“Chop Chop Chinaman” Restaurant Closes Months After Backlash Over Racist Name

Photo via Jeannie Harrell.
Photo via Jeannie Harrell.

In March, social media exploded with the story of a woman who was arrested for vandalism after she used lipstick to challenge a newly opened Chicago eatery for its racist name. The restaurant was called “Chop Chop Chinaman”, a reference to a number of archaic anti-Asian slurs and stereotypes. Local resident Jeannie Harrell scrawled on the restaurant’s front window, “Fuck this hate crime shit. It’s 2015.” and posted a picture of the graffiti on Instagram, leading to her arrest and misdemeanor charges. Harrell’s court appearance occurred on Tuesday; she plead guilty and was sentenced to 1-month suspension and a $200 fine.

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.

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Woman arrested for calling Chicago restaurant “Chop Chop Chinaman” racist in graffiti

chop-chop-chinaman

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.

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Cops caught on-camera hurling anti-Asian insults, assaulting Asian American salon owner

Screen capture of suveillance video showing Jianqing "Jessica" Klyzek's arrest (upper left).
Screen capture of suveillance video showing Jianqing “Jessica” Klyzek’s arrest (upper left).

(H/T Yun Xu)

Last week, Jianqing “Jessica” Klyzek — the 32-year-old owner of a Chicago-area salon — filed a federal lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department alleging excessive forced and racial discrimination during a police raid of her business. Klyzek released surveillance video document the incident, which occurred last year; in the video, several officers enter the business, grab Klyzek by the arm, throw her to the ground and handcuff her. During the arrest, the following exchange can be heard:

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.

Video after the jump.

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