Reports have being flying around the web about an incident in Alpharetta, Georgia regarding two Starbucks customers of Korean descent who claim that they were identified as the owners of their frosty drinks by an employee who drew “chink eyes” on their cups.
If it wasn’t bad enough that a Papa John’s customer found the words “lady chinky eyes” written on her receipt, or that two customers at a Chick-Fil-A were given their receipts with the names “Ching” and “Chong” printed on them, it now comes down to employees at Starbucks trying to be sneaky about their racism by adding “chink eyes” to cups, like this:
Last month at a Starbucks Coffee location in Alpharetta, Georgia, two Korean customers — who are not native English speakers — discovered that their barista had identified them by drawing “chinky eyes” on their drinks. You know, where they usually write your name? OH NO THEY DIDN’T. Yes, they did.
You cannot tell me those are both just two random squiggles on those cups. I’m told that the customers immediately complained to the store manager, who did not defend the drawings or offer some kind of bullshit explanation, but simply apologized. And that’s it. Oh, sorry for the racist way we run our coffee joint.
But my favorite part of the story: in addition to the manager’s apology, the customers were offered a gift card. Well, thanks a bunch for caring.
This happened in a suburb of Atlanta with a significant Asian American population. I guess it’s too much to hope that the Starbucks employees in question would give a damn about the people in their neighborhood. Instead, two Asian customers were simply reduced to a wordless, racist caricature with the stroke of a pen. How many times do you think this was done to Asian customers before someone actually noticed and said something?
The only thing missing from this story is the obvious throw back to the 2011 sensation – Asians In The Library – that basically put “ching chong” firmly on the map.