As of Today, Everybody Please Call me ‘Martin’

I couldn’t make this up even if I wanted to. Larry Whitten, a hotel owner in Taos, New Mexico fired a bunch of Hispanic employees because they refused to shorten or change their names. Why? apparently because Mr. Whitten is afraid he cannot pronounce them correctly.

So basically, if you’re Martínez, Mr. Whitten wants you to be Martin; if you’re Marcos, you might as well consider responding to the name of Marc… And if your name happens to be Guadalupe, Esperanza, Montserrat or Salvador, well… I think you’ll be better off just shooting yourself.

[All this is happening in a town called Taos, which now makes me wonder if in a pre-Whitten era it was actually called Tacos?]

Does anybody know?

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7 Responses to As of Today, Everybody Please Call me ‘Martin’

  1. Sandra says:

    I think the town was actually called “tarados”

  2. I am conducting a paper that compares the similarities between the cultures of countries that were once colonized by the Spaniards, and Mexico is one such country. This is for an undergrad Intercultural Comm class. I wanted to do something different and unique.

    Anyway, as part of my research, I have come up with a survey and I have been in search of Mexican people of any age and gender and socio-political background to answer my survey. I was wondering if you’d take the time to fill it out? It would really help with my paper.

  3. sandra says:

    I think they were colonized twice.

  4. Jason says:

    Estabanico Chimalpopoca is screwed.

  5. SUE says:

    He is the boss if he can’t make policy and enforce it equally then why should he invest his hard earned money into a sinking venture. And if the pansy butts can’t respect the authority of the owner then they should buy the business themself!!! This is America respect that!!

  6. E. Winter says:

    I live in Taos myself, have for well over a decade. So I know at least a little about this. Wouldn’t have done well here if I went around demanding people change their names for me.

    Taos is an Indian name. From the native Tiwa language. The tribe’s five-story adobe main village has been continually inhabited for c. 800 years. It’s a World Heritage Site, part of the deep-rooted cultural traditions of the area. Did Whitten really not bother to figure out that it’s exactly the rich history that draws visitors here?

    Spanish settlers first came to the valley in 1644, first settled in New Mexico. They were driven out for awhile after the Pueblo (Indian) revolt of 1680, and returned in the 1690s. It’s been heavily Hispanic ever since, and full of Spanish names. The guy claims his customers can’t “deal” with an employee named MARCOS, and it must be changed to MARK. Say what? One wonders if his kind of customer would enjoy visiting a place with such a deep Latino heritage. Holy cow!

    Sue better stick to vacations in rural Alabama or other such places. Hard to imagine she’d like being in New MEXICO… Even Donald Rumsfeld, a part-time local, can sometimes be found breakfasting at El Taoseno. For all his (many) faults, he hasn’t gone around refusing to call people by their own names.

  7. I'mAlwaysWrite says:

    Damn insensitive of the man,,almost as bad as the latino gangs killing people dead for wearing the wrong colors,or movin their pinky fingers in the wrong direction..

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