“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

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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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