Open Letter to the Donkey Den Club of Denver

Letter to the Donkey Den expressing offense, and requesting a forum with Denver women's and Hispanic advocacy groups.
Open Letter to the Donkey Den Club of Denver

To: Tosh Berman

CC: Denver Mayor John W. Hickenlooper
Denver City Councilwoman Jeanne Robb
Denver Chamber of Commerce
Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

We the undersigned wish to express offense at the sexual and racial undertones embraced by the Donkey Den club, located at 1109 Lincoln in Denver.

We feel the following make light of the sexual abuse of women, and are insulting to minorities:

The Donkey Den bills itself as "Tijuana, Colorado". Sexual abuse, assault, and trafficking of women, and widespread problems in Tijuana, and hurt many women and girls every year.

The slang term "Donkey Den" is a club where men pay to watch women engage in sex acts with donkeys.

The Donkey Den menu offers "Ho-made" fries, which is a reference to prostitution.

The menu also offers "Donkey Punch" burgers. The term "Donkey Punch" is the violent sex act of punching a woman in the back of the skull during intercourse.

The Donkey Den displays a sign reading "every tequila drink can come with a water back." This is an allusion to the racial slur "wetback".

Taken collectively, this language is offensive and demeaning to many in the Denver community.

We believe that through dialog and understanding this controversy may be ended with a positive outcome for the Donkey Den, its opposition, and the Denver community.

We ask the owners of the Donkey Den meet with leaders of Denver Hispanic advocacy, women's advocacy, and non-violence groups to better understand the impact of racism, violence, and sexual assault on our community.

We also ask that the Donkey Den owners to explore ways to rise to a higher ethical standard, and create a more positive role for their establishment.

If the owners are unwilling to take these steps, then we urge the Denver Chamber of Commerce and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to pressure this establishment to meet this high ethical standards of the Denver business community, and urge the Denver city government to take whatever punitive measures are possible to hinder the Donkey Den's ability to conduct business.

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