Asian-Owned Food Truck Under Fire Because of ‘Racist’ Name

An Asian American councilperson in Philadelphia has called out a roaming food truck for being racist because of its name, “Wheely Wheely Good.”

Helen Gym, a local politician and board member of the advocacy group Asian Americans United took to Twitter to express her outrage over the allegedly racist name. She asked “Why” and posted a photo of the truck with a girl beside it holding a sign that read “Racism sucks. And so does this.”

The tweet generated a few comments in agreement, and some asking what if the owners were Asian. She responded with: ”They are young Asian Americans. Makes no difference. It’s still ignorant and they have to do better than that.” 

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— Helen Gym (@HelenGym2015) September 25, 2016

When it was discovered later that the truck is actually run by Asians, she tweeted:

“Since they are, it’s just sad. Had to explain intent and Asian-ness is no excuse!”

The owners of the truck, upon learning of the uproar, reacted with a post on Facebook in defense of their business:

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“We take great offense when an Asian American female from the City Council comes and suddenly attacks us, yelling that our food truck ‘disgusts’ her and that we are ‘RACISTS,’” the post read.

The post also pointed out the obvious: it was a clever pun, and obviously not an attack of any form:

“Wheely Wheely Good was cleverly made in order to convey our theme of food on wheels. My partner and I are both ASIAN AMERICANS, so to yell at us and try to do damage to our business is very appalling to us.”

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The post also touched on the unnecessary accusations and seemingly exaggerated reaction within the same ethnic community.

“This lady has threatened to call L&I on us and has even taken the time to post about us over social media accusing us of racism, that racism that only exists in herself. It is sad to know that people like this exist and that we as equal Americans have to fight against each other over something so ridiculous.”

In a separate Facebook post, a friend of one of the operators wrote:

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“LMFAO she got me chopped. It’s only racist if you think it’s racist. The only racist I see here is Helen Gym. Bai Felicia. How you gonna hate on ya own ppl doe?”

Netizens expressed their amusement over the “racism” tag.

“Man see people like her make me hate people. Like you see something going great and she gotta be that person and not see the fun out of the idea. Man let haters hate,” said one comment.

“I hate people like that. she swears everyone is out to get her,” said another.

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“The fu*k is goin on here?? It’s just a food truck.. a truck that sells food. Why does people have to make a such a big deal out of it?? Like girl get a life and grow up!! So ridiculous,” another one said.

Racism is a real issue, a huge problem that still exists and should be called out whenever it raises its ugly face. However, one must ask if “racism” still means the same for everyone. 

Does it still mean hating or attacking someone because of his race or has it become an easy label to use for political grandstanding?

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An online definition for racism says the word means “Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.”

For a  racial-justice advocate, Gym might be setting her aim at something a little out of range for this one. 

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