Racism is not what people think it is, racism is not limited to the white man draped in a klan outfit. It is much more systemic and insidious than that, it is a learned behavior that needs to be addressed. With that said, I had a meeting with Irwin Palchick and Jon Humphries from Houston Splash at Irwin's restaurant Jimmy Chew Asian Kitchen on Westheimer. I attended this meeting because everyone deserves a chance to have their side heard and that is exactly what happened. I sat and listened to Irwin speak and what struck me about the conversation is that he felt that it was COMPLETELY okay to say "nigger" in front of me and Jon. He explained that what he said was in the "heat of the moment," that he was hit across the face and had a "bloody nose." As he explained this, he heavily emphasized that it was in the privacy of his office and implied strongly that he should be able to say what he wants as long as it is not in a public setting.
Nevertheless, he admitted to making the statement after denying it:
Even with this admission that I originally planned not to share until a recording of a call after our meeting came to my attention... Before I share that you should know that there were several things that struck me as problematic and typical of any white person when in denial about their racism. Racism is a learned behavior that goes deeper than the N-word, it is something that our society is built on. The last thing we should do is attack someone for calling that type of thing out, I am not even here to demonize Irwin. BUT, lessons must be taught and learned to people who feel that is okay to not see the error of their ways. Irwin said several, very typical things:
- "I love my Blacks, I love my Asians, I love my Hispanic and I even have an Asian partner..." I am sure that he does, but the ownership that one takes in human beings is odd.
- "I have employees who use that word all the the time..." You never really had more that 3 or 4 Black folks out of about 25 staffers, so is he saying that his white bartenders are using the N-word too?
- "I hear your people say it all the time.." as to imply it should be ok for him to say it regardless of context.
If you dont believe me, just listen to these snippets from a recorded conversation with someone who talked to him about this issue...
You will not get off easy for this Palchick, I wanted to believe that he was being sincere, but he was only telling us what he wanted us to hear to get off of his back. While some of you may disagree and have disbelief, I will continue to stand my ground and I demand a public apology or FBar will be boycotted.