i’ll have a number 4 with racism please

colorlines is reporting racist slurs were handed out at fast food restaurants serving asian customers.

  last friday, an asian woman received the above receipt from her local papa johns referring to her as “lady chinky eyes.” i guess it was too hard to type her name–minhee.  next, two asian-americans were referred to as ching and chong on their receipts from chik-fil-a.

i wasn’t shocked at these reports–racism is very much alive and well in this country–however, they reminded me of what’s perceived as the perpetual foreignness of asians.  despite the generation or time period their families may have migrated to this country, many face the pervasive assumption that they’re “foreign.”

very often, we see an asian person and expect s/he will speak with an accent or not speak english at all.  in moments of road rage, we yell out “go back to your country.”  this stereotype that perceives asian-americans as “the other” arose from the rampant  discrimination and racism many early chinese immigrants faced as railroad workers and small business owners.

  the colorlines article mentioned the employee who served ms. minhee was a black teenager.  this tidbit was meant to remind us that  folks of color actively perpetuate harmful stereotypes about each other.  it seems we’ve all drank the dominant group’s kool-aid.


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