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From an e-mail fwded by Saffiyah, our ex-BC Vice-Chair:

Dear MANAA & Other Asian American Allies,

I'm writing to ask for help in taking action against yet another example of racism and cultural ignorance.

My girlfriend and I were walking around the West Village of all places, and we came across Cowgirl (www.cowgirlnyc.com), a restaurant on 519 Hudson St. It is a restaurant with (awful online reviews and) the motto of serving authentic Texan food and having an authentic Texan attitude. In its display windows were elaborate decorations of Chinese New Year that correlated with its theme of serving Asian-influenced food for the celebration of Lunar New Year. I wouldn't be writing this email if I felt that the restaurant was honestly trying to pay tribute to the New Year, but what we found throughout the display windows were racist images that reminded us of all the degrading ways Asians have been misrepresented in the American media. There were words written in pidgeon English and in "chinky" letters. There were mannequins of Fu Manchu and Caucasians in yellow face. And like other decorations of bamboozlement, these were meant to be funny, innocent, and unintentional; but the result was demeaning, disrespectful, cheap and repugnant.

Now I've never been to the Texas myself, but most my friends from there are good people. The people of the Cowgirl restaurant might claim that they're only being true to their Texan attitudes to remain insensitive and ignorant, but knowing my Texan friends, I know that this is not an issue of what state you're from -- it's an issue of respect and human decency.

The images from Cowgirl can be seen in the links below:

Hope to hear from you soon. I would like to know what we can do in educating the public about this.

In solidarity,
Taiyo Na
See images below (click above links for more):

Sign caption:
Confucius Say
East Meets West
Makes Love Go Round

Cowgirl is located on the corner of Hudson and 10th St. Now, I'm not telling our readers to go out there and riot; but I would think about writing a letter to the manager or steering clear from eating there until the restaurant figures out a less tacky and ignorant way to depict the "Exotic East". It's not hard to see that portrayals and stereotypes like these have been (and still are) damaging to the API community.


  1. lora said...

    and elsewhere in the US, yellow peril/fu manchu/thinly veiled racism continues:



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