Archived Story

Mother believes club treated her daughter with prejudice

Published 10:17pm Wednesday, October 17, 2012

To the editor:

I am writing this letter because I am outraged over a club’s prejudice over my daughter.

I am a Caucasian woman married to a Hispanic man; therefore, my daughter is biracial.

My daughter, Gabi, will be turning 15 in March and is dreaming about having a Quinceanera.

A Quinceanera is similar to a Sweet 16, however, in Hispanic culture 15 is considered the coming of age.  It involves a huge ceremony very similar to a wedding and reception without the marriage.

In planning the great celebration I began looking for a hall to rent.  I was told I should look into the Dowagiac Conservation Club because they had put on an addition and it was really nice.

When I called the lodge number it gives you information to contact Sue for information on hall rentals and her phone number.

I called Sue and I told her I was looking to rent the hall on March 9, 2013, and wondered if it was available and for how much. She informed me that yes it was available and the fee would be $500.

She then asked me if it was for a reception and I said no it is for a Quinceanera. She then asked what that was and I replied it was similar to a Sweet 16, however, that for Hispanic girls it is held at 15. She then abruptly told me that “we don’t allow those.”

I asked, “You don’t allow birthday parties?” and she Replied, “We’ve had nothing but trouble with those.”  I said, “Excuse me?” and she replied, “I can’t help you, your best bet is to take that somewhere else!”

Now, while I’m certain not every rental goes smoothly I can’t believe that Quinceaneras that run families several thousands of dollars have been more “trouble” than say the multiple high school graduation parties she told me they hold there.

We were on the same page with me renting the property until I mentioned the word “Hispanic” and then she was over the conversation. I will continue looking for the right place to hold my daughter’s special event so her dreams may come true, but I want others to know how I was treated by this club.

I wonder … if she knew it was an educated white woman on the phone would she have turned me away? I doubt it.

Janice Fonseca

Dowagiac

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