“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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Did federal ICE agents just racially profile Asian Americans in massive PA raid yesterday?

Authorities raid Fuji & Jade Garden in State College, PA yesterday as part of a 9-restaurant raid of Asian businesses. (Screen capture: WTAJ)
Authorities outside of Fuji & Jade Garden in State College, PA yesterday as part of a 9-restaurant raid of Asian businesses. Agents were seeking undocumented workers. (Screen capture: WTAJ)

Yesterday, Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents conducted a massive raid in State College, Pennsylvania. According to reports, ICE agents joined forces with local police and members of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office to invade several private homes and small businesses, and at many of the locations, people were detained and asked to present immigration papers. Several people were taken away in handcuffs when they could not produce their immigration documents.

According to scattered reports, all of the businesses raided yesterday in what ICE officials are calling a “targeted enforcement operation” were Asian restaurants.

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