The letter below was written by Friends of Kanonhstaton/ADL member Graham.
Two stereotypes and a slur; they named a burger after us, Kokum*
Tuesday afternoon, Sault Ste Marie ON. I am sitting in the airport surrounded by my fellow citizens of the Métis Nation of Ontario and I am reflecting…
We have just spent the last week bonding at our annual assembly, the week had gone very well other than the occasional time we would hear “halfbreed!” being shouted at us from across the street. After seeing how those words were used hatefully to hurt my family this week, and after the story we all read at the airport while waiting to go home about a restaurant in Toronto who “unknowingly” named a burger after us, I can’t stay silent.
Unfortunately I was not gifted with the art of words but I will to try to put this as straight to the point as I can.
Toronto “Restaurant” Holy Chuck Burger’s created a burger recently, naming it the “Dirty Drunken Halfbreed Burger.” Two stereotypes and a slur in one name. Dirty; Drunken; Half-breed. The combination leaves no other taste in my mouth but shame and disgust. I could not believe what I was reading…those words over and over going through my head, I began having thoughts of my ancestors being mocked and forced from their homelands on Drummond Island by Americans uttering the same slur, Halfbreeds.
I immediately began looking for Holy Chuck Burger’s contact information, I could not let this sit. Upon my search I came across their twitter page where other Métis had already began demanding apologies and that the burger be removed from the menu. I was interested to see how the ownership would respond to this. The response…not so comforting.
This is NOT an apology.
What I see here is someone trying to displace blame onto the offended, the Métis. While I find it hard to believe that you have never heard of the Métis before, I’ll go with it just to pose you this question…Now that you know who the Métis are and how your choice of words were offensive, how can you say that this was blown out of proportion? I am sorry but I cannot accept your apology to my people while you deem my offence towards racial slurs to be “totally blown out of proportion.”
*Kokum are our grandmothers.