My lovely wife eats at this restaurant, which has terrific sandwiches. And the owner mentioned the controversy to last week. Do you take it offensively? Or does HOW the word is used matter?
A Riverside eatery wants your help to rename a kind of bread that some people say could be offensive to Native Americans.
The Backstreet Restaurant, perhaps best known by locals for its pastrami and corned beef sandwiches since its opening nearly 50 years ago, has reportedly launched a contest to find a new name for its squaw bread, one of six types of bread the eatery offers customers for their sandwiches.
Owner Keith Holloway started the search after a female customer ordered a turkey sandwich a few weeks ago and pointed to the word “squaw” as her bread type selection,according to the Press-Enterprise.
The customer reportedly told Holloway she would not say the word, calling it “highly offensive”.
Upon learning that the word “squaw” – which has traditionally been used to describe the rye and molasses bread linked to the arrival of Germans in the southwest U.S. during the 1800s – was “apparently” the equivalent of the “N-word” for Native Americans, Holloway decided to reportedly cover up the bread’s name on the deli chalkboard.
“The last thing I want to do is to offend my customers,” Holloway told reporters.
While the restaurant is currently taking suggestions for new names for the bread – which other eateries have replaced with “Indian Princess Bread” or “Indian Maiden Bread” – the name was still on the restaurant’s website as of Monday morning.