Social Media Matters: Racist remark causes Twitter stir

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Jan. 13, 2012
Metro section

Racist remark causes Twitter stir

When Minhee Cho ordered food at a Papa John’s pizza chain restaurant in New York City, the cashier identified the 24-year-old Korean American with the racist term ‘lady chinky eyes’ on the receipt.

Rightfully offended, Cho took to Twitter and posted a photo of the receipt along with the comment, ‘Hey@PapaJohns just FYI my name isn’t ‘lady chinky eyes.” Shockingly, a manager who works at the restaurant tried to defend the incident, telling the New York Post that the teen cashier didn’t mean to offend, and that the term was just ‘a way to identify her and her order.’ The manager – identified only as ‘Jerome’ in the article – then had the gall to complain about Cho’s tweet.

Minhee Cho's Papa John's receipt
Minhee Cho's Papa John's receipt

‘I think the lady put it out there just to get some attention – some people like that type of attention. I truly don’t think it’s fair. It’s been taking up all our time. It’s been very disruptive.’ In the subsequent uproar, Papa John’s received prank orders for Chinese food, the restaurant’s owner apologized profusely to Cho, the cashier was fired, and employees were set to go through sensitivity training. In a related matter, the Huffington Post reported in December that two Asian customers of a Chik-fil-A restaurant were branded as ‘Ching’ and ‘Chong’ on their receipts.

It may be time for restaurants to start assigning numbers to customers instead of allowing insensitive staff to assign their own – sometimes offensive – names.

Clarity.fm launched in Moncton

Clarity.fm launch
Heather Anne Ritchie helped organize Clarity.fm's launch in Moncton on January 5 at the Capitol Theatre. (Photo courtesy Dan Martell / Twitter / CBC New Brunswick)

I was happy to have been part of the audience for Clarity.fm’s (www.clarity.fm) launch in Moncton last week. The service is the brainchild of Dan Martell, a New Brunswick-born entrepreneur who shares his time between San Francisco and Moncton. No stranger to the world of high-tech start-ups, Martell chose Moncton as the springboard for his newest venture.

Hundreds of people showed up for the inauguration of the service held at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Moncton, including many of the mentors who have registered with the website, an ingenious way to bring those seeking advice together with those giving advice.

Mentors (those giving advice) register with the service and then advise when they are available for calls. They also post their hourly fee. When someone wants to talk to them, they are connected through the website via cell phone, a conversation takes place and the caller’s credit card is charged. Clarity.fm gets a five-per-cent fee as a commission, while the mentor keeps 95 per cent.

For example, if you’ve always wanted to get former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna’s advice on something, check the website for his availability and then place the call. If he’s able to take it, he will – and there you go!

With Clarity.fm, there’s no need to navigate a complicated web of assistants to get to someone ‘in the know.’ Other mentors include Arlene Dickinson of CBC’s Dragons’ Den, as well as well-known New Brunswick business personalities such as David Hawkins, Gerry Pond, Paula Morand, George Donovan, Gair Maxwell and Susan Holt, to name a few.

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Each week, I suggest three YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current as of Jan. 9.

1) Experience Bathurst (36 subscribers): The new Experience Bathurst YouTube channel is an initiative of Destination Bathurst, a local tourism group. Hosted by Monique Boudreau of Destination Bathurst and Meredith Caissie of the City of Bathurst, the channel will feature various tourism attractions and activities around the Bathurst area. While the channel only has one preview video for now, Experience Bathurst plans to upload one per week after the channel’s official launch on Jan. 17. Each video will be approximately four or five minutes long. The initiative also has a companion Facebook page at facebook.com/experiencebathurst. It’s great to see local groups using YouTube for tourism! (Most popular video: ‘Experience Bathurst Teaser’ – 5,541 views.)

Max Schneider
Max Schneider

2) Max Schneider (9,390 subscribers): I discovered this channel after Max was featured on Kurt Hugo Schneider’s (no relation) channel. Max is a 19-year-old actor, singer and songwriter from New York City. He’s got a great voice and presence and will most certainly make a name for himself in the entertainment industry. (Most popular video: “Breakeven” (with KurtHugoSchneider) – 52,998 views.) (Please note: Most popular video has been updated since the column appeared.)

Spandy Andy
Spandy Andy

3) Spandy Andy (1,761 subscribers): Spandy Andy is the entertainer alter ego of Red Deer, Alta., native Andy Rimer. Andy is a street performer who made a name for himself in Vancouver regaling the public with his dancing, propensity for bright and tight Spandex clothing, infectious charm and fearless personality. Most recently, he spent the summer working as an entertainer at MarineLand in Niagara Falls. His older brother Josh Rimer (www.joshrimer.com) is also a well-known Vancouver-based YouTube personality. It’s impossible not to smile while watching Spandy Andy perform. Definitely a happy pick-me-up on a cold winter’s day! Be sure to check out his website, too, at www.spandyandy.com. (Most popular video: ‘SpandyAndy – Tight Bright & Fearless – Documentary’ – 17,612 views.)

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