Tiki bar owner bows to ‘cultural appropriation’ outcry, ditches theme: ‘I am so very sorry’
by Douglas Ernst, Washington Times, July 5, 2017
Cries of “cultural appropriation” were too much for an Oregon businessman who recently opened The Hapuna Kahuna Tiki Bar & Kitchen in Corvallis.
Cloud Davidson recently opened a bar on June 22 that was inspired by his childhood trips to Hawaii. Outrage by some local residents and members of the Oregon State University Asian and Pacific Cultural Center stunned the owner, who decided prior to the Fourth of July holiday to abandon his dream.
“I unintentionally made a mistake, and I’m very sorry,” Mr. Davidson told the Corvallis Gazette-Times July 3. “I’m very sympathetic to the issues that were brought up to me. And I’m not for a moment going to tell a person of color that they’re wrong for how they feel.”
Complaints revolved around plastic leis that were handed out to customers, the establishment’s name and cartoonish images.
“A lot of this has to do with family. That was a big part of my childhood,” Mr. Davidson added.
The owner removed offensive materials and incorporated the space into an adjacent bar he owns called The Downward Dog, the newspaper reported.
Local readers were not all convinced that Mr. Davidson made the right decision.
“He just emboldened the whiners,” said one person on Wednesday. “Pretty soon we will be requiring ‘cultural appropriation’ training before anyone is allowed to open a business in this town.”
“And plastic leis, too! Oh! The horror. The horror,” added another.
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