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In a recent letter to the editor, the writer condemned a new Vietnamese food truck here in town for “blatantly exploiting” Vietnamese food and culture, lamenting that the new food truck might be acceptable if it “was run by a Vietnamese chef or a local who trained under a Vietnamese chef and came from a place of true appreciation and understanding of Vietnamese culture”.

I don’t know which is more disturbing: the letter itself, or that the Chronicle ran it.

Taking the writer’s sentiments to their logical extreme, the argument could also be made that only Italians are capable of running an Italian restaurant, and that only those who play tennis should be allowed to sell tennis rackets (or tennis shoes, for that matter). Would the writer be on board with a requirement that every Starbucks franchise in Vietnam be managed by an American, unless a local could demonstrate “a true appreciation and understanding of American culture”? I doubt it.

I am not speaking for or against the Vietnamese food truck in question. The food may be delicious; it may be awful. It may be authentic Vietnamese food, or it may be as close to authentic as Taco Bell’s menu is to Mexican food. It doesn’t matter. The fate of the food truck should be left to the market place, not the editorial pages.

Katie Sylvis Atkinson

Bozeman

Letter Policy

The Chronicle encourages letters from readers who reside in our coverage area. Letters should be no more than 300 words and must include the writer’s first and last name (no initials), home address and daytime phone number. Addresses and phone numbers may be used for verification but will not be published. Letters may be edited for grammar, taste, brevity and libel. Due to the volume of submissions, the Chronicle cannot publish every letter it receives. The Chronicle reserves the right to reject letters based on content or length, and will not knowingly print letters sent to other publications. Thank-you letters, letters written in poetic style or dominated by scripture quotations and those written by students as class assignments will not be published.

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