We all know the answer to this survey, but good to get our collective message out. Below is a re-post from Asian Americans United:
The Philadelphia Inquirer is currently running a poll on whether the name “Roundeye Noodle Bar” for a “hip” Asian noodle eatery run by two self-described “white boys from the suburbs” is a racist name. It’s a silly issue I know but if you have a chance it would be great to gather more representation than the typical philly.com
trolls who tend to vote on these type of issues.
Below is the full text of a note I sent along to a dozen food bloggers or so – which distinguishes from a question of intent (which I did not accuse the owners of though did point out they were the ones to racialize the issue by calling themselves “two white boys from the suburbs”) and the question of whether the name is derogatory regardless of intent.
Thanks for taking a minute to do this!
There’s been a lot of buzz lately about Matyson’s BYOB opening a pop-up noodle bar Sunday called “Roundeye Noodle.” In the owners’ words, they are “two white boys from the suburbs” (the Roundeye Noodle FB page) creating a “hip noodle spot.”
But if these self-named “white boys” are the “roundeye” noodle makers what does that make the Asian noodle places they’re modeling their place after? As a city notoriously home to Chink’s Steaks, it’s really a shame that a well-regarded spot like Matysons would lower their reputation to a legacy of petty, derogatory names in an effort to be “hip.”
Recently, Asian American Journalist Association put out a media alert to fellow journalists writing about Jeremy Lin. The alert is a depressing albeit realistic assessment of the most basic insults Asian Americans are subjected to in casual discourse. In any case, please note AAJA’s specific reference to “eye shape.”
If you’re writing about Matyson’s or “Roundeye Noodle,” I just hope you’ll keep in mind these concerns. I don’t think the owners of “Roundeye” had specific intent, but that’s exactly the problem with racial stereotypes – they’re so deeply ingrained people don’t even question it.
Thanks for the consideration.