However, most agreed — then and now — that even if Harrell might have committed vandalism, she was right to point out that the restaurant name is indeed offensive and racist. The story of Harrell’s arrest prompted a social media backlash against “Chop Chop Chinaman”, including numerous 1-star reviews of the restaurant on Yelp, leaving the restaurant with an overall 1.5 star average rating.
Last October, Chicago-area entrepreneur Larry Lee helped to open a restaurant featuring Chinese & Szechwan cuisine. The sign featured a figure wearing a “coolie” hat and pulling a cart beneath that icky “chop suey” font. Lee called his restaurant “Chop Chop Chinaman”.
Yeah, dude, that shit is racist.
Local Chicago-area resident Jeannie Harrell agreed. A self-identified biracial Asian American, Harrell passed the restaurant one night in February and decided to express herself. She took a tube of lipstick out of her purse and wrote a message on the store window.
Fuck this hate crime shit. It’s 2015.
Harrell took a picture of the graffiti and posted it to social media. A week later, police arrived to arrest Harrell for misdemeanor criminal damage of private property.
Officer: You’re not fucking American! I’ll put you in a UPS box and send you back to wherever the fuck you came from!
Klyzek: I’m a citizen, okay?
Officer: No, you’re not! No, you’re not a citizen! No, you’re not! No, you’re not! You’re here on our borrowed time, so mind your own fucking business before I shut this whole fucking place down. And I’ll take this place and then whoever owns it will fucking kill you because they don’t care about you, okay?
I’ll take this building. You’ll be dead and your family will be dead.