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May 24, 2007

PC Flap Ends Up Backfiring on Whiner: The Wopburger Stays

Score one for common sense:

The Blue Parrot in Louisville [Colorado] has a burger on its menu called the "Wopburger." To some, the name has a negative connotation, but to others, it's no big deal.

The Blue Parrot owners, Joe Colacci and Joan Riggins, said since the restaurant opened in 1919, it has never had a controversy quite like this. However, despite the controversy, they said the name of the burger is going to stay.

An Italian-American customer argued that the name "Wopburger" was offensive and is an ethnic slur, while others said the complaints are political correctness gone too far.

"He was giving my grandson a hard time about this Wopburger," Colacci said. "He said, 'you have to take this off the menu.'"

According to Dictionary.com, the term "wop" comes from the word "guappo" meaning "swagger or pimp."

The owners said they considered changing the burger's name, but their customers told them not to.

"All over the country people have called -- I've been on a Baltimore radio station -- and they have all been very supportive," Riggins said.

Because of the controversy, the owners said the Wopburger has become one of the most popular dishes on the menu.

When's the last time you heard anyone called a "wop?" It's one of those classless terms that's gone the way of "dago" and "polock." I'll bet if you asked a bunch of kids under the age of 20 what a wop is, most of them, if not all, wouldn't have a clue.

What gets me is that one customer out of how many has complained about this burger? And he felt he had the right to demand that the restaurant owners change the name? He even went so far as to complain to the Boulder Valley School District, which buys spaghetti sauce for its lunch program from the Blue Parrot. That complaint nearly caused the Colacci clan to change its mind.

All James Gambino ended up doing was bringing the Blue Parrot lots of free publicity, and Wopburger sales are up. (Figures he's an East Coast transplant.) Colacci, the last name of the owners, is Italian. If they aren't offended, then so what?

As David Harsanyi says in the Denver Post:

Political correctness allows a small group of energetic do-gooders to dictate what acceptable speech is for the rest of us. Yes, being offensive is the right of every American. And what's offensive, in many cases, is nebulous.

But, thankfully, there's a flip side to this freedom - a wonderful and infallible remedy for those who find the Wopburger an offensive treat:

Don't patronize the Blue Parrot and don't buy one.

h/t: Ankle Biting Pundits

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Comments

The redneck definition of "Wop" is the sound a flat tire on a car makes before it starts to come apart.

The first time I ever heard that term was from a Notherner - the kind word for "Yankee".

Posted by: joe-6-pack at May 25, 2007 12:53 PM


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