February 27, 2012

Ben & Jerry's apologizes for its ice cream that (attempted to) honor Jeremy Lin.

The "Taste the Lin-Sanity" flavor contained lychee honey swirls and fortune-cookie pieces, which outraged some people.

Do you see why? It's stereotyping to connect someone of a particular ethnic group to the food conventionally associated with that group.

Should Ben and Jerry have apologized for "Taste the Lin-Sanity"?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

93 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Very unfortunate.

Joe Schmoe said...

So who gets fired? Ben or Jerry?

Heads rolled at ESPN for a similar infraction. I want a pink slip.

You know, an erudite poster claiming to be of Asian ethnicity made an excellent point that Asians weren't race-obsessed and not in the victimology business, which is why they weren't in an uproar about the "Chink in the Armor" headline. But some of these events are showing otherwise, unless the perpetrators are just applying the standard racial-issue response as drawn up by the Al Sharptons of the world.

madAsHell said...

I can already hear the non-apology: "We're sorry if you were offended by..."

virgil xenophon said...

SOoooo....we're supposed to pretend that Italians overwhelmingly eat Lutefisk , the national dish of Norway is the enchilada and the Samoans invented the fortune cookie? Get real, sports-fans.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

They should have just added MSG, somebody on Imus suggested.

DADvocate said...

I'm just a good ol' boy who grew up in the South. You can insult me by giving me pulled pork barbecue and cornbread any time.

Phil 3:14 said...

Good grief

Lem said...

I'm not happy with any of the poll choices..

I would have like to have seen something along the lines of made-up offences.

Methadras said...

Uh, fortune cookies aren't a Chinese invention. Whoever those chinks were that were offended should go fuck themselves for their stupidity. Ben & Jerry's did nothing wrong. But since they are a socialist leftard organization, they will bend their knees in supplication to the gods of political correctness.

Tim said...

Third "No" alternative: "No, because this is a made up, bullshit controversy."

But the peeps at Ben & Jerry's are liberal pussies, so of course they abased themselves and apologized.

I can't wait until they apologize for the Opium War, the importation of Chinese labor for building the railroads and mining for gold, as well as the West's reaction to the Boxer Rebellion...

edutcher said...

No time for Ben, Jerry, or their Commie ice cream, but they did nothing wrong. No harm, no foul, but they're trapped in their own PC culture.

Only the perpetually-aggrieved (probably all white guys) got mad at this.

PS No buttons on the poll in my browser (Chrome) (seeing it in the sidebar poll, too), but I went with 3.

EDH said...

It's not like they named a movie "Chinamen Can't Jump".

Whateverrr.

bagoh20 said...

I'm in my 50's. I don't remember ever being offended by anyone or anything in my entire life. Is there something wrong with me?

Maguro said...

If the ice cream honoring a Chinese guy has fortune cookie bits, how come Cherry Garcia isn't spiked with LSD?

Or is it?

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

Oh, and the peeps at Ben & Jerry's should apologize for Gen. MacArthur provoking the Chinese to formally enter the Korean War by approaching their border with No. Korea with UN forces...

Tim said...

It's probably raycisssss of me to note this irony: Asians are significantly more prone to lactose intolerance than, say, Europeans; ergo, how many Asians were likely to ever buy Ben & Jerry's homage to Jeremy Lin?

kimsch said...

Only one person could possibly have any cause to be offended (and he probably wasn't) - Jeremy Lin.

Other people are apparently trying to take offense on his behalf.

Do we know who these people are? Are they projecting their own racism on others?

Chuck66 said...

Didn't someone predict about 25 years ago that multi-culturalism will destory this country? The hyphenated names (Asian-American), the hyper sensitivity, etc.

Did you hear? Whichever MLB team used to be the Colt 45s (is it the Orioles?) is having throwback jerseys this year for their 50s season. MLB banned their throwback uniforms because they had a colt 45 on them.

Chuck66 said...

As a Scandanavian-American, I give Ben and Jerry's permission to produce an ice cream in my honor the is Lutefisk flavored and comes with viking horns (even though Vikings never put horns on their headwear).

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
crosspatch said...

I live in a community with a very large Chinese population. One day I was in a dumpling house a few blocks from home and an Asian couple got off their bikes, came in, and sat down. The proprietress walks over with her pad and addresses them in Chinese. The man said "Look, lady, I was born in Virginia, I don't know a word of Chinese. Can I order in English?".

She gave them a look like she had just been seriously offended and frowned like that couple smelled bad or something. You have to understand that in this neighborhood most of the kids go to "Chinese school" after regular school. They learn Chinese language, literature, culture, and history. For this pair not to even know how to speak Chinese almost bowled the lady over as if they were some insult to their race.

Ctmom4 said...

We were joking about this yesterday, and my son asked why, if this was offensive, they can sell Dublin Mudslide, which has liqueur in it.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Ben and Jerry's href="http://www.benjerry.com/flavors/feature/schweddy/">Schweddy Balls celebrates an SNL sketch that mocks a tradition associated with Christmas. On behalf of all Christians*, I demand an apology. And a lifetime supply of ice cream, flavors to be chosen later.


*The fact that I'm an atheist in no way diminishes either my outrage or my appetite.

ic said...

Lychee, good.
Fortune cookie, no good.

Offended? Nah.
Gweilos, bellyaching funny.

No worry, Hop Sing loves lychee ice cream Hop Sing also likes red bean ice cream, green bean ice cream.

"Chink in the Armor" was funny, nobody burnt Obama effigy, nobody killed no ESPNers.

Btw, we from the Middle Kingdom are quite offended by the Gweilos naming our country after our porcelain, or our porcelain after our country. Can't quite figure that out.

Cushing said...

That combo does sound delicious though.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

North Koreans are offended Sasha Baron Cohen dropped Kim Jon Il ashes on Ryan Seacrest.

Oh wait.. North Koreans don't know anything about the Oscars..

Wait.. did I just insult North Koreans?

I'm sooo offended with myself.

Ignorance is Bliss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

"Did you hear? Whichever MLB team used to be the Colt 45s (is it the Orioles?) is having throwback jerseys this year for their 50s season. MLB banned their throwback uniforms because they had a colt 45 on them."

The Astros. The Houston Astros. Pathetic.

And the image of the Colt .45 is of the old revolver, not the (newer) Model 1911.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck66 said...

phx, MLB is re-writing history to satisfy the PC overlords. The team wants to honor their past with by wearing uniforms from throughout their history. MLB told the team "no".

And if you think leftwingers are a major source of revenue for MLB, you have never been to a MLB game. It is as American as the Boy Scouts.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I tried my comment a second time, but it appears that hyper-links are broken in comments. So I deleted my second attempt, and on the confirm delete page the hyper-link worked.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Petunia said...

What's the big deal? Fortune cookies have a positive link to Asia. Unlike using the word "chink" to refer to someone of Asian descent. Did they take the lychee swirl out too? Isn't that just as "bad" as fortune cookies? Or not, because many people don't know what a lychee is?

I read somewhere that part of the problem was the fortune cookie bits got soggy, anyway.

MadisonMan said...

They should only apologize for the bad pun in the name.

A seven, eleven, and nine and lychees

Patrick said...

Yeah? Well what about insane people? Huh? Who's gonna apologize to them?

Criminy.

Henry said...

If they'd done their homework they'd have given away bibles with the ice cream.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ice cream celebrating a new basketball player's cultural wrinkle in the American family - offensive.

Cults openly warping the fabric of society - a-ok.

This place has certainly got it's priorities right,...

Henry said...

Taste the Lin-Wilderness flavor - Vanilla ice cream with wild honey and locusts.

Methadras said...

crosspatch said...

You have to understand that in this neighborhood most of the kids go to "Chinese school" after regular school.


Why? Why send your children to learn the culture of a society you don't live in? Jews do it with Hebrew school. Arabs do it, well, they just remain unassimilated retards. Chinese do it with chinese school. Pointless and stupid. You are in America. Assimilate or seriously go back to your land of ethnic origin. Why do you come to this country only to drag your country's culture with it. Why do you send your children, who are born here, to a country school if they will most likely never go there? Such culturally suicidal bullshit. It's like seeing moles out in broad daylight. They don't even bother hiding their nefarious intentions anymore. Straddle the fence culturally and nationalistically to hedge your bets against your country of origin.

Carol_Herman said...

If Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream is as famous a brand as they say they are; then they're selling their ice cream in "Red States" ... as well as "Blue States." So they've got a wide variety of customers. (ie. "variety" means across a wide swath of ethnic diversity.)

While you don't have to be Asian to think Lichee Honey Swirls sounds delicious.

Chip Ahoy said...

That sounds like a great flavor. Wouldn't the fortune cookies get soggy?

Now that they've pulled it and denied us this provocative and imaginative and enticing flavor we must make it ourselves. My suggestions; avoid tinned lychees, they're not good at all, and reserve the fortune cookies to break over the served scoops.

crosspatch said...

They do it basically because their parents' friends and family expect them to. While they live here, they still are expected to be "Chinese". They generally don't allow their children to date non-Chinese either.

My kids' schools are about 90% Asian of various sorts, mostly Chinese. About 40 different language are spoken in the homes of my son's school mates. Most are not native born. There are an absolutely huge number of Chinese who are first generation here.

The parents still identify more as Chinese than as American and they send their kids to Chinese school to learn how to be Chinese. It is different than Hebrew School or Japanese school. Japanese school is generally a summer school. Hebrew school was a year or two if I remember when some of my classmates went. Chinese school is every single day during the school year IN ADDITION to regular school. The kids leave regular school, walk to Chinese school, then their parents pick them up and take them to their music lesson (generally violin or piano). The kids are busy from sunup until sundown. Then when they get home it is homework and more music practice.

They have no social life. My kids have nothing in common with them culturally at all. We are the only native born American family on my street.

Carol_Herman said...

Does the Nixon Rule apply?

Nixon said it doesn't matter what is said against you in the press; as long as they spell your name right.

They could have spelled "Jerry" "Gerry." And, that wouldn't sell this ice cream. Ben and Jerry would have to sue someone else for copyright infringement.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol_Herman said...

Crosspatch, @ 9:59 PM. In China, there are many dialects of Chinese. Depending on where you come from, there are Chinese who don't understand speakers from other provinces.

Carol_Herman said...

Crosspatch, at 10:43 PM.

You're wrong about Hebrew School. Because you are only referring to Reform Jews. Conservatives and Orthodox even run Yeshivas. And, there's a Yeshiva in New York City that is on a college level.

Growing up in New York City, a friend of mine had Chinese friends whose family had been in this country from five to seven generations.

Yes, the families remain close-knit. Reminds me of Italian families in Brooklyn, Queens, and New York, where all the relatives lived close-by. Usually within the same block. Rarely varying the radius by moving away.

Plenty of Chinese marry "out." Just as back in the 1950's the Orthodox Jewish boys, breaking with "tradition" married Shikzas.

The other good thing about many Asians in your community? Keeps home sale prices up, because the public schools are fantastic.

It's just an amazing thing, how stereotypes can be so off the mark.

Meanwhile, Ben & Jerry's ain't stupid. Look. They didn't have to pay Lin for an endorsement. (Saving millions $$$). And, they're garnering free publicity.

The only salary, here, they need to pay is to the PR person who "clips" the mentions for their scrapbook.

Okay. Another office person. The person delegated to read and answer all the fan mail.

Titus said...

Ben and Jerry don't even own Ben and Jerry's anymore.

They sold it to some other company years ago.

tits.

ed said...

You know speaking as a Korean and not Chinese, but often mistaken for one by people who wouldn't have the experience to know the difference, I don't think anything of the inclusion of fortune cookies.

First off the whole thing is a tongue in cheek homage. Secondly Did Jeremy Lin -ever- think he'd get an ice cream named after him? Third, but not least, the fortune cookie -is- the American success story.

And even if these aren't good enough. It's a damn ice cream. Haven't you got something better to be angry about?

fivewheels said...

How about, "Yes, because it's a company that advertises itself as being on the oh-so-sensitive side, so it deserves some comeuppance even though the underlying offense is meaningless, and I hate to see hippies getting away with their stupid double standards."

A bit wordy, but that's my answer.

ed said...

"You know, an erudite poster claiming to be of Asian ethnicity made an excellent point that Asians weren't race-obsessed and not in the victimology business, which is why they weren't in an uproar about the "Chink in the Armor" headline." - Joe Schmoe

Actually I'd suggest that Asians are by default so incredibly racist against each other that the relatively mild mannered racism that Asians sometimes experience is hardly worth mentioning.

Frankly there is a rather strong sense of cultural identity and hatred for other Asians that I doubt you'd believe it. It isn't anything that you can really change. That's just the way it is.

ed said...

"I'm just a good ol' boy who grew up in the South. You can insult me by giving me pulled pork barbecue and cornbread any time." - DADvocate

Mine is sausage & biscuits. But none of the disgusting greasy stuff they serve up here in the North.

Fluffy milk biscuits fresh out of the oven and just barely starting to cool on a hot plate smothered in sausage gravy with a piece of hot water cornbread.

I'm dying here.

ed said...

"I'm in my 50's. I don't remember ever being offended by anyone or anything in my entire life. Is there something wrong with me?" - bagoh20

You know that is one seriously ugly shirt. ... :)

n.n said...

It's barely a stereotype. The only people who should be offended are those who profit from exploiting offense and those who don't know that people tend to prefer their traditional cuisine.

Since gaining friends from that part of the world, I have never ate so much Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, and Thai food. Other than steak, they are almost single-minded about what they prefer to eat.

So, is the offense recognized through recognizing a diversity of geographically prominent flora and fauna?

This is utterly ridiculous. That these nonsensical divisions are perpetuated and propagated for profit is contemptible.

write_effort said...

If B&J still owned B&J, the Lin-Sanity recipe would have been more creative. It was insultingly lame and superficial. Probably the product of hurrying something to market.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

I once heard someone from Wisconsin referred to as a "cheesehead" because folks in Wisconsin eat a lot of, and even produce some, cheese.

The fella from Wisco socked the word-throwing bigot right onto the cold, hard ground without a second thought.

And that right there is how you handle hateful bigots: violently without second thought.

BECAUSE OF THE HYPOCRISY!

Revenant said...

Uh, fortune cookies aren't a Chinese invention

To me that makes it worse.

It reminds me of that scene in "Better Off Dead" where the mother prepares a meal of French Fries and French Toast for the French exchange student.

Chip S. said...

I'm offended by their Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor.

I call on Chip Ahoy to join with me in demanding reparations. Preferably in the form of a lifetime free supply of Karamel Sutra.

Levi Starks said...

Society forces us to celebrate diverse cultures at every turn, But makes us criminals when we notice obvious differences .

Carol_Herman said...

Ah, and the fortunes inside fortune cookies are always written in English! Who does that? People who only speak Chinese?

Maybe, that's why the fortune cookies I see these days always have numbers printed on the back. In case you believe your fotune falls short, you can gamble on the numbers in back?

crosspatch said...

Yes, I could very well have been wrong about Hebrew school. I am not Jewish but remember a couple of my classmates going at some point in elementary school and popping back in a couple of years later.

As for the neighborhood, heck yeah. The schools are bloody AWESOME. The kids a quiet and polite, there is peer pressure to excel, one with bad grades or acting like an idiot is not idolized by their peers.

Going just half a mile displays the difference like night and day. I went to a different elementary school once as they had a combined summer daycare with my kids' school one week due to some work that needed to be done. Those kids were ANIMALS. All white kids. Total animals.

The home prices in my neighborhood have barely moved since the bottom fell out of the market, too. Not that I can afford one. I rent. A 3br 2ba single story post-war housing development ranch home built in 1960 on a postage stamp lot costs $1,000,000. Sorry, these houses are ready to be torn down in most cases as the termites have got into them, no way I am going to spend a million bucks on my house. I can buy the same house 30 miles away for $250,000 and I will as soon as my kids are through school.

Chef Mojo said...

Maybe someone should get Rosie O'Donnell's advice about this.

Amexpat said...

Forget principles, values and all that other stuff, they are a large corporation and they have a fiduciary duty to do what is in the best interest of the shareholders.

Of course in doing what is in the best interest of the shareholders they will have to take into account the values of their customers and explain their actions in language that will best serve their interests, even if that means management pretending to be sympathetic or sorry when they are not.

Jennifer said...

Fortune cookies do seem like an odd choice. But, he's not actually *from* China. He's from California. Just like fortune cookies.

Seems more like a choice made in poor taste than something to be OMG OFFENDED RENDING GARMENTS NOW about.

Saint Croix said...

It's stereotyping to connect someone of a particular ethnic group to the food conventionally associated with that group.

To the left, stereotyping is like blasphemy.

You have sinned against the liberal gods!

You must atone.

What liberals need is some building where they can go in and confess their sins. A secular shrine.

Jon Burack said...

Maybe Obama should appoint Ben and Jerry the Apology Czars and delegate to them all future apology outreach to the Afghanis. They are clearly competent in this area of expertise.

Pamela said...

The flavor sounds good, wonder how they kept the cookie crunchy? maybe they could rename it?

It is such a shame that we now live in such a hyper sensitive society.

Joe Schmoe said...

I remember when Ben & Jerry had to pull their Black & Tan flavor due to, apparently, white Irish complaints. Which was too bad because that was an awesome flavor.

As a white male please imagine my horror when shopping at a grocery store recently. I turn down the aisle, and I slowly realize there's box after box of "CRACKER" leering at me. Ritz CRACKER, Saltine CRACKER, Graham CRACKER. Now I feel Lin's pain. How humiliating.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The flavor sounds good, wonder how they kept the cookie crunchy?

About 20 years ago I bought the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and Dessert Cookbook. Best culinary investment I ever made.

The trick to keeping things like that crunchy is you freeze the cookie pieces separately, wait until the ice cream is almost completely froze, then add the cookie at the last minute.

Writ Small said...

Saying "se-Lin-ety now. se-Lin-ety now." might help the offended.

Paco Wové said...

"What liberals need is some building where they can go in and confess their sins."

"O most powerful, forgive me! I was stereotyping when I thought I was celebrating diversity!"

"You are forgiven, citizen. Add $50 to your taxes next year, and $100 to the charity of your choice."

LarsPorsena said...

The slant of this post suggests Ben & Jerry's is on the slippery slope of political correctness.

Pogo said...

Shouldn't they have called it "Taste the Rin-Sanity"?

Pogo said...

So solly.

lemondog said...

Racist? Parent company is the British-Dutch Unilever. Only (white) Americans are racist.

BUUUT....as B&J remains headquartered in the US.......

tim maguire said...

Shouldn't a Jeremy Lin ice cream be made up of stuff Jeremy Lin would like in his ice cream? Did they even ask him, or just send him a check and tell him to otherwise piss off?

Of course it's offensive. Honor a Taiwanese basketball player by throwing some fake Chinese crap in a jar and putting his name on it? And stupid to boot.

Should it be offensive? Ehh...I could go either way. But is anybody surprised at the outcry? How stupid is Ben & Jerry's that they thought they could get away with it?

Were they so convinced of their "we're liberal too" shield of invincibility?

lemondog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paco Wové said...

Don't cover the thread with your wordplay gook, Lars!

Curious George said...

Wouldn't the fortunes get all soggy?

Matthew said...

I think it is silly to be offended over this. But, I also think that companies should not be brain dead to walk into a burning building after bathing in gasoline.

Pogo said...

"I also think that companies should not be brain dead"

Meh. Someone is always gonna be offended nowadays.

I am glad it's happened to B&J, those commie bastards.

X said...

Those old commies sold out years ago and kept the lion share of the loot for themselves, according to their needs of course.

Matthew said...

"Meh. Someone is always gonna be offended nowadays. "

-- There's things you can't expect people to get offended over (the greeting card that talked about black holes, no one could imagine that would offend someone). Then, there's things like this that, if I put in front of a room of teenagers, one of them might raise their hand and ask "You sure that's a good idea?" Those are the sorts of ideas, I hope, companies can avoid.

MikeR said...

Bigots. They too should be fired.

Tank said...

bagoh20 said...
I'm in my 50's. I don't remember ever being offended by anyone or anything in my entire life. Is there something wrong with me?


Like me, you were born before the "everyone is a victim" brainwashing became ubiquitous.

We've lost a lot of great comedy opportunities over the past 20-30 years.

lemondog said...

C(blank) water torture too good for them!

Joe Schmoe said...

I'm mad at Ben & Jerry's because I think fortune cookies taste like shit. More like styrofoam, really. To me that's just bad taste and they should be fired for that.

If I were Asian I'd be way more offended by the movie Kung Fu Panda than imagined sleights about Lin's ethnicity. All the village women and children characters are portly-ish pigs. Cute, but not flattering.

Biff said...

A few thoughts:

First, despite the leftward leanings of the causes that Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc chooses to support, they are a business, and the controversy over Lin-Sanity was absolutely predictable, regardless of whether or not the Lin-Sanity recipe was actually "racist," rather than good-natured edginess. For that reason, Ben & Jerry's needs to fire somebody in their marketing / product development departments for incompetence, not for racism. The incident demonstrates an enormous blind spot at Ben and Jerry's.

...which raises the question of the source of the blind spot. I've come across the perspective (usually in academia, but occasionally on the street) that racism is about power, so groups with lesser power cannot be racist. I don't agree with that perspective, but, extending it a little bit, it is okay to use stereotypes of powerful groups, because it can be seen as lessening or balancing power, but it is not okay to use stereotypes of less powerful groups, particularly by members of privileged groups, since that can be seen as oppressive. This is why websites like "Stuff White People Like" are funny, but an equivalent site directed at African-Americans or Arabs likely would be pilloried for racism. While Asian-American are not known for their power in professional basketball, they are often seen as a privileged group in American culture, hence many race-conscious people think that Asian-Americans will "get the joke," rather than be offended. It's a variant on the opinion among some groups that Asians don't really count as minorities, since they have achieved relative power parity with whites in America.

What Ben & Jerry's should have done in the first place: contact Lin and ask him what his favorite ice cream actually was, and then make a variation of that.

Of course, if Lin's favorite ice cream were either chocolate or vanilla, someone would insist that would be racist, too.

Amartel said...

Option A.

Make them play by their own rules.

Also, it IS like honoring a black player with watermelon ice cream.
(Unless the person doing the honoring/selling is black in which case it is acceptable irony and profit at the expense of the ofay.)

These are their rules. Make them play by their own rules.

J Allen said...

People need to get a grip. If I was an athlete getting the kind of attention Lin is getting, I think I would be ok with Norse-mania, Krumkaka flavored ice cream. Not sure if I’d be able to handle Rakfisk or Letefisk flavor though.