A Chicago-based restaurant chain has apologized for asking Hawaiians to stop using two Hawaiian words…kind of.
Over the weekend a furore broke out when it came to light that the Aloha Poke Co. had sent cease and desist letters to several small businesses operating as some variation of “Aloha Poke,” which it owns the trademark for. Many of these businesses are run by native Hawaiians. Aloha Poke Co. is not.
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In response, the company took to Facebook to share a deep apology that the issue had “been so triggering” and to defend itself against what it called misinformation spread on social media. The post said the company had not tried to own the words “aloha” or “poke” and had not told Hawaiian businesses they could not use the words “aloha” or “poke.” Instead, they’d merely enforced their trademark which protects the use of the phrase “Aloha Poke” in connection with food service.
The Aloha Poke Co. founder, Zach Friedlander, who no longer works at the company, also posted on Facebook, saying he was “deeply saddened by the reaction that some have taken regarding this situation.” He went on to say the reaction was a “witch hunt” based on “false news”.
— Hallie Detrick, “Aloha Poke Co Is Really Sorry It Told Native Hawaiians They Couldn’t Use ‘Aloha Poke.'” http://fortune.com/2018/07/31/aloha-poke-cease-and-desist/
About the red letters:
With his business and political activities under investigation as of August 2018, President Trump is tweeting several times a day about what he calls, with perhaps trademarkable capital initials, “the Witch Hunt” and “Fake News.” The difference between Mr. Trump’s “Fake News” and Mr. Friedlander’s “false news” may seem trivial, but in the classroom it matters. When you ask a sophomore why, the sophomore will explain that when you change “Fake” to “false,” that makes it not really plagiarism.
Sort of the way standing a plastic hula girl in the snow outside your restaurant door fills Chicago with aloha.