In Chicago, a woman was arrested for defacing a restaurant storefront because she felt the restaurant's name and logo were racist. "Chop Chop Chinaman" -- this is the eatery's actual name -- features an illustrated logo of an Asian caricature, complete with pointy hat, pulling a rickshaw.
In red lipstick, Jeannie Harrell offered her critique: "FUCK THIS HATE CRIME SHIT. IT'S 2015."
'Chop Chop Chinaman' Defaced by Insulted Woman, but Restaurant Defends Name
The Cantonese/Szechwan eatery opened in Boystown last month. After passing by the "aggressively racist" restaurant sign one too many times, Harrell, who is Japanese American, decided to let the owners know how she felt about the name. Via lipstick. She figured it wasn't permanent, she'd sent her message, no harm done.
But last week, the cops showed up at her door.
Harrell had taken a photo of her handiwork and posted it on social media. It seems that Chop Chop Chinaman called the cops on her, and she was arrested and charged with misdemeanor criminal damage to property.
While I can't condone vandalism, in this case, I can't fault Ms. Harrell for expressing herself. Who the hell names their restaurant "Chop Chop Chinaman," even ironically? It's crappy branding that peddles in cheap stereotypes, and shamelessly perpetuates a racial slur on top of it. I ain't mad at ya, Jeannie. (High five.)
"I own up to the fact that what I did was a misdemeanor -- I did write on a business with lipstick -- but that is as much as I own up to," Harrell told DNAinfo.com Chicago. In other words, no regrets.
Meanwhile, Larry Lee, who helped open the restaurant, remains unapologetic about the name. He claims that "Chop Chop Chinaman" is no more offensive than being called an Englishman or Irishman. "That's how we were classified when we were building railroads in this country."
Did he really say that with a straight face?
Larry ought to do a little research, and take a long look at the negative connotations of "Chinaman" during the very historical era he refers to. Wikipedia that shit, man. Generations of racial discrimination, exclusion and dehumanizing violence, boiled down to "that's how we were classified." Shrug. You do you, Larry.
I don't have any lipstick, but fuck this hate crime shit. It's 2015.