The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, December 23, 2003  

Alive and Well & Living in Philadelphia

How sad to see that anti-Asian and anti-Asian-American racism are alive and well and living in Philadelphia.

Or, at the very least, being given a platform for the widespread distribution of invective from the pages of the Philadelphia Daily News.

In today’s edition, the PDN saw fit to publish so despicable a letter from a reader as this one, under the headline “Asian Storekeepers,” from one Diane Madison of Philadelphia:

If Asian store owners are so frightened of their customers that they need bulletproof glass, why don’t they go somewhere else?

I don’t patronize them, and I’m glad there are groups organizing to keep them out of our neighborhoods. It seems like some Asian store owners are hiding behind their language and culture. They say they don’t understand English or American culture, and that causes problems with customers. That’s just an excuse to be rude. Stay out of their stores, and they’ll understand when they have to shut down.

Fine, Diane. And when, given the paucity of grocery stores, let alone supermarkets, in many parts of Philadelphia, your neighbors no longer have a choice between even “Chinese” food and “seafood,” don’t come crying to the rest of us.

[Post-publication addendum (December 30): Apparently I’m not to only person in Philadelphia who saw racism in Madison’s letter. PDN readers respond. (Please ignore the equally racist letter from one Donna Sambrick.)]

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