A now viral photo of a Korean restaurant’s menu has sparked a heated debate online over whether or not it is racist. While many got a good laugh out of the Asian eatery’s menu, others believe it perpetuates a stereotype.
The unnamed Korean restaurant in Toronto is playing to a notorious stereotype that white people can’t handle spicy foods. Though this is not true for all Caucasians, many of whom actually enjoy spicy food, the stereotype exists nonetheless. Thus, the restaurant in question added a spiciness ranking to their menu which labels the least spicy foods as “white,” according to Mail Online.
The portion of the unidentified restaurant’s menu that is in question has to do with its in-house spiciness scale. In order to appease the palates of its guests, the restaurant has devised a scale that ranges from “extra spicy” at the top, all the way down to the lowest classification, which is simply labeled as “white.”
A picture of the menu, uploaded by Reddit user peternok, has been upvoted 7,700 times.
Stereotypes exist surrounding all nationalities and races, whether we like it or not. While those who are not easily offended tend to see them mostly as harmless fun, others notoriously get their panties in a wad when it comes to characterizing an entire race of people.
When it come to racism, though, there is definitely a double-standard which permeates nearly all situations: What is acceptable to say/do to whites is not acceptable to say/do to blacks.
For example, if this Korean restaurant had instead labeled its spiciest dishes “Black,” there would be no debate at all. Rather, every two-bit activist would be coming out of the woodwork to decry it as racist and bigoted. They’d boycott the poor Korean restaurant until its owners were forced out of business. It would probably all be Donald Trump’s fault, too.
While I’m not offended in the least by this menu, I certainly recognize that had the tables been turned, the reaction from the general public would have been much different.