Thursday, October 27, 2005


James Taranto's Best of the Web Today had a great piece:

Go Stereotype Yourself!
Portland's Oregonian reports on a hilarious (though slightly sad) case of political correctness run amok:

When John Lee designed the logo for his Cedar Mill restaurant, he opted for an illustrated cartoon he thought resembled himself: a Korean man.

But that logo, which depicts an Asian man waving an "OK" sign, is now at the center of a conflict between Lee and Sunset High School's student-run newspaper.

Last week, editors of "The Scroll" banned Lee's advertisement for the Hawaiian Grill after running it once, saying his logo stereotypes Asians and negatively portrays members of a minority group.

It reminded me of an article in The Onion from a few years back.

Chinese Laundry Owner Blasted For Reinforcing Negative Ethnic Stereotypes

SAN FRANCISCO—Second-generation Chinese-American laundry owner Raymond Chen is under heavy fire this week from Bay Area activists who call him "an insulting caricature that perpetuates long-outdated, grossly prejudiced images of Asian Americans."

"It's frightening to think that, in 1998, some of us still haven't moved beyond the century-old stereotype of Chinese people as laundrymen," said Abigail Huber-Henson, a University of California at Berkeley cultural-studies professor and director of the Race Action Project, the campus group spearheading the crusade against Chen. "This man is a degrading anachronism that has no place in a supposedly enlightened society like ours. To meet him is to be directly confronted with America's shameful history of racism."

Added Huber-Henson: "We should no more tolerate this than we would a Pakistani convenience-store owner or a Jewish lawyer."

An extensive anti-Chen public-awareness campaign, including petitions, rallies, and letters to city and state officials, has already reduced business at the embattled Chen Chinese Laundry by 40 percent. Chen, 33, said he is puzzled by the strong reaction to him and his business.

"With prejudice and intolerance still rampant in our society, anti-hate-speech codes are an important first step," said Beverly White, director of the San Mateo-based Stop Racism Now. "However, putting Chen in jail for 15 months is not going to erase the pain he has caused the countless Asian Americans he has mocked and insulted. The real issue here is so much bigger than just one man. No enlightened society should allow stereotypes like Chen to exist at all."

White then outlined her group's long-range goal to get legislation passed that would authorize the forced relocation of all ethnic stereotypes to internment camps in the California desert.

You simply can't parody the P.C. crowd better than they do themselves.