What’s in a name? Apparently, the residents of a community in Amarillo think that the name of a restaurant that has yet to open is offensive and racist. Jesse Quackenbush is planning to open a restaurant that sells Mexican foods that include beans and coffee, so he fashioned to name, Big Beaners restaurant. He stated that the name on the sign has nothing to do with racism, but was in fact inspired by the menu which features Mexican foods. Quackenbush said that he was just trying to connect his brand with the products that he intends to sell.
The local chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, Abel Bosquez, has a very different opinion of the intended name of the restaurant. He feels that the name has the same meaning as that behind the phrases you wetbacks, you dirty Mexicans, you beaners. These are very offensive to members of the Latino or Hispanic cultures. Quackenbush contends that if anyone would take the time to look at and read the menu, they would understand his intent for the name. Even the logo, which is a kidney bean in a wide hat does not indicate racism at all. He said that he is not referring to Mexicans at all, and that it definitely has no bearing on racism.
Bosquez feels that it is the little brown man in a Mexican hat with a large mustache and pointed toe boots that is the most offensive to Latino and Hispanic people. Quackenbush was interviewed by ABC news, and was asked about his choice of a name for the restaurant. Why not big frijoles, big bean, or something along those lines. Quackbush replied that he wanted the name Big Beaners simply because he liked it. It meant no more that the word Big Texan. He just wanted the logo and mascot to represent the Hispanic and Latino culture, and that the majority of this community was not offended by the restaurant’s name or the sign.
Bosquez leaned toward the fact that the majority of people who are not offended by the sign or logo have not experienced any form of racism from this type of thing. He wanted Quackenbush to apologize for what could be construed as racism, but he stated that he would not apologize for anything that may be related to his business. He sees all this as a big hoax or scam initiated by some of the former restaurant owners from the area that have gone out of business, and may be outraged at the fact that a white person is planning to open a Mexican restaurant. Bosquez replied to this statement by refuting it. He said that no matter the race of the restaurant owner, the message from the name and the sign would still be the same.
The Amarillo Chamber of Commerce stated that they have received many complaints regarding this matter, and have not taken a stance where the restaurant name is concerned. They have seen the social media posts from Mr. Quackenbush, but are not taking sides because they are not a civil rights organization, but a business organization. They have not, nor have any intentions of contacting Jesse Quackenbush about this matter. The restaurant will open as the Big Beaner with hopes for much success.