In response to Ilya Winham’s Feb. 6 letter “Chino Latino not racist,” I would like to state more explicitly what makes Chino Latino’s ad campaign racist. The Asian community struggles to be more than a cultural and sexual fetish and to have its members viewed as legitimate persons within legitimate communities.
These fetishes have eliminated and ignored the people within these cultures and have objectified our art, cultures and people. As an Asian-American woman, I am terribly offended by Chino Latino’s ads, especially with the most recent slogan “Happy Hour – Cheaper than a Bangkok Brothel.”
Asian women are continually battling the eroticization of our bodies, and are looked at as foreign sexual objects before being seen as human beings. Perhaps this slogan does not overtly impose power over myself or anyone else, but it perpetuates a misunderstanding – to put it nicely – of who we are.
Slogans such as: “As exotic as you can get without dog,” “Mommy, Mr. Whiskers didn’t come home last night,” and “What the third world does with the food we give them?” give fuel to the fire of why Asians should be ostracized and continues to frame us as foreigners.
If you, the reader, feel enlightened and think I am foolish to believe people would take these campaigns literally, I would say that you are naive, because people do ask me if I eat dog.
I have been propositioned by men purely because I am Asian. I see these stereotypes play out everyday, and do not need large billboards that encourage this behavior. If Chino Latino wants to live up to its “multicultural” name, they need to rethink how they advertise, because right now they are not advertising to a multicultural audience. Nancy Pomplun master’s student School of Public Health