Letter to the Editor: A message for Luke Gatti

In this file photo, the UConn Student Union and the Union Street Market entrance are pictured. (File Photo/The Daily Campus)

EDITOR'S NOTE – The following is a Letter to the Editor submitted to The Daily Campus by David Robinson, the Union Street Market  manager seen talking to Luke Gatti in the viral mac ‘n’ cheese video.

Dear Mr. Gatti,

I saw the video you posted on your YouTube channel. I am neither accepting nor rejecting an apology, because what you offered was not an apology. You sat on a comfy chair in a comfy den in a comfy home and spoke to a camera.  Was I in that room?  Have you reached out to me directly?  A heartfelt apology is directed at a human being in their presence.

You swore in my face, put your hands on my person, belittled my career and my very status as a human being worthy of dignity and respect. I was obliged to restrain myself due to a fundamental aversion to violence, professionalism, and a desire to represent Dining Services and UConn as a whole in a positive light.  But I also restrained myself against your provocations because I imagined any escalation could result in injuries and therefore legal obligations involving a court appearance.

You see, it was my last night of work, and I had a plane ticket out of the country for the following Sunday, to reunite with my lovely family, and I was determined not to jeopardize that in any way.  I am in South America now, living with my in-laws and volunteering at a local school teaching English.  I chose to sacrifice a decent paying job and a comfortable life to help my wife recover and to take care of her ailing father.  Life is difficult here, it’s sort of a combination of a tropical paradise and a gritty third world city, but my family is together again so I am happy.

Do you have a passport? If not, get one, and I invite you to come and visit.  You can stay with us and you can see how the real 99 percent live. There are wonderful people here, I am learning a lot and I’m sure you would too. They know how to laugh and enjoy life even in the midst of real struggle and hardship. Traveling to a place like this will make you see how much we take for granted, I promise you will not go home the same. Also, no-one here knows about our little video; I suspect no-one would care, they have real things to worry about.

So I repeat in all sincerity:  Buy a plane ticket, come visit, and then you can apologize in person, the way it should be done. If you do these things, I will gladly accept your apology.

Cordially,

David Robinson