A group of Chinese restaurants are offering a discount on the #39 on their menus.
It’s a fantastic and positive reaction to the idiotic and racist comments made by Gordon Heuckeroth who just couldn’t stop himself in a recent episode of “Holland’s Got Talent”. Gordon’s comments began with ‘which number are you singing; number 39 with rice?’ and the “jokes” didn’t get better.
The video clip has gone around the world, and been reported in the US and Chinese media. Gordon has been interviewed and said that his comments were not racist – I’m sure he didn’t set out to make racist comments, but he did demonstrate pretty deep rooted prejudice. Apparently his only experience with Chinese people is with waiters in Chinese restaurant – it’s an honorable occupation, but it’s not the only thing Chinese people do in the Netherlands. The target of Gordon’s “humour” happens to be a Ph.D candidate in economics.
Ironically the Netherlands claims “tolerance” as a national value. Perhaps it’s time for some national soul-searching to define just what is meant by that. Afterall, who wants to be tolerated.
In the meantime, I appreciated the twist the Chinese community has put on this. If we all ordered a “Gordon” while pointing to the #39 on the menu would the term catch on?