A Washington DC wine bar originally christened Barkada was forced to change its name following a “social media backlash” from a small group of nutjobs from the Filipino-American community. The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), which claims to “[represent] many Filipino organizations, Filipino business owners and workers, and concerned Filipino community members within and beyond the DC Metropolitan Area” issued a statement on its Facebook page demanding that the owners of said wine bar “[issue] an apology that reflects an understanding of white privilege and cultural appropriation.”
A certain Jessica Millete, presumably some sort of Filipino community leader in the DC area chimed in, screeching on Facebook…
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This is problematic on so many levels. Completely ignorant and of course, a PRIVILEGED thought-process. What makes you think it’s okay to take a word from another culture when you pay no respect or homage to the culture itself? No Filipino items on your menu, no Filipino flavors incorporated, no Filipino winemakers included, not even in your decor? No support going towards a non-profit benefiting Filipino Americans or back in Philippines?
It’s apparent you didn’t do any kind of research. Barkada is a very casual word. Why are you applying it to your FANCY AESTHETIC OF A RESTAURANT? Filipinos drink BEER + LIQUOR AND EAT PULUTAN; not wine + cheese.
Not to mention, the Philippines was colonized by SPAIN and SO much of your wine menu is from there!
Absolutely WILD that in our current social climate, you still think this is okay. Just because you think the Asian stereotype is that we stay silent and go along our way, doesn’t mean that’s the case now.
CHANGE YOUR NAME, Barkada Wine Bar, the absolute CAUCASITY.
Quite remarkable the thinking going on here where a community demands that a society that hosts them “pay homage” to their cultural identity and goes on to slam them for their “caucasity”; seemingly suggesting that being of caucasian ethnicity is a bad thing in and of itself. Note too how in her Facebook rampage Millete includes a photo of the establishment owners as if to invite her community to demonise them.
It is beginning to seem like these Fil-Am community “leaders” had been a bit too presumptuous in their fancying themselves as community “thought leaders” seeing the counter-backlash they are now copping as can be seen in this sampling of comments on the NaFFAA Facebook page…
The Filipino-American community are a largely invisible demographic and have failed to make a cultural mark in American society proportionate to their population and the unique historical place their country of origin — a former colony of the United States — enjoys (or suffers) in the world’s history books. It is evident that community “leaders” like Millete and the NaFFAA mount “heroic” efforts to scrounge for relevance in that regard. Unfortunately for them, their approach can’t really fly in a society where achievement is currency. Indeed, America was founded on the premise that entitlement is not a pathway to power — a national character made out by the Founding Fathers to be anathema to the Old World monarchies and aristocracy of the time.
That said, America had progressively devolved into one where entitlement has become fashionable seeing now how mere feelings of offense have become a source of power for an entire generation of snowflakes. A report published on Washington City Paper features a sad apology issued by the owners of Barkada who have agreed to comply…
We apologize to all we offended, and to our community we hope to serve. It was never our intention to appropriate or capitalize on the Filipino culture and we recognize we fell short in engaging more of the Filipino community. Our goal is to be a gathering place for friends in the neighborhood, and to become friends with those neighbors.
Millete and the NaFFAA will likely still feel “offended” by this apology seeing that it did not address the “white privilege” angle in their demands for “homage” to be exacted for their sacrilegious “caucasity”.
As always, when it comes to such snowflakery there is cause for pause harking to these immortal words attributable to the fallen channel for such…
Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.