By Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent
UPDATED: 7:30 p.m.: Within hours after being contacted by AsAmNews, Walmart.com appears to have removed a novelty button featuring a racist Asian caricature.
The previous link to the item is now broken and a search of the website could not find it.
There’s been no official word from Walmart.com, which has not responded to AsAmNews inquiry. Nor has it apologized for its misstep.
The caricature of an Asian with buckteeth, sinister looking slanted eyes and wearing a cone shaped hate is a familiar one to Asian Americans.
It was more common in the 50’s during the red scare and in the 40’s during World War II, but continues to reappear occasionally, resurrected by companies looking for a cheap buck.
The slogan on the button mocked broken English. “Ry you no call?” What was that supposed to mean? Hahaha. What a freaking stale joke.
Have we not learned anything in five decades? Apparently Walmart hasn’t.
The caricature of the bucktoothed Asian was especially popular during World War II and used against Japanese Americans. It usually features misaligned teeth with an overbite often associated with a horse. Other East Asians have also been connected with this stereotype.
The extreme slanted eyes in images is often used to mock Asians and portray them as evil and someone to mistrust.
Asians are also portrayed in mass media speaking broken English. Replacing L’s and to a lesser extent W’s with the R sound is a common one. It is usually used by comedians to get a cheap laugh. You also see it on T-shirt slogans, and now novelty buttons.
Walmart’s online headquarters is located in San Bruno just south of San Francisco. Why did anyone there in such a large Asian American population center not speak up earlier prior to being contacted by AsAmNews? What a total failure by a multinational corporation.
We’ve reached out to Walmart for an official comment and an apology. We’ll let you know what they say, and more importantly, what they do.
The button is produced by Giants Kids World out of Pennsylvania. AsAmNews is attempting to reach them as well. The office is closed until tomorrow, but it also appears the item has disappeared from its website, although there is no official worl.
Unfortunately a t-shirt with the same caricature is still advertised on Amazon. The item is currently out of stock.
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