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Bar's Advertising Offends Some Community Members

By: Alex Villarreal Email
By: Alex Villarreal Email

This sign at The Draft Bar in Huntsville has some folks hot under the collar.

Community member Arthur Guerrero said, "I went in one day and asked them what exactly ‘WB Wednesdays?’ is and almost immediately, like there was nothing wrong with it, the waitress told me, 'oh, its wetback Wednesdays.'"

We spoke with the bar's manager, Dena Shipley. "We have specific specials for each day of the week, they range anywhere from Monday Madness and then of course, wetback Wednesday."

The specials are on Mexican beers and margaritas, but some patrons don't think the slogan is clever.

"I got up and left," said Guerrero. "I just couldn't believe it, like I said, it took me aback."

"That's just wrong," added another concerned resident, Craig Henderson.

In fact, the people we spoke with are taking their business elsewhere.

Guerrero said, "I won't go there again. They can get rid of the special, from my perspective; I think the damage has been done with me."

"I don't feel comfortable going there anymore and I'm not taking them any business," said community member Jorge Varela.

Arthur Guerrero was raised by his Hispanic father

"He used to call me little Spaniard, that was his nickname for me," remembered Guerrero.

He's lived in Huntsville all his life and is proud of his biracial upbringing.

Guerrero added, "Its offensive to me, just because of my heritage, my background. I've seen it used a racial slur and that's not ok."

"Being that it's actually referring to people who are in my group, I find it particularly offensive," said Varela.

Even non-Latinos are offended by the promotion.

Henderson said, "I have less at stake with, you know, not being Latino, and I'm concerned about it, so that should be telling you something."

Bar manager, Dena Shipley, said, "Our response to them is that this is all in fun. We don't put it up there to be derogatory or racist."

Henderson said, "...There are some words that are derogatory regardless of what your intent is."

"I don't play with that. That's not funny to me," added Guerrero.

"I consider that word to be offensive in any way that it’s used, I can't think of a way of using that word that's not offensive," said Varela. "Freedom of speech is important. I'm glad we have it in this country. It's unfortunate that [they] choose to use freedom of speech to have a promotion called wetback Wednesday."

"We are not going to be persuaded by someone else's opinion or views or moral values. We have the right to put up whatever we want on our board," responded Shipley. "Are we going to change things at this point? No, we're not. We're going to continue doing business just like we always have."

Bar management tells News 3 this promotion has been going on for a year and very few people have come forward to make a complaint.

As for the people we spoke to, some of them feel so strongly, they've contacted the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC.


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