Bigotry Mailbag: Today, the Anti-Asian Edition

An odd synchronicity showed up in our inbox.

First, Sunday's arrival of the premiere issue of the Times's sports-themed PLAY magazine prompted this trip down memory lane:

I've been wanting to tell you this forever... I worked for the NYT mag when this was in development, and in a meeting to go over titles, someone mentioned PLAY is already the name for a Japanese video game magazines. Gerry Marzorati, the Times Mag editor, nodded his head and then said to the person who mentioned it, "Well, don't you mean pRaaay," clearly mocking Asian accents. It was so awkward, with light chuckling all around but in that panicky, oh-my-god-i-must-laugh-or-else way. Then there was just a silent pause, and Gerry sighs that HR will fire him eventually.

Then this report and query showed up, from a waiter, on what it's like working during Restaurant Week:

For those in the restaurant business in New York City, the two weeks of hell that is Restaurant Week finally drew to a close this past Friday. Now, all those amateurs who dine out but twice a year can retreat to the safety of their T.V dinners . And while it might be churlish to bemoan a promotion which increases a server's earnings by around ten percent whilst increasing the workload by perhaps thirty-five percent (these are not scientific numbers, but an estimate paid for in sweat and blood), the real question that begs to be asked is this: How come the entire Asian community in New York City, en masse, takes this opportunity to feast out? I don't mean to be a fascist about it, but anyone in the food biz will tell you the same thing — hordes of Asians taking the $35 pre-fix option, with a glass of water please. Your humble server asks: What gives?

We actually have no idea, humble Server. But we suggest you contact Gerry Marzorati; we imagine he might have some thoughts.