Taco Bell Employee Calls Asian PhD Student 'Chink,' Laughs About It

“I thought incidents like this only happen in the news and never expected it to happen to me but I guess it really does happen in the real world.”

An Asian-American medical student has accused a restaurant employee of describing him using a racial slur and then laughing about it with his coworkers.

In Young Lee, a first year Ph.D. student at Penn Medicine, said the incident took place at a Taco Bell located at 1037 Chestnut St. in Philadelphia after he went in to grab a late-night snack with his friends.

While placing the order, Lee told the cashier his name was “Steve” in order to avoid confusion and make it easier for both parties involved – as he usually has spelled out his name in such situations, according to his lengthy Facebook post.

However, things soon took an ugly turn and the 25-year-old was left infuriated after the employee described him as “Steve Chink” on the receipt and provided a ridiculous justification for his apparent racism.

“Our interaction was very ordinary and cordial even, until I saw my name on the receipt that read ‘STEVE CHINK.’ I was so infuriated that I couldn’t help but to confront the cashier,” Lee explained on social media. “When I confronted him, he said that there are three Steves in the restaurant so he needed to differentiate. It made me even more upset that he was protecting his case rather than apologizing so I lashed out and told him that it is extremely disrespectful to use such a derogatory slur. He eventually apologized, and although I was still very upset I decided to let the case go.”

Unfortunately, that was not the end of it.

Lee said he snatched his food from another employee’s hand and sat down with his friends. However, since they were seated near the kitchen, the group soon overheard other employees laughing behind the counter and the cashier using the racial slur again.

Lee, understandably enough, lost his cool and gave the restaurant worker a piece of his mind.

“This is when the manager approached me to calm me down,” the student continued. “He said that what the cashier did to me was wrong and that he is sorry. However, he rebutted that I was being disrespectful by snatching my food from the cashier. It was as if he was trying to defuse the situation by redirecting the blame on to me. But how does he expect me to be polite to the cashier when he deliberately took his time to spell out the word ‘CHINK’ to describe me?”

As the manager reportedly began to condemn Lee, other patrons raised their voice and slammed the Taco Bell employees for their unacceptable behavior, prompting the manager to finally apologize.

“I thought incidents like this only happen in the news and never expected it to happen to me but I guess it really does happen in the real world,” Lee wrote. “Normally I would let things like this go but under the current political climate I find it very important to address such issues and voice them loudly and clearly.”

Lee also used hashtags #putanendtoracism and #iamnotachink to conclude his message.

It is sad how such incidents of hate and racism seem to have become a norm. Just recently, Philadelphia 76ers guard J.J. Redick came under fire for referring to Chinese fans as “chink” in what was supposed to be a video message celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year.

Thumbnail/Banner: Pixabay, dolvita108

View Comments

Recommended For You