August 22, 2005
Written by C.N.
The New York Times reports that New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is cutting back on Chinese food, apparently because he believes it is not good for his health. Needless to say, when news of this reached NYC’s Chinese community, they weren’t exactly smitten by the idea:
When Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, 63, mentioned last week that he was cutting back on Chinese food, as part of an attempt to lose weight for the home stretch of his re-election campaign, the news hit the Chinese restaurants and landed splat in the duck sauce.
“He is making big mistake,” [Raymond Wong, 45, a manager at Joe's Shanghai, on Pell Street in Chinatown] said. . . . Mr. Wong pointed to a photograph in the newspaper showing Mr. Bloomberg eating a piece of fried chicken. “Does he think that fried chicken is healthier than Chinese food?” . . .
[Bloomberh spokesman] Mr. Skyler said that far from denigrating Chinese food, the mayor was such a big fan that he was eating too much of it. . . . “Having shared a lot of meals with him over the years, I can assure owners of Chinese restaurants across the city that this is a mayor who has and will continue to deeply love Chinese food,” Mr. Skyler said. He added that his boss enjoyed a good relationship with New York’s Chinese community and had recently been endorsed by Sing Tao, a local Chinese-language daily newspaper.
Mayor Bloomberg may think that he has a good relationship with the Chinese American community in NYC, but with comments like this, he only shows that he still has a few cultural blindspots and insensitive stereotypes that he needs to be more aware of, if he wants to maintain his “good relations” with Chinese Americans in NYC.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "NYC Mayor & Chinese Food" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2005/08/nyc-mayor-chinese-food/> ().
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