Racist and sexist comments have long been hurled at food companies run by Asian American women. But in the modern tech era, where food brands have a social media presence, these cruel remarks from trolls are being dealt with in a variety of ways. Some fight back with humor, others aim to educate while some ignore it.
Kim Pham, co-founder (with her sister Vanessa) of Omsom (which sells Asian pantry staples), said it was difficult in the brand’s early days for her to read offensive comments. She came to a sad realization: “I think it’s par for the course when you are an outspoken brand run by women of color.”
“For so long our community has been defined by this model minority myth, of being quiet, or docile, or submissive,” said Pham, “and we really just wanted to give a middle finger to that.”
Omsom’s social media policy is to remove insulting comments, but leave anything that “might generate a fruitful conversation.”
Jing Gao of Fly By Jing (which sells Asian pantry staples, dumplings and hot pots) (pictured), though, takes a different approach. “We have no problem making fun of those people who are, you know, clearly disturbed,” said Jing Gao, the company’s 34-year-old founder, adding “We definitely troll them. … and our community seems to really love it.”
Meanwhile Sahra Nguyen, founder of Nguyen Coffee Supply, has zero tolerance for trolls. She doesn’t want her employees engaging in toxic behavior, so they don’t respond.
Read more (The New York Times)