This commentary is in response to the supposed racist ice cream that Ben & Jerry’s produced. To read about it, click this link.
As I have mentioned before, I am over the Jeremy Lin is Asian-American thing. I just want to view him as a basketball player. I don’t want his skin color or Harvard degree to be how I judge him as a player.
So when I read about the new ice cream flavor, I thought it was a cool idea and was not offended at all when I saw that it would include fortune cookies. But apparently, it was offensive in some way.
Here’s my problem. Part of the Linsanity craze is in part of because he is Taiwanese-American. That’s fact and that can’t be ignored. So when you include fortune cookies to the ice cream, it didn’t really come up as something odd.
But apparently, adding something cultural to the ice cream is a bad thing. Now, I know that technically fortune cookies were originally from Japan and popularized in America, but it’s now synonymous with Chinese food in America and served in many restaurants. Adding that into the ice cream seemed like a cool concept.
If I wanted to see a Taiwanese-inspired ice cream, I’d be OK with fortune cookies. Well, maybe if they want to be more accurate, how about some pineapple cake instead? Would that also have been racist? What about an egg tart?
Look, the entire idea of this ice cream was to celebrate Linsanity and part of Linsanity is his heritage. To get all offended by adding the fortune cookie and replacing it with a waffle cone (originated in France) really just makes it a lot worse. So it’s not racist if we make add a European element to it?
I don’t know what the solution would be. Maybe I am not seeing it from the public relations point of view. But I really don’t find a real racist issue here. Probably the biggest problem was that they decided to make the ice cream in the first place.
Anything cultural that is in reference to Lin can be considered racist these days. And apparently, adding a common Chinese dessert item to an ice cream inspired by Jeremy Lin is also racist.
** Maybe this is racist and I don’t see it. It could because I don’t view racism the same way as other people. Or maybe something like this doesn’t blind and confuse me as the politically correct mantra suggests I should think. I would like to know who actually were sending in complaints about the ice cream: Chinese and Taiwanese people or others that were trying to be offended for us?