Was Ben & Jerry's Apology To Jeremy Lin Really Necessary?
Popular ice cream chain Ben and Jerry’s was recently under fire after making a “Lin-spired” flavor called “Taste the Lin-Sanity,” a frozen yogurt with swirls of lychee honey and fortune cookies. After protestors claimed that the use of fortune cookies was “racist,” Ben and Jerry’s issued an apology and replaced the fortune cookies with waffle cone.
Just because fortune cookies are associated with Asians, it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily offensive. Ben and Jerry’s was trying to honor Lin with his own flavor, and being that he is a Harvard graduate, it is only being sold at Harvard Square.
There have also been much worse issues connected with Lin, such as the ESPN writer’s headline which contained an ethnic slur, which may have made people sensitive to the topic. But are people being too sensitive? Lin even said in an interview that the writer probably made a mistake and unintentionally used the word.
Fortune cookie bits in some frozen yogurt is not a big deal. I bet anybody would be happy if Ben and Jerry's ever named a flavor after them! People say that Ben and Jerry’s was being “racist,” but since when is paying homage to a person’s heritage considered racist?
Sure, not every Asian person likes fortune cookies - they don’t even serve fortune cookies anywhere in China! But is it racist?
Although the discussion of race will probably always be present, it shouldn’t be. Lin is a good basketball player, period. His race should not even be an issue. So is it wrong to always make references to Lin’s race when referring to him? Yes. But is it racist to put fortune cookie bits in frozen yogurt? I would say no.