Applebee’s Racial Salad

 
AppleBee's ChkSalad.jpg
 
 
 
I don’t know… maybe I am truly an activist at heart. In some ways, all activists have some sense of justice built in their disposition. I am also fully aware that what I am about to write is probably rooted in some deep emotional scar when I was 7 years old or something… blah, blah.

I think growing up with racism for most of my life I understand when people seem overly sensitive about certain comments and silent innuendos when it comes to race.

It has always surprised me that out of all the minorities in America, Asians are usually the quiet ones when it comes to offenses made by the white majority. I don’t know how many times where the people of the Asian descent remained quiet when there were some offenses towards the Asian race. This, in a strange way, perpetuates a certain stereotype of Asians and I have seen too many Asians being taken advantage of.

All this is a precursor to what happened this week. On Wednesday, I went to Applebee’s for a lunch appointment. To my chagrin, I was annoyed to see that on their menu they had a salad called, Oriental Chicken Salad. Now, I know that not everyone will agree with me on this one, but it is pretty disturbing in our day and age when we have people still using that word – outside of an Oriental rug. Most restaurants that I know of have caught up with the cultural gap and are calling it Asian Chicken Salad or Mandarin Chicken Salad.

Wikipedia writes,

“Random House’s Guide to Sensitive Language states ‘Other words (e.g., Oriental, colored) are outdated or inaccurate.’ This Guide to Sensitive Language suggests the use of ‘Asian or more specific designation such as Pacific Islander, Chinese American, [or] Korean.’ Merriam-Webster describes the term as ‘sometimes offensive,’ Encarta states that when the term is used as a noun it is considered ‘a highly offensive term for somebody from East Asia.’

I am not saying that I am on a mission or a crusade. But, simply, I feel like as an Asian-American, I need to break out of the stereotypes and speak up. Therefore, I did something pro-active. I contacted Applebee’s and got a hold of their corporate office. I wrote them a long letter stating my disappointment (it was very respectful).

Now we will wait a few months and see what happens to that Oriental rabbit food.