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Jordan Peterson Isn’t Really Canceled, and Neither Are His State Theatre Shows

Plus Eat Street Crossing news, SOTU guests, and the world's most romantic Taco Bell in today's Flyover.

Chad Davis via Flickr

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

The Story Behind Last Week's Fake Hennepin Theatre Trust Press Release

Tonight, Jordan Peterson—the "intellectual dark web" crackpot theorizer who has compared being trans to "satanic ritual abuse" and called for state-enforced monogamy, among other things—will take the stage at the State Theatre for his “Beyond Order” tour. You’d be forgiven for thinking the show wasn’t happening, though: Last week, a press release hit local media inboxes with the subject “​​CANCELED – Dr. Jordan Peterson: Beyond Order Twelve More Rules For Life Tour.” The release looked legitimate, and cleverly used HTT's own language around diversity, equity, and inclusion to hammer home the hypocrisy of Peterson's booking. For example:

"This difficult decision was reached as part of The Trust’s ongoing internal review. In the wake of the tragic death of Mr. George Perry Floyd by Minneapolis Police, Hennepin Theatre Trust embarked upon an evaluation of its programming, structures, and activities. This process produced a series of commitments to artists, partners, employees, audiences, the thousands of students served by Hennepin Theatre Trust programming, and the people of Minnesota. These commitments were most recently updated in December 2022."

Hennepin Theatre Distrust release

At least one local news outlet was fooled into publishing a story about the canceled dates. And the fact Hennepin Theatre Trust has removed the Peterson shows from its events page seemed to confirm the news. (They're still there—you have to search to find them.) But closer examination of the release reveals that it came from an email account belonging to "Hennepin Theatre Distrust"—not Hennepin Theatre Trust—a collective of locals who are among the targets of Peterson's hateful rhetoric due to their gender, race, disability, or mental health status.

“What we really hope is to highlight is how embarrassing it is for Hennepin Theatre Trust to be complacent, and to tacitly support rising fascism—in this case by creating and maintaining a platform for Peterson's hate speech rallies, which in turn provides a local gathering place for his violent right-wing supporters,” the Hennepin Theatre Distrust group told Racket in a follow-up email. "While we understand that history often reveals the cowardice of those who choose inaction in the face of violence, we came together and did this because we simply do not have the luxury of waiting to be proven correct."

Eat Street Crossing Sets Opening Date for Eating

Any unexplored restaurant on Eat Street is worth getting curious about (that includes you too, McD’s!), but when we heard that a new food hall was opening up in the former (and long empty) Old Arizona space, we were doubly excited. Now, we have a solid opening date: March 4. Hey, that’s less than a month away! 

So, what can you eat there? Last we checked, the roster for this food Voltron includes Ramen Shoten, a stand-and-eat quickie ramen spot, and Sushi Dori; both are the latest efforts from Zen Box founders John Ng and Lina Goh. Bebe Zito’s will be there serving up its burgers and ice cream, and owners Gabriella Grant-Spangler and Ben Spangler will also open Ouro Pizzaria, featuring Brazilian ‘za and street eats. Bubble tea purveyors ChaTime Minnesota will also be there. Oh, and there will be booze, beer, and wine.

Guess Who’s Going to the SOTU?

If you want to know how your federal lawmakers want themselves to be represented, look at who they take as their guests to the State of the Union address. Over at MinnPost today, Ana Radelat has the whole guest list for Minnesota’s congressional delegation, and as you might expect, most invitees are there to highlight uncontroversial issues. Sen. Amy Klobuchar invited Amanda Barbosa, an advocate for veterans’ healthcare whose husband, a former Army helicopter pilot, has colon cancer. Klobuchar is promoting a pair of proposed bills that would expand coverage for certain vets. Sen. Tina Smith invited the head of food bank Second Harvest Heartland, a large food bank, to showcase how it was helped by Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill.

As for our reps, well, Betty McCollum has invited the founder of a non-profit that works with at-risk youth, while Angie Craig is bringing a special ed teacher to highlight the need for funding those programs. Reps. Ilhan Omar and Dean Phillips display their different perspectives on law enforcement: Omar is bringing the father of Amir Locke and is pushing for a federal ban on no-knock warrants, while Phillips is bringing new Hennepin County Sheriff Dawanna Witt and is pushing for the hiring of more cops. The only Republican to have a guest is Pete Stauber, who’s bringing a conservative podcaster who supports civility or something. We at Racket are surprised that Tom Emmer couldn’t find a crypto bro to bring, and disappointed that Rep. Michelle Fischbach didn’t invite any of us.

Taco Bell Is for Lovers

Look, the Racket staff has never been granted an audience with Gavin Kaysen. We run a series about getting the most food for the least amount of money; we employ a hot dog correspondent. Unsurprisingly, our Taco Bell coverage has been robust. So we figured you lil piggies would wanna know about the Valentine’s Day extravaganza at the Quarry Taco Bell. From 6-8 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, you’re encouraged to bring your date, your friends, or, devastatingly, yourself to 1540 NE Stinson Blvd. for: free tacos, a romantic photo booth, and the chance to win Timberwolves tickets plus “a $50 Visa gift card for a night out on the town,” according to a Border Foods PR rep. (With that price-point, they do have a keen sense of their clientele’s tastes.) The event was marketed to us with email language like “* * * ADVISORY PHOTO OPP ADVISORY* * *”; if you make it, share a photo with us of love synergizing with ground beef product.

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