An article one might assume is satire has been buzzing around social media claiming that hibachi restaurants are racist. The premise is solid by the standard of social justice fanatics, basically since the hibachi restaurants are using Japanese cultural perceptions for the amusement of their customers for economic gain, that’s racist.
Judging by other language in the article, one can assume it’s a joke, and a really funny one at that, but I think it goes a long way towards showing the very real idiocy of these lunatics who hurl accusations of bigotry at everyone they oppose, regardless of merit.
Have you ever been to a hibachi restaurant? It’s a great time! The food is excellent (at every one I’ve been to), and the entertainment factor is awesome. An Asian guy comes out and speaks broken English while cooking your food in front of you. He makes jokes, squirts liquor into your mouth, spins and twirls his utensils, throws food, and whatever other gimmicks this or that particular cook or restaurant may have. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the guy’s name was actually Bob, and he spoke perfect English and not a word of Japanese. In fact, I think it would actually be funnier if it turned out to be a total ruse.
You can imagine these places don’t hire a lot of white guys. Should the Irish picket outside the establishment demanding an end to this discrimination? No! That would ruin the bit! I don’t imagine many white men apply for the job in the first place, just because they realize they aren’t suited for the position.
Imagine if a white guy did apply for the job, and the owners of the restaurant, fearing a discrimination lawsuit, hired him. Imagine if they then instructed said white man to speak in broken English with a thick Japanese accent, and to squint his eyes. Imagine Cathy Reisenwitz, Steve Horwitz, or Antonio Buehler saw him doing this! The outrage would be nothing short of masturbation-worthy. If on one side of the town, Barack Obama was calling for massive tax increases, and on the other, a white man was speaking with a Japanese accent, the social justice fanatics would be raising hell about the ethnic mockery while ignoring the call for greater exercise of political coercion.
So, are all ethnic stereotypes racist? I guess that depends on who you ask. “Racist” has become a completely meaningless word, thanks to the social justice fanatics. What’s certain is that ethnic stereotypes are often a source of entertainment, enjoyment, and trade, things which libertarianism ought to embrace, not panic over. If a restaurant wants to use cultural perceptions to entertain and attract customers, then this peaceful activity is well within the boundaries of non aggression. If a black comedian wants to joke about white people being corny, as an auditorium full of paying customers laughs and cheers, then so be it.
The way libertarians deal with undesirable products and services, is not to buy them. The way social justice fanatics hurl meaningless insults at peaceful people may well be within the boundaries of non-aggression too, but I’m not buying it, and neither should you.