This has been an emotional and eye opening week in Yucaipa. Many hurtful rumors have reignited in our town. I personally didn’t know that Yucaipa had been labeled as a racist community until this week. I also didn’t realize the extent of the connection of the Kopper Kettle name to that reputation.
For years we have endured jokes and rumors about the spelling of our name. We always thought it was just an annoyance and that the people who really knew us knew better. We even added the words “and Katering” years ago thinking that would solve the problem. Unfortunately it didn’t make much difference. This week I learned that many people genuinely believed that we were connected with the awful associations that the initials of our name have had. We recognize the long and painful history of racial violence in this country and are deeply saddened that the initials of our restaurant name had evoked that history. I’m sorry that we didn’t change our sign years ago. We have always loved our community and want our restaurant to be a place where all feel safe and welcome.
Although we have seen much love and support this week, we have also witnessed so much division in our small town. Hurtful things have been said to each other, untrue accusations have been made, violence has taken place and sides have been taken. Our public officials have been threatened, our police have been criticized and peaceful protestors have been intimidated.
So how do we being to heal?
Kopper Kettle is starting; we removed our old sign that read Kopper Kettle Kafe and are replacing it with a brand new one that says simple “Kopper Kettle.”
We will continue to offer our help and support with community organizers and we welcome an open dialogue to begin healing our community.