Friday Question of the Day – Was the City Right to Make the Pug Remove “The Ward 8 Special – Marion Berry’s Dirty Asian Summer Punch”?

Photo tweeted by @mikedebonis

Folks have been talking a bit about this in the rant/revel section but I’ve gotten a few requests to start a separate thread on it. For those who missed it, The Washington Post’s Mike Debonis wrote:

The punch, a fruity vodka concoction, was whipped up by the H Street NE bar’s owner, Tony Tomelden, as an admittedly crude but satirical tribute to D.C. Council member Marion Barry’s controversial comments this year criticizing Asian shop owners and Filipino nurses.

On Thursday, the Office of Human Rights delivered a letter to Tomelden calling the sign “racially offensive” and requesting that it be taken down and “Dirty Asian Summer Punch” be taken off the menu.

Tomelden was given 72 hours to remove the “Dirty Asian Summer Punch” sign, lest the agency pursue a “formal charge” against him with the Commission on Human Rights. A commission proceeding can result in a cease-and-desist order and civil fines of up to $10,000 for a first-time offender.

Read the full story here.

Did the the Office of Human Rights do the right thing? Or, whether you found the sign offensive or not, do you think it should have been protected under freedom of speech?

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