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Whitten Up

October 26th, 2009 | 2 comments | Posted by Diana

Larry Whitten, a Texan and former marine in his sixties, purchased a failing hotel in Taos, New Mexico, and revamped it as the Whitten Inn.

Trouble in Taos

Whitten and his "whitened" Inn. Just talk American, why dontcha!

Quickly, he showed the staff there was a new sheriff in town. And this new sheriff was looking at his largely Latino staff as too spicy for future clientele. Soon, orders for employees to Anglicize their names (from “Marcos” to “Mark,” for example) were enforced. These were joined by demands to only speak English, a measure meant to prevent staff members for talking shit about Whitten behind his back. And those who did not respond well to these new rules were fired.

Whitten’s reasoning for altering just “ethnic” first names? From AP:

“I’m not doing it for any reason other than for the satisfaction of my guests, because people calling from all over America don’t know the Spanish accents or the Spanish culture or Spanish anything.”

Oh, of course! Because a tourist headed to TAOS, NEW MEXICO–which was established in the 18th century by Spaniards and currently boasts a Hispanic/Latino population of over 54%–should most certainly expect an experience free of all things Spanish, including names/accents/culture/architecture/blood in every inch of soil! Why should they have to deal with that shit? Especially when they’re forking out a cool $49 for their luxury suite??

In reaction, the people of Taos have quickly protested, picketed, and publicly slammed Whitten in the media, calling him an ignorant racist. I applaud ‘em, by golly, but think it could be even simpler than that.

Whitten may or may not be racist, but for absolute certain: he is a REALLY DUMB FUCK, and moreover, a BAD BUSINESSMAN.

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