Is it ever acceptable to use racial slurs? | WBEZ
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Afternoon Shift

Afternoon Shift: Is it ever acceptable to use racial slurs?

(WBEZ/Monica Eng)
Chop Chop Chinaman owner defends his restaurant's provocative name

Late last month, Lakeview resident, Jeannie Harrell, was walking past Chop Chop Chinaman restaurant and decided to write a message condemning the restaurant’s name as a hate crime. To some, including the Chicago police, this was vandalism. Police showed up later at her house, arrested her and charged her with a misdemeanor. In the weeks since, Harrell’s story has been told in DNAinfo and The Chicago Tribune. So has the side of restaurant partner, Larry Lee. And it’s lead us to talk about the use of racial slurs for restaurants, who can use them, who can’t and in what context, if any at all. Here to talk about the issue is Chop Chop Chinaman’s Larry Lee. He’s here alongside our Chewing the Fat co-hosts Monica Eng and Louisa Chu.


  • Larry Lee is the owner of Chop Chop Chinaman in Lakeview.
  • Monica Eng is a WBEZ reporter and co-host of WBEZ’s Chewing the Fat.
  • Louisa Chu is a WBEZ reporter and co-host of WBEZ’s Chewing the Fat.
Baconfest Chicago teams up with the Greater Chicago Food Despository

Think Baconfest is just about pigging out? Then you might be surprised to learn about its charitable donations. Fat-loving fans meet every spring to not only eat and drink all things bacon, but have donated thousands of dollars and pounds. And this year they still need your help. Co-founder of Baconfest Chicago, Seth Zurer, joins us in studio.

Guest: Seth Zurer is the co-founder of Baconfest.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon takes measures to curb racism 

Two weeks after a video surfaced showing some members of the University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity singing racists chants, the organization says it’s taking steps to make sure nothing like that ever happens again. The video was recorded on a bus after a social event. On the tape there are references to lynchings along with vows never to allow black people in the fraternity. SAE’s national headquarters is based in Evanston. Today the organization held a news conference to lay out plans to prevent future incidents. WBEZ’s Yolanda Perdomo was there and joins the conversation.

Guest: Yolanda Perdomo is a WBEZ reporter.

Breweries nationwide promise to become more eco-friendly

Dozens of breweries nationwide have signed the Brewery Climate Declaration, promising to make their companies more eco-friendly. Breweries throughout the Great Lakes region have joined the cause including Illinois-based Rockford Brewing Company. Vice President and co-owner, Reed Sjostrom joins us with more on what his company is doing to help the environment.

Guest: Reed Sjostrom is the vice president and co-owner of Rockford Brewing Company.

Tech Shift: Financial technology companies are growing in Chicago

The financial sector has always been strong in Chicago, but when businesses look for innovative financial technology, they often look to places like Silicon Valley, New York, and London. Soon, that could change. The fintech, or financial technology, sector is on the up-and-up in Chicago, and the community has a new conference here in April called Fintech Exchange. Eero Pikat  is one of the conference’s organizers and founder of fintech company Barchart and he joins us in studio.

Guest: Ero Pikat is founder of fintech company Barchart and a Fintech Exchange organizer.

Congressman Danny Davis calls for investigation into Homan Square

Earlier today, two officials from Chicago dropped off letters with the Justice Department requesting an immediate investigation of the Chicago Police Department’s Homan Square facility. One of them was Westside Congressman Danny Davis, who represents the area, and he joins us.

Guest: Congressman Danny Davis represents the 7th District.

City Council will allow the use of park land for an Obama Presidential Library

It’s official, Chicago’s City Council members have signed off on allowing park land to be used for a potential Obama presidential library. Aldermen signed off on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan without any opposing votes, but only after convincing one alderman to switch his original vote. Joining us with more about how it went down is WBEZ city politics reporter Lauren Chooljian.

Guest: Lauren Chooljian is a WBEZ reporter.

The 20th anniversary of Michael Jordan's return to the Bulls

Twenty years ago today, media organizations received one of the most historic faxes in the history of the fax machine. Two words: I’m Back.  Yes, we are talking about the return of Michael Jordan to the Chicago Bulls. Jordan had retired a year earlier to play baseball. But in March, 1995, reporters starting getting wind that MJ was back at the Berto Center. One young WMVP 1000 reporter hustled to confirm what has become one of the biggest moments in sports history. Her name: Cheryl Raye-Stout (actually, Cheryl Raye at the time). She joins us to talk about the anniversary.

Guest: Cheryl Raye-Stout is WBEZ’s sports contributor.

Is Aaron Shock at risk of federal charges?
Downstate Republican Congressman Aaron Schock is resigning after spending public dollars on private flights of fancy—a Katy Perry concert, a private jet to a Bears game at Soldier Field, and most famously, a Downton Abbey-themed re-do of his Congressional office in Washington. Each time a new misuse of funds has come to light, he’s reimbursed the government. And he says he’s resigning because the public scrutiny has become too much. But the big question that remains is: Was what Schock did simply a misuse of funds, or does some of it put him at risk of federal charges? Attorney Patrick Deady from Hogan Marren, Ltd., joins the conversation.
Guest: Patrick Deady is an attorney at Hogan Marren, Ltd.

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