I tried to import the image into my own post, but I couldn't find a way to do it, and when I tried to "google" for more information or images related to this flyer, nothing came up.
Which means, there has been no public outcry in Raleigh, NC or thereabouts.
If you haven't yet clicked on the link, the flyer, printed on yellow paper, is an advertisement to celebrate Chinese New Year at a bar called "The Goat" which, after a google search for this establishment, prides itself on being a local dive bar with a diverse clientle.
The flyer says this:
"Come Get Slant Eyed @ The Goat. For Chinese New Year's Feb. 6th, 4705. Come party in your best Chinese outfit. $50 Gift Certificate for Best Outfit! Party favors and lots of giveaways!
Also on the flyer is a parenthetical note next to the name of the bar "(no offense") and at the very bottom of the flyer is an image of a Chinese dragon.
Ironically, the fact that the bar owners wrote "no offense" on the flyers signals that this wasn't just a case of simple ignorance, as in "Woops, we had NO IDEA that someone would be offended by asking people to come dressed as Chinese people with their slanted eyes--our bad!" They clearly had a sense that this flyer WAS offensive, would be interpreted as offensive, and to head off criticism they decided to tell people that they are not trying to be offensive--in other words, if we, the viewers of the flyer, are, indeed, offended, well we're just oversensitive because the intent was not meant to offend.
At which I call bullshit. It's like people saying "Just kidding" for some kind of passive-aggressive remark. And this is just patently offensive. It's racist. It's wrong. And it makes me sad. And angry.
I mean REALLY??? In this day and age??? That someone, somewhere would make these comments, would liken getting drunk to having racial features, and to phrase it in such a racist way--tying it into a cultural celebration that billions of people around the world celebrate--a holiday that is the equivalent in China of Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. Chinese New Year lasts 15 days--it's celebrated for over a week. All that news coverage of people being stranded in blizzards trying to reach their homes during the holiday? These workers in Southern China, predominantly outside of Hong Kong get one vacation a year, and that's so they can travel to their natal homes and visit their families and pay respect to their ancestors and celebrate the lunar new year. It is the largest mass migration in one period on earth that occurs on a yearly basis. These people risked freezing to death to try to visit their families because the holiday is that important. Let me repeat: Chinese New Year is the equivalent of Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July--maybe with Mother and Father's day wrapped in for good measure. This isn't some quaint exotic cultural ritual--this isn't something to exploit for selling more drinks in the most obnoxious way possible.
And don't get me started on "Chinese outfit"--have these people ever seen pictures of Shanghai and Beijing? THESE ARE MAJOR METROPOLITAN CITIES IN WHICH PEOPLE DRESS JUST LIKE PEOPLE IN PARIS, ROME, LONDON, NEW YORK, AND YES RALEIGH, NC!!! What the hell??? Do they think that Chinese people are all rural dwellers wearing black and blue peasant outfits, or even worse, are they expecting "exotic" women with cheong soms or EVEN WORSE geisha outfits? I mean, probably you could show up in a sari and they wouldn't have known the difference. Or those damn rice paddy hats. And I don't even want to imagine the kind of taped eyes that proliferated in the bar that night. I weep to think of the patrons who participated in this promotional stunt. I weep for the hapless Asian American customer who just wanted to grab a drink after work and instead was inflicted to this racist side show.
But perhaps no one came dressed up. Perhaps the good citizens of Raleigh and the surrounding area thought the whole thing was patently offensive and NO ONE came to The Goat that night. One can only hope.
I've written letters to area newspapers and newsoutlets. The cynic in me doesn't think anything will happen. But in case anyone out there in cyberspace wants to add your two-cents, this is the link to the "Letter to the Editor" page of the Raleigh News & Observer (click here).