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Thread: Linsanity- Are fortune cookies racist?

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    Linsanity- Are fortune cookies racist?

    Ben and Jerry just pulled/changed their newest flavor "Taste the Lin-sanity" because of 'protests' that using a fortune cookie as an ingredient was 'racist'...legitimate complaint or typical knee-jerk PC overreaction? http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/tennis...162618720.html

  2. #2
    True Blue Golden Bear
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    On it's own, the ice cream is not that bad. However, perpetuating stereotypes and subtle racism is a legitimate complaint. Would you even ask this question if Ben and Jerry had a LeBron James ice cream that was watermelon flavored or would you complain that people were too sensitive when the sh*t storm hit?

    Or do you just want another 8 page thread?

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    True Blue Golden Bear LethalFang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim55bear View Post
    Ben and Jerry just pulled/changed their newest flavor "Taste the Lin-sanity" because of 'protests' that using a fortune cookie as an ingredient was 'racist'...legitimate complaint or typical knee-jerk PC overreaction? http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/tennis...162618720.html
    Knee-jerk reaction.
    Neither Jeremy Lin nor the Asian community holds a patent on fortune cookies.
    It isn't some racial slur other people forced upon the Asians. It's something many American Chinese restaurants offered. By the way, don't expect to find any fortune cookies in China.

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    True Blue Golden Bear
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    Quote Originally Posted by LethalFang View Post
    Knee-jerk reaction.
    Neither Jeremy Lin nor the Asian community holds a patent on fortune cookies.
    It isn't some racial slur other people forced upon the Asians. It's something many American Chinese restaurants offered. By the way, don't expect to find any fortune cookies in China.
    They serve collard greens, watermelon, and fried chicken in soul food restaurants too. What about that watermelon flavored ice cream featuring Lebron James then?

    Does that mean there was a knee jerk reaction when everyone blasted Fuzzy Zeller for his joke about collard greens and fried chicken when talking about Tiger Woods?

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    True Blue Golden Bear LethalFang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GranadaHillsBear View Post
    They serve collard greens, watermelon, and fried chicken in soul food restaurants too. What about that watermelon flavored ice cream featuring Lebron James then?

    Does that mean there was a knee jerk reaction when everyone blasted Fuzzy Zeller for his joke about collard greens and fried chicken when talking about Tiger Woods?
    How many Asians can you find who finds Jeremy Lin + fortune cookies offensive?
    A minuscule percentage, and I can't even find one who is offended.

    There is no racist history associated with fortune cookies. Fortune cookies is a recent invention by Chinese restaurants in the U.S.
    Last edited by LethalFang; 02-25-2012 at 11:11 AM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by LethalFang View Post
    How many Asians can you find who finds Jeremy Lin + fortune cookies offensive?
    A minuscule percentage, and I can't even find one who is offended.

    There is no racist history associated with fortune cookies. Fortune cookies is a recent invention by Chinese restaurants in the U.S.
    I am one Chinese American not offended. Of course my brother and I actually laughed at the ESPN headline last week and were shocked it blew up into something that cost someone their job.

    Neither my wife nor my sister in law were offended as well. 4 is a small sample size but I can say 100% of the Chinese I just polled were not offended.

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    Real Bear oskirules's Avatar
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    It's racist.

    You put a picture of Lin and a fortune cookie together and race immediately becomes the focal point and some people start asking, "is this racist"?
    Would you put a picture of an African-American and a bucket of fried chicken together and ask the same question?
    What's the white equivalent? There is no white equivalent.
    Just because you're not offended doesn't mean something isn't racist.

  8. #8
    Fried chicken and watermelon have long been seen as a negative stereotyped foods...it isn't like they were trying to brand Chunky Monkey to anyone. B & J were trying to participate in the zeitgeist of the moment, like they always do. It doesn't seem to me that fortune cookies are similar to fried chicken and watermelon.

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    True Blue Golden Bear LethalFang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim55bear View Post
    Fried chicken and watermelon have long been seen as a negative stereotyped foods...it isn't like they were trying to brand Chunky Monkey to anyone. B & J were trying to participate in the zeitgeist of the moment, like they always do. It doesn't seem to me that fortune cookies are similar to fried chicken and watermelon.
    ^This.

    Fortune cookie is a recent marketing tool by Chinese restaurants in the United States.
    It was never intended as a negative stereotype so please don't make it this way.

    Just because one out of a 1000 Chinese are offended by this benign marketing ploy, he shouldn't take the fun out for everyone else.

  10. #10
    I find it racist. You're using stereotype to brand a product.

    Fortune cookies, furthermore, aren't Chinese. They were born in America. But so was Lin, so it kind of makes sense lol.

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    True Blue Golden Bear sycasey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim55bear View Post
    Fried chicken and watermelon have long been seen as a negative stereotyped foods...
    Wait, how are those foods, in and of themselves, any worse stereotypes than a fortune cookie?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by sycasey View Post
    Wait, how are those foods, in and of themselves, any worse stereotypes than a fortune cookie?
    I think their worse mainly b/c the stereotypes of blacks eating watermelon and chicken was one used during the period of slavery. It is true that some slaves had to eat both, but that was because of necessity as watermelons were/are easier/cheaper to grow and chicken was the cheapest of the domesticated meat. The stereotypes re: watermelons and chicken grew from the forced enslavement of their people. I don't think Chinese railroad workers were eating fortune cookies, but if they were than it would be as bad as the black food stereotypes.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by tim55bear View Post
    Fried chicken and watermelon have long been seen as a negative stereotyped foods...it isn't like they were trying to brand Chunky Monkey to anyone. B & J were trying to participate in the zeitgeist of the moment, like they always do. It doesn't seem to me that fortune cookies are similar to fried chicken and watermelon.
    huh? of course they're similar; stereotypes are stereotypes, regardless of whether they're "negative". What's negative about fried chicken? It tastes awesome, and it's not like people are engaged in bad behavior by eating it. This guy loves it so much he wrote a catchy song about it. But as others have noted if B&Js made an Obama ice cream that included fried chicken they'd get pilloried for it, and not just because it would taste awful.

    Look at this another way -- what do fortune cookies have to do with Jeremy Lin? Does his family make them? Does he love them? The answers are no and probably not, so why put them in his ice cream? For the same reason Stefon Diggs wrote "...Jeremy Lin egg roll and dumplings he's good though" -- because they're foods associated with Asian people. That's the stereotype part, and it was odd for B&Js to not anticipate some fallout.

    They could have done much better, too; play on the NBA part (with little chocolate basketballs, although this is a one-shop deal so probably no custom parts), or pair the "linsanity" with the fact that he's in NYC and combine several crazy ingredients including pizza dough and bagel chips.

  14. #14
    True Blue Golden Bear sycasey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BearyWhite View Post
    hLook at this another way -- what do fortune cookies have to do with Jeremy Lin? Does his family make them? Does he love them? The answers are no and probably not, so why put them in his ice cream? For the same reason Stefon Diggs wrote "...Jeremy Lin egg roll and dumplings he's good though" -- because they're foods associated with Asian people. That's the stereotype part, and it was odd for B&Js to not anticipate some fallout.
    Right, and here's the thing: if this had been something done with Jeremy Lin's input, say, he wanted to include fortune cookies among the ingredients as a joke, that would be more acceptable. It becomes more of an Asian-American in joke at that point. Examples cited above like Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert were involved with the creation and marketing of their flavors, which I think is a key distinction here.

    This flavor appears to have been created without Lin's input and by a bunch of white guys who thought it would be funny to put fortune cookies in an ice cream based on an Asian celebrity. That's kind of racist. Not actively and maliciously so (I doubt Ben and Jerry would do much of anything for a malicious reason), but casually and ignorantly so. I'm not losing any sleep over it, but it is a bit racist and they should have known better.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by oskirules View Post
    It's racist.

    You put a picture of Lin and a fortune cookie together and race immediately becomes the focal point and some people start asking, "is this racist"?
    Would you put a picture of an African-American and a bucket of fried chicken together and ask the same question?
    What's the white equivalent? There is no white equivalent.
    Just because you're not offended doesn't mean something isn't racist.
    It is racist. The difference, and why many people are not offended by the Ben and Jerry's is that it is celebrating Lin and celebrating his race (which is technically still racist). In most of the examples with African Americans the racism is intended to be racist and insulting, for example these of Obama:


    and most racist of all:


    If you like Lin because he is Chinese, or like Obama or Woods or Jackie Robinson, because they are African American, it is technically racist, but it is a lot different than if you hated them because they are Chinese or African American. The examples that insult Lin and reference Asian stereotypes are far more offensive to most people than the ones that celebrate him and reference Asian stereotypes. For most people, intent matters a lot. They are far more forgiving of compliments, even if based on racial stereotypes (and may even enjoy them and perpetuate them themselves).

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