We’re Not Racists, We Promise

In a recent Identity Theory newsletter, I posed the question, "Does anyone know of any good Oriental places to eat in Austin?"

This question caused a negative reaction from quite a few readers, who attacked me for being racist and said it was taboo to use the term "Oriental" in reference to Asian food.

I was unfamiliar with the ban on this term and certainly didn’t intend it to be taken as racist.

Rather than concoct a quasi-intellectual response to their claims, I have decided to defend myself by taking pictures with my camera phone.

Here’s what I have so far…

oriental market

In case your vision is a bit off, that sign reads, "My Thanh Oriental Market." When I entered the store, I was the only non-Asian person in there, but none of my fellow shoppers seemed outraged to be patronizing an openly racist supermarket.

oriental curry

They sell "Oriental" Curry Sauce. Clearly someone didn’t get the memo.

oriental dumpling

And Oriental dumpling.

oriental noodles

And Oriental style noodles. They even went so far as to put a bunch of Asian-language characters on the bag so as to appear authentic and hide their racist agenda.

oriental pasta

Oriental pasta! Don’t they understand that Oriental is an imperialist term used by the West to oppress those Easterners viewed as inferior and exotic? Looks like 21.6 ounces of racism to me.

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