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Denver Landlord Refuses Muslim Restaurant Owners, Demands An ‘American Person’

When Craig Cald­well wanted to sub­let a space to a fel­low restau­rant owner, his land­lord turned the deal down. He was so shocked at the rea­son she gave that he used his cell phone to record two con­ver­sa­tions with her.

His land­lord said, find an “Amer­i­can per­son,” accord­ing to the record­ings, which have been shared exclu­sively with KUNC.

The record­ings, which are part of a dis­crim­i­na­tion law­suit, add to ris­ing num­ber of inci­dents and com­plaints about racism, big­otry, hatred and other bias across Col­orado in the last two years — and a national trend where events are cap­tured by cell phones.

Cald­well, who runs White Fence Farms, a Denver-area chicken restau­rant, recorded his land­lord, Katina Gatchis, in Decem­ber at the liquor store she runs in Capi­tol Hill.

Cald­well asked Gatchis: “You need an Amer­i­can person?”

“Amer­i­can per­son, I need,” Gatchis replied, “good like you and me.”

When Cald­well closed a cor­ner store ver­sion of White Fence Farm at 9th Avenue and Corona Street in Den­ver, he found a team to take over in a sub­let — the Khans, who own Curry N Kebob in Boul­der. They’re Mus­lim and of Bangladeshi descent.

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