A young mother in New York City has been targeted by left-wing social justice activists for daring to open a Chinese restaurant while being white.
Activists have accused Arielle Haspel of being culturally insensitive for naming her restaurant "Lucky Lee's" and for suggesting her food is conducive for those seeking so-called "clean eating."
However, such criticisms don't exactly hold up. For starters, the eatery is named after Haspel's husband, whose first name is Lee. And as far as the young entrepreneur allegedly stereotyping Americanized Chinese food as greasy and unhealthy, the trendy concept of "clean eating" touches all cuisines, as noted at length by Haspel.
"Ohhhh I CANNOT with Lucky Lee’s, this new 'clean Chinese restaurant' that some white wellness blogger just opened in New York," posted BRIC TV host MacKenzie Fegan. "Her blog talks about how “Chinese food is usually doused in brown sauces” and makes your eyes puffy. Lady, what?"
Another social justice crusader bashed Haspel, whom she called a "stupid b****," for naming the restaurant after her "white a** husband."
"I hope her business fails miserably because she thinks flavor is bad for you," the critic posted on Twitter, adding, "This stupid b**** said ITS NAMED LUCKY LEES AFTER HER WHITE A** HUSBAND NAMED LEE WHO LOVES CHINESE FOOD I HATE THIS C***."
Here are screenshots of the now-unavailable tweets:
In a lengthy thread about the business owner's apparent culturally "problematic" behavior, classical pianist Sharon Su called on "white allies" to help her take down Lucky Lee's.
"So a new Chinese restaurant is opening up in NYC and while I want SO BADLY to give it the benefit of the doubt, everything I’m finding out about it is making me go YIKES YIKES YIKES," Su complained in a series of tweets posted Monday.
The pianist continued, mocking Haspel as a "xenophobic American lady" ignorant of Asian "healthy balanced meals."
"I’m trying VERY HARD not to make assumptions, but I’d guess that the woman launching this is only used to American-style Chinese food which was crafted with high amounts of fat, sugar, and salt to appeal to American palates (which, btw, is not *THAT* bad for you!)," she wrote, adding: "I am *very doubtful* that she is familiar with the many varieties of traditional Chinese cooking. A lot of Chinese cooking philosophy is light-fat/no-sugar/light-salt, with the idea of letting your fresh ingredients shine (this whole 'Chinese, but CLEAN!' idea is so bad)."
She also took issue with the name of the restaurant: "I’m also trying not to gnash my teeth at the name 'Lucky Lee’s' bc 1) this superficial understanding of luck and fortune in Asian culture is really common among non-Asian Americans for some reason and ... 'Lee' is a surname spelling a lot of Asian immigrants chose when they came over (as opposed to 'Li' or 'Le') because adopting an American spelling was a way to minimize their Asian-ness and assimilate into a predominantly white American culture."
Ever so reasonably, Su claimed that even though Haspel's husband's name is Lee, "it’s still a super duper problematic choice of nomenclature for a Chinese-themed endeavor." Go figure.
Haspel was also plagued by nasty, racist comments on her Instagram page. Here are some examples:
"How do we cancel you?"
"What tf does Becky know about Chinese food?"
"A white person doing Chinese? How boring."
"This is typical racist trash out of NYC out out out."
"The audacity of the caucacity."
"I hope your business fails."
"Because you know the only people coming to your racist ass joint will be white people who can’t use chopsticks lmfaooooo."
In a comment which seems to have been since deleted from Instagram, Haspel responded to the criticism:
"We are sorry we have disappointed some of you. That is never our intention. Our intention is to nourish as many people as possible to make you feel great," the comment began, before a statement from Haspel was added:
The restaurant is named after my husband Lee and his life-long love for American-Chinese Food was inspiration for the restaurant.
As a Certified Holistic Health Coach, for the past ten years, I've been swapping ingredients in many cuisines with the intention of making them accessible to those with specific food allergies, dietary restrictions, and preferences. The term "Clean Easting" can mean different things to different people, so it's important to clarify some basic elements that we are referring to. When we refer to "clean" cooking techniques, we are referencing wholesome food, locally sourced vegetables, organic whenever possible, certified humane animal proteins, non GMO oils. We are not commenting on anyone elses [sic] food, just our own. We love our food and hope you get a chance to try it.
Lucky Lee's officially opened up on Monday.