Today, we are not only monitored by physical law enforcers to uphold security but are also surrounded by “social norms police” watching our every move, thanks to social media. Australian guitarist, Jona Weinhofen, is an excellent case and point of what a “harmless” post can do.
In a tweet on December 27, he posted a picture of a Chinese hotpot with the caption: Meat eaters be like “vegan food looks and tastes gross” And then eat something that looks like leftover dishwater. The actual tweet below:
Meat eaters be like “vegan food looks and tastes gross”
And then eat something that looks like leftover dishwater pic.twitter.com/QtaEU9zNyl
— Jona Weinhofen Ⓥ (@jonaweinhofen) December 28, 2018
The alarms have definitely been set off and in a matter of hours, he is the centre of intense criticism. The tweet now has over 2000 comments, 300 retweets and 1900 likes (or dislikes). Asians, meat-lovers, and vegans alike are expressing their opinions and a tweet war has been started. Apparently, a large number of Asians were “insulted” by the tweet.
Talk about being in a hot pot.
Luckily, there are some netizens who are taking the side of the guitarist by saying that there are hotpots that really look like leftover dishwater and there was nothing culturally offensive or racist with what he said.
Dinesh Bora might be shaking his head at all the “sensitive people”. His comment was backed up by Kuah Sing Yee and the latter even added that the affected race is not exempt from racism.
Back in Twitter, where it all started, we see a myriad of responses such as:
Leave it to a meme to describe how Jona must be feeling right now:
It would seem that even the @Racism Watchdog was alerted and this is his response on the incident:
Perhaps the winner and deserving recipient of the “most creative rebuttal” award should go to @Jeff Yang with his tweet:
This is a Chinese hotpot, you engorged penis
It could be made with nothing but vegan ingredients and it would still be delicious and you’d still be a xenophobic tool https://t.co/TIq3malJTJ
— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) December 29, 2018
Yes, it got messy. But was the tweet actually racist or even meant to be racist or not?