action and we hope you are able to recognize this now or in the future. Otherwise, your criticisms are the divisive kind that breaks movements towards progress. We are not here for that. We respectfully disagree with feeding our oppressors’ egos rather than feeding each other with knowledge and empowerment.

      We do not intend to carry the weight of the privileged and our oppressors on our shoulders. We are here to engage in dialogue and encourage critical thought and awareness, however, when that opportunity is thrown in our faces and injustice is justified by the oppressor, we believe a greater response as organizers is necessary. We provided Corry with bits of knowledge he can chew on, but don’t believe his response deserves any further energy than what has been placed. If you see his comment on this post, he shares and promotes stereotyping and racism even further.

      We are also not here to create divisions with allies (which John Corry has proven not to be. If he ever will, at this point, is unforeseeable). We respect pacifistic methodologies, though we do not find this tactic suitable for this instance. We encourage us all to act, to not exhaust energy where it will do a disservice to our fight, and finally we encourage us all to be unapologetic in calling out forms of oppression in whatever way is contextually acceptable.

      We do not support racist businesses and the racist profiteering people that run them and reserve the right to publicly express our disagreement how we see fit. Respect is earned. We are here to be radical, responsive, and preventative. There is no time or space for passivity here. Please accept this response as it is. We are targets of cultural terrorism that trivializes our people and stereotypes us in ways that are systemically damaging and perpetually harmful. Additionally, we are now being terrorized by well-intended, holier than thou responses by supposed allies/self-proclaimed superior beings. We are merely existing and highlighting ignorance. It is the elitism of saying one organizing method reigns supreme over another in organizing that has divided most if not all movements. We do not have time or energy to waste for such microaggression and criticism from people that think we are working towards justice together. When in reality it is really based on context and learning. We are dignified and we are justified.

      Act. Respect. Move forward. Thank you!

  12. […] week an online group called Concerned Chicagoans went online to publicly criticize a neighorhood-wide “Derby de Mayo” celebration being […]

  13. Jonas Ecke · · Reply

    I agree that this may not be the right place to talk about methods.

    What I would like to mention to Cat is that my interpretation of immigration into the US is very different than yours. While I agree with Chicago thriving on its diversity, I don’t think it is accurate that undocumented immigrants generally do not pay taxes, though this point is oftentimes made in the media: http://roygermano.com/2011/02/28/do-illegal-immigrants-pay-taxes/ They receive some benefits, but they receive a lot fewer benefits than naturalized citizens despite their full participation in the workforce. Generally speaking, US residents receive fewer welfare benefits than citizens of virtually all other industrialized countries. In my view, illegal immigration is vital for the US economy, and the system is designed to allow it without providing full benefits to immigrants. Many employers relish at the opportunity to hire undocumented workers without having to pay them full benefits, conform to minimum wage standards (if they do exist in states affected by immigration), laws on fair treatment of employees, and allow for unionized labor. In the end, this may depreciate wage levels and employment opportunities for US citizens as well, but how would this be the fault of Mexican migrants? The situation many migrants are fleeing in Mexico is very difficult, and the US was not exactly uninvolved in creating these conditions. The situation in Mexico seems like it has been a perfect storm of an unfair trade agreement with the US (which was also based on cheap labor and lack of state support), corruption by local and national decision-makers, and climate change to which Mexicans have contributed very little. For further reading on this, I highly recommend this insightful book: http://www.amazon.com/Tropic-Chaos-Climate-Geography-Violence/dp/1568587295 The US has generally had a deplorable impact in Latin America, where it propped up dictators and paramilitary forces for decades. This is an interesting time-line of the history of Latin American/Mexican relationships: http://www.zompist.com/latam.html In light of such realities, are some of the public debates on illegal immigration from Mexico in particular and Latin America in general fair?

  14. johncorry64@yahoo.com · · Reply

    It is interesting that you give me a shot about inaccuracies when you clearly didn’t read and/or understand my response… I never anywhere in my response, mentioned that Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican or Puerto Rican Independence Day. (June or July 25th for Puerto Rico and September 16th for Mexico) I was making a point that on those celebrated days, the good people of Mexican and Puerto Rican decent are celebrating here in the United States. I was making the parallel argument that I am offended by this because as Americans which YOU ARE, you are slapping America in the face by celebrating an independence day which is not yours to celebrate. You are Americans so July 4th is your Independence day.

    However, I am intelligent enough to understand that the celebrations are traditions and a reason to bring people together. That is the same thing as the cinco de mayo pub crawl. Here is a little test for you conscience…

    Take ten seconds in your mind for each and tell me how you would dress for the following:

    Irishman, Scotsman, German, Mexican, Alaskan, Someone from rural Kentucky, Austrian, Jamaican…. How did you do? Did you come up with say some dreadlocks and a knit hat for the Jamaican? Maybe some overalls for the Kentuckian? A kilt for the Scotsman? Are you a racist? Yea well either am I. It is a celebration and nothing more. I don’t look at a person of Mexican heritage and think, where is his poncho and sombrero and I am insulted that you think anyone would in this day and age! Stop over thinking this and concentrate on issues and causes which mean allot more in the big picture.

    1. Jonas Ecke · · Reply

      John, there is a certain difference between working with stereotypes of different groups, in my view. For instance, I am a German living in the United States. People celebrating Oktoberfest in Lederhosen and constant jokes of Germans drinking beer do not offend me. I do live with minority students, and they oftentimes go through discrimination that happens in very subtle ways that are difficult to recognize. For instance, the minority students would all be put in the same block in the back of an apartment complex. A bus driver would allow a white kid to enter the bus when he or she forgot her ticket, but does not allow a minority student to do the same. As a white person, it is difficult for me to recognize these very subtle forms of discrimination (that would often be called micro-aggression). Some of these forms of discrimination are intended, some are not. Its their subtleness and intangibility that makes them so insidious. It took me a long time to recognize subtle discrimination, and I only opened my eyes to it because of certain life-events. I do not think that not recognizing them makes us racist, as one responder implied. Micro-agression is, of course, also experienced by some whites, particularly those who are economically struggling or otherwise vulnerable, though maybe to a lesser extent. Again, I do not consider the Oktoberfest fest celebration offensive, and even consider it as an outreach to my culture. Why would this be the case, though? Why are such celebrations considered so differently? Many of those celebrating Oktoberfest equate Germany with sophisticated engineering and philosophy. In other words, they by and large respect German culture, though they celebrate it in a way that sometimes seems satirical to me and offensive to some Germans. Many people do not respect Mexican culture—take a look at any anonymous online discussions on immigration, and by many of the public debates. Many of the people objecting to Cinco De Mayo may have experienced micro-aggression and discrimination, which is why they look at the Cinco De Mayo celebration differently than I would look at an Oktoberfest celebration or you at a St. Patrick’s Day celebration. I think we need to look at the context of such celebrations.

  15. Wanted to get on board with this but, sadly, your aggressive and silly response to a critique of your stance has turned me away. Perhaps I’m too white or too male to truly appreciate your tactics. Seems to me you’d get a lot farther if you weren’t mean. If we replace race/sec/class discrimination with just plain arrogant meanness did we really make the world a better place?

    1. “Oppressors always expect the oppressed to extend to them the understanding so lacking in themselves” –Audre Lorde.

      Thank you for commenting. We hope you are acting as an agent of change beyond criticizing the methods of others. We are respectful of differing methods to change as all are part of collective action and we hope you are able to recognize this now or in the future. Otherwise, your criticisms are the divisive kind that breaks movements towards progress. We are not here for that. We respectfully disagree with feeding our oppressors’ egos rather than feeding each other with knowledge and empowerment.

      We do not intend to carry the weight of the privileged and our oppressors on our shoulders. We are here to engage in dialogue and encourage critical thought and awareness, however, when that opportunity is thrown in our faces and injustice is justified by the oppressor, we believe a greater response as organizers is necessary. We provided Corry with bits of knowledge he can chew on, but don’t believe his response deserves any further energy than what has been placed. If you see his comment on this post, he shares and promotes stereotyping and racism even further.

      We are also not here to create divisions with allies (which John Corry has proven not to be. If he ever will, at this point, is unforeseeable). We respect pacifistic methodologies, though we do not find this tactic suitable for this instance. We encourage us all to act, to not exhaust energy where it will do a disservice to our fight, and finally we encourage us all to be unapologetic in calling out forms of oppression in whatever way is contextually acceptable.

      We do not support racist businesses and the racist profiteering people that run them and reserve the right to publicly express our disagreement how we see fit. Respect is earned. We are here to be radical, responsive, and preventative. There is no time or space for passivity here. Please accept this response as it is. We are targets of cultural terrorism that trivializes our people and stereotypes us in ways that are systemically damaging and perpetually harmful. Additionally, we are now being terrorized by well-intended, holier than thou responses by supposed allies/self-proclaimed superior beings. We are merely existing and highlighting ignorance. It is the elitism of saying one organizing method reigns supreme over another in organizing that has divided most if not all movements. We do not have time or energy to waste for such microaggression and criticism from people that think we are working towards justice together. When in reality it is really based on context and learning. We are dignified and we are justified.

      Act. Respect. Move forward. Thank you!

    2. Claire Fletcher · · Reply

      “Thank you for commenting. We hope you are acting as an agent of change beyond criticizing the methods of others. We are respectful of differing methods to change as all are part of collective action and we hope you are able to recognize this now or in the future.”

      …Wow. Congratulations on being passive aggressive as well as overtly hostile. You really do have some interesting “methods of collective action”. Most of which seem to involve alienating actual and potential members of your collective. Please consider your words more carefully before you start claiming to represent the collective you apparently care so much about. Arrogance reflects badly on yourself and the struggle for equality and understanding, and intellectual elitism is as much a form of bigotry as racism, as far as I’m concerned.

      1. Thanks for commenting, Claire Fletcher. We are responding to folks that are critiquing our methods. It is important to hope and encourage that folks are doing more than just critiquing our blog. If you feel challenged, good. If you are actually doing something in the community beyond criticizing us, then better and there is more merit behind your criticism rather than an intent to criticize without actual action backing your words. Many times the people that love to criticize politics or views are themselves not actually doing anything about the issues being discussed. The REAL issue of racism, of segregation, of inclusion, etc. in the context of Chicago or the world. The intellectual elitism is being demonstrated by those who believe they can tell us they have better methods. We are wasting time and energy calling one another out for our disagreement on methods when it should be about tackling racism and the actual issue we are writing about. We don’t believe we need to sugar coat our methods even for our supposed allies.

        I am not sure if you read the entire response, but it is about preventing division and to recognize that if we want the same end result, we are not going off on a diatribe of your methods we are using unapologetic methods to bring these issues to light. We are building collectives with those that want to build with us rather than those are wanting to tear us down with their comments. We are not assuming anyone’s membership or obliging anyone to agree. These responders are continuing to suppress us and demand that we act tenderly to those that are directly responsible for promoting racism, which is ANOTHER form of oppression. We understand this defensiveness many readers like yourself are conveying. Conflict is sometimes necessary for understanding. We have addressed these criticisms and we hope understanding can be achieved. Thanks again.

    3. Claire Fletcher · · Reply

      Amen, Ugh.

  16. Andrew · · Reply

    That seems to be this whole argument’s exact problem. You said it in black and white.

    “We do not intend to carry the weight of the privileged and our oppressors on our shoulders.”

    Then, as a matter of total equality, every person should carry their own weight and not be responsible for the trials and tribulations of another. That is what American liberty is actually founded on, you know. If you think honestly think otherwise (i.e. submitting ridiculous letters to these businesses asking that they tell people not to attend their bar when their livelihood depends on people attending their bars. TBOX in Wrigleyville made $1,000,000 in revenue for the the promoter) then you have a whole different issue in mind besides race.

    1. *Clarification: We are responding to comments criticizing our approach to John Corry. It isn’t just about race. It’s about social accountability and being educated consumers in this context as well. Please see the original post and the comments that have been made on the post. The context is that we are letting responders know we aren’t here to comfort businesses and other participants in racism. We are here to discuss the problems and promote thought. We are not here to be tender and kind in our approach to those that oppress us. Total equality is equity and that will not be attained until historical systemic oppression is overcome from this nation’s history and heritage. American liberty is also founded on genocide and the mass psychological manipulation and eugenics imposed on Indigenous people, you know. Thanks for stopping by again!

  17. johncorry64@yahoo.com · · Reply

    Oh the irony in calling me ignorant when items 1, 2, 3 and 7 are inaccurate simply because you didn’t read what was written rather you read what you wanted to see, blinded by bitterness and ignorance…. The tone of your original letter is filled with anger and bitterness. You are basically asking us to apologize for being white, living in Lincoln Park and gentrifying the neighborhood! Are you not trying to keep your neighborhood safe and make it better?? You also attach the dumb 20 somethings who are a bit out of touch with reality and haven’t learned some important lessons yet to the entire Lincoln Park population. Who can I attach to your neighborhood and make you responsible for? Anyway, on to my point. Yes Puerto Rico does have an Independence Day. It is not an Independence Day as we would know it because there was no battle won but they broke away from Spain politically and yes there was a date it happened and yes when that happened there were celebrations which carried on year after year. So you are wrong on that point. On to the next point where you are wrong…If you will read my response again you will notice that I never wrote that Cinco de Mayo was a Mexican Independence Day. As far as you calling me a racist, that is your false opinion and not fact. I would argue that anyone with any education beyond high school reviewing your original letter to the bars would make the conclusion that YOU are in fact the racist or at the very least a bigot.
    It is interesting that you give me a shot about inaccuracies when you clearly didn’t read and/or understand my response… Once again, I never anywhere in my response mentioned that Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican or Puerto Rican Independence Day. (June or July 25th for Puerto Rico and September 16th for Mexico) I was making a point that on those celebrated days, the good people of Mexican and Puerto Rican decent are celebrating here in the United States. I was making the parallel argument that I am offended by this because as Americans which YOU ARE, they are slapping all of us in the face by celebrating an independence day which is no longer theirs to celebrate. We are American citizens so July 4th is our Independence Day.

    However, I am intelligent enough to understand that the celebrations are traditions and a reason to bring people together. That is the same thing as the cinco de mayo pub crawl, just a celebration which isn’t our to celebrate but it is fun so people do, nothing more.

    Here is a little test for your self proclaimed high and mighty conscience…

    Take ten seconds in your mind for each and tell me how you would dress up for the following:

    Irishman, Scotsman, German, Mexican, Alaskan, Someone from rural Kentucky, Austrian, Jamaican…. How did you do? Did you come up with say some dreadlocks and a knit hat for the Jamaican, maybe some overalls for the Kentuckian, a kilt for the Scotsman? Have you ever seen someone dressed in any of these costumes and thought they were racists? Are you a racist? Yea well neither am I. It is a celebration and nothing more. I don’t look at a person of Mexican heritage and think, where is his poncho and sombrero! I am shocked that you insinuate people are that dumb and in this day and age they would even have that thought come to mind!!

    Do your self a favor and knock the huge chip off your shoulder and you will be better for it. Anger and bitterness is more damaging to you in the end. The sooner you learn that the better you will be. Don’t stop your fight but there are more successful ways to go about it.

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