In case you missed this one over the past week, there is a new restaurant in Puerto Rico called ALOZ FLITO, and as you can guess from the name, the title is playing off the tired and racist stereotype of how Asian can’t pronounce their “r’s” and “l’s.” The “pun” is based on the Spanish for “fried rice,” which is ARROZ FRITO. In fact, if you want to crank up you racism, it’s as if a store called FRIED RICE was actually called (and pronounced) as FLIED LICE. Do you we really need to explain how problematic this is or the history of anti-Asian racism? Do we?
But hey, Juan Peña Romero, the chef of the new place is defending it, essentially saying that Puerto Ricans tend to pronounce their “r’s” like “l’s” just like Chinese people. No, seriously, he said that in the following damage control video, where he claims that no, this is not racist at all, not even the place’s logo ot the Jackie Can references ot the fact that Peña Romero (wait for it) conforms that Chinese people do speak like this.
The video was accompanied by a post in Spanish (our translation follows): “Hi! Here we are explaining our Aloz Flito concept of a Chinese and Puerto Rican food fusion that is truly fun! Since both of our countries pronounce the L instead of the R! We buy our ingredients from the local Asian market! The word ‘racist’ doesn’t represent us and is not part of our mission as a business. We should enjoy ourselves more and laugh more.”
Did we mention that this is 2019? Do we need to remind Peña Romero that he is basing his entire analogy on two different languages too? The racist AF Chinese example is based on English and not a native language. The Puerto Rican example applies to a native language and we wold ask Peña Romero how he would feel if a non-Puerto Rican chef decided to mock how Puerto Ricans speak English using the same tired AF racist tropes that he is using for his new restaurant?
Anyway, as expected, there is no a social media debate going on about whether or nor the restaurant’s name is racist. Huh? There’s an actual debate about this? Apparently. And the restaurant has doubled down on this. (UPDATE: this photo has now been deleted by the restaurant’s Facebook page.)
The restaurant is even trying to hashtag a movement. But from the looks of the store’s Facebook recommendations, some aren’t having it.
Just some examples:
“Racist name. Eye sore logo.”
“This has to be the worst joke ever. The name of the establishment it’s a joke on Asian people. This is horrible.”
“racist much??? i say it is.”
“Racist restaurant name. Do better”
Our take? There is nothing funny at all about this at all. Like nothing. Hit it, Gollum:
And before you get all defensive and say, “hey, el Gran Combo sang it before,” we say this: it wasn’t right back then either. Racism is racism, and anyone who defends this one is just defending racism.
[…] Racism in Puerto Rico is real. https://www.latinorebels.com//2019/12/27/racistrestaurant/ … […]
How stupid…and you ask yourself why there is not debate on this? How the hell want to debate about this? The wannabe social justice warrior?
Thank you! This is coming from a Latin Asian 3rd generation in Latinoamérica, 1st Generation Born and raised.
So you asian or Latin. Pick one?
Como se dice náufrago en Chino : Chin Chu Lancha
Cafre. Certainly. Racist? Doubtful; as it lacks the power dynamics that are fundamental to racism. PR’s Chinese community is small, but successful. The same leftist intolerance of anything not deemed politically correct seems to overlook the fact that there has to exist a power dynamic for the charge of racism to stick. But, that doesn’t stop them from slapping the overused, overwrought ‘racist’ label on aything they dont agree with or that offends their delicate leftist sensibilities. To reiterate> claro que sí es una cafreria pero no es racismo.
Meantime, all the amazing coverage and exposure is worth a small fortune in PR and publicity that these small business owners could never have afforded. All these butthurt PC-types have ensured a successful launch for the Aloz Flito owners.
Keep defending racism with more racism.
And you are essentially saying that hey, he’s a small business owner and you gotta be competitive, so what better way than to play up racist AF Asian tropes to make $. We will put you down for supporting racism. It’s cool.
Actually, you are wrong, racism is institutionalized, in USA and in Puerto Rico, this “jokes” rely on the already structured racist system, the joke works because people have been mocking Asian people for decades. You may know some affluent Chinese people, good for you. There are also affluent Blacks, affluent women, affluent gays and lesbians, Hey, Caitlyn Jenner, a trans-woman is a millionaire! these facts do not deny that xenophobia, racism, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia are still alive and kicking embedded in our systems, our language and culture. Produced and re-produced by people like you who cries leftism and sensibilities (as if they were bad) when it gets on their way for a good ol’ racist joke.
this is the most bizarre response ever, so you are saying that racism is institutionalized because of racist jokes? ok. we really don’t understand your point and what you are saying, but if you need to justify it to defend your own racism, go for it.
Dear Latino Rebels: I did not reply to you, I was replying to Romeo Caarlos in support of your argument.
1.Romeo says: “Racist? Doubtful; as it lacks the power dynamics that are fundamental to racism.” I reply that the power dynamics are already institutionalized and those are the power relations in which this kind of racist joke thrives.
2. Then Romeo says: “PR’s Chinese community is small, but successful.” to which I reply: You may know some affluent Chinese people, good for you. There are also affluent Blacks, affluent women, affluent gays and lesbians, Hey, Caitlyn Jenner, a trans-woman is a millionaire! these facts do not deny that xenophobia, racism, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia are still alive and kicking embedded in our systems, our language and culture.
3. Then Romeo says: “The same leftist intolerance of anything not deemed politically correct seems to overlook the fact that there has to exist a power dynamic for the charge of racism to stick. But, that doesn’t stop them from slapping the overused, overwrought ‘racist’ label on aything they dont agree with or that offends their delicate leftist sensibilities.” To which I reply that racism is: Produced and re-produced by people like you (Romeo) who cries leftism and sensibilities (as if they were bad) when it gets on their way for a good ol’ racist joke.
I am not sure my post was that confusing although it is a fact that mostly I think in Spanish and translate. However, my post was not indented under your reply to Romeo, but rather indented under Romeo. A careful reading of my post would have clear your confusion, it is not a bizarre reasoning and certainly I’ve dedicated a lot of my life and teachings to fight racism, not to justify it. I came to participate as an ally in support of your argument. Which is the last time I do as it seems you can handle all arguments fine by yourself.
Wow! This has to be the dumbest article ever written. There is no racism here. That’s how we speak. We, Puertorticans, talked like that. And we are proud of itt. The author of this article has to do more research before writing something so stupid.
So essentially you are using a really faulty analogy to defend racism because the logo is amazing too? FYI, several of us are actually based in Puerto Rico. NOBODY in PR says Aloz Flito, we will give you Puelto but no way are giving you Aloz Flito or Lico. Sorry.
Quien puñeta dice ALOZ FLITO en Puertorrico? Nadie en Puertorrico habla asi a menos que sea un idiota sin educacion alguna. Tanto que se ofenden si son racistas con los Puertorros pero les importa un carajo si es a otro.
Nadie dice “Aloz Flito” en PR
I really can’t believe that people are so ignorant about this racism topic, I understand that the name of the restaurant has nothing to do with the song of El Gran Combo, like the Chef Juan Peña said, but why nobody said anything back then when that song came out in 1964, on the contrary, That song was a hit not only in Latin America, but also worldwide, including China, a place that El Gran Combo has visited 50 fricking times, and to this day it is still one of the most requested songs in each of its presentations, Believe me, if they don’t do that song, people will burn wherever place they are performing, I don`t know why people can’t see another human being doing something good, they can`t wait for that moment to start criticizing and start talking shit about it, or maybe the problem is that you did not came out with the idea and you are just simply jealous, Mi Gente, if you was not born and raised in one of the Barrios or in the Campo in Puerto Rico or your parents did not teach you about how a big portion of us Boricuas talk, it`s not Juan Peña fault, us Puertorticans been using the “L” instead of the “R” for ages, not only in PR but everywhere in the world where there is one of us, we used in the street, in supermarkets, in songs, at home, at work or in the barber shop, etc, It does not matter where, people understand us, I`m not saying that is the right way to pronounce any word that we use, but Puñeta that`s the way we are, whether you like it or not, the way we talk make us different from any other race, well, maybe you guy`s don`t know thing like that because some of you were born with the silver spoon in your mouth and speak English, Spanish or any other language properly because you when to College, Bravo for you, I`m very happy for you, now everywhere in the world people make fun of any Spanish person speaking English, hey even Puertorticans make fun of it, who the hell cares, Puertorticans are the most happy people in the world, it doesn’t matter what situation we are, and always look for the brighter side of things, that`s why is hard to see a Boricua whit out a smile, I’ve always said that opinions are like ass holes, everybody have one, I was born in Villa Palmeras and raised in Barrio Obrero Puerto Rico but I live in New York and I go to PR 7 or 8 times a year, but believe me, I will definitely be going to visit this restaurant as soon a have a chance to try the food, I bet that is great food and the concept will be a complete success, I`m extremely proud about mis PUELTORRIQUEÑOS, Un infinito de bediciones para el Chef Juan Peña Romero y a el equipo de “Aloz Flito” Restaurant, sigan Pa`Lante
PS. Can You Please Reply To Mr. Yoryie Irizarry, I Love To See Your Reply
LOL so you are basically bringing up an era when racism was even more blatant to say this is not racist. with all due respect, part of the team is based in PR and we grew up there. NOBODY says Aloz Flito. But it’s cool, if this paragraph makes you feel good about defending racism, go for it. Thanks!
La próxima vez que este en el área voy a comer en Aloz Flito, y recordaré mis amigos que se ofenden por esta boberia.
¡Que viva el racismo! ¡WEPA!
Como se dice pañuelo en Japonés : Saka Moko.
Let the guy run his business, lets relax a little bit, this crystal generation sucks, everything its offensive and unappropriated.
75 greatest Fania Song… CHIN CHON CHOW
CALLE 13 … Japón
Ismael Rivera… NEGRO BENBON
so your so called racism is more of a cultural vibe, we in Puerto Rico ?? don’t care about your woke-conservative hissy fit…
WE MAKE FUN OF EVERYONE… that’s our culture… we don’t joke with people … we joke at people…
At the end is a cultural game … how much we can make fun of you until you’re “POR EL TECHO”
You live in Puerto Rico ?? ?
Ask the dominicanos how we are, any accent, your cultural hair , walking, religion anything is on the table. Would you criticize black for your mama jokes? No. For their N-Grr word? Bevlcause we say negrito o negrita to anyone… from the blondest blond to the blackest black…
Going thru school here is a boot camp for life… this article shows how a person without an immersion in a culture comes here and has a off base opinion…
I forgot… we make fun of “newyorricans” who pretend to be more puertorricans than native born and their our people…
I’m a South Korean , Spaniard, African descendant born in Santurce Puerto Rico ?? … este es el artículo rated HUELE BICHHHH.
Damn, you just want to show your racism out front. Cool.
Racismo? De que hablas … donde naciste? En que jalda sin televisión e información?
Varios miembros de este grupo nacidos y criados en PR. Oh, snap!
We have the Chinese translator… a bean can thrown down stairs… tin-tun-tan-tin
British Caribbean people…” Yo…YO!!! dread China man…me ah tek 2 flied Lice…and a wan fo tan soup…And de Kunu Munu chicken…de one wit de peanuts…but put de peanuts on de side….move fast…me got ting fo do..chop chop…”
Appears having a sense of humor is no longer politically correct on our times!
The perpetually offended victimhood mentality of leftist ideologs looking for racism everywhere and on anything. Get a life woke fragile feminists and woke soy boys! If I ever got to PR again I will seek this establishment and eat there as many time as I can. Now that China Virus vaccination and masks are not required I believe their next hit job will be going after one of my favorite song:”Mataron al negro bembon”!