In an apparent attempt at damage control, Whole Foods Market has responded to calls for a meeting over the use of the racial slur “ching chong” by a store employee at the chain’s New York Bowery location. Readers shared Monday’s update on Whole Foods non-responsiveness all over the internet (Thank you!). That prompted the Public Relations Manager of Whole Foods Market Northeast Region, Michael Sinatra, to call me yesterday . Someone from Whole Foods is finally reaching out to us!
Sinatra told me he saw the story being spread on social media and that it was becoming a community issue, while he felt it only involved one individual. I have a response to that, but I’ll refrain from posting it here because I would prefer to tell him that in person as to why I feel differently.
While Sinatra apologized over the telephone to me, it would be much more meaningful for Kwok Ming Cheng, the person the slur was directed at, to hear that. Sinatra now wants us to all meet together, “over coffee,” including Damon Young, the store team leader. However, he felt there was no need for Executive Director, Margaret Fung of the Asian American Legal and Defense Education Fund to join us as I originally proposed. Sinatra offered to discuss the matter in a telephone conference if that was more convenient, but Kwok and I agree that meeting in person would be much more effective. I’ve left Sinatra a message with a few dates and times to meet. Let’s see what happens.
If I hadn’t written the last update, would they have contacted me? What do you think? If you could be in this meeting, what questions would you ask? Share your thoughts and comments on our @AsAmNews Facebook page or on our site, www.AsAmNews.com.