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Ben & Jerry’s replaces fortune cookies in ‘Lin-Sanity’ flavor after controversy

Chris Chase
Busted Racquet

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Ben & Jerry's will take fortune cookies out of its new Jeremy Lin-inspired ice cream flavor after hearing complaints that the ingredient was racist.

The limited-edition flavor, "Taste the Lin-Sanity," originally featured vanilla frozen yogurt, honey swirls and bits of fortune cookies, the latter ingredient serving as an obvious nod to Lin's heritage. After the backlash, the company pulled the cookies from the mix and replaced them with waffle cone pieces that will be served on the side.

"There seemed to be a bit of an initial backlash about it, but we obviously weren't looking to offend anybody and the majority of the feedback about it has been positive," Ryan Midden, the general manager of the Ben & Jerry's in Cambridge, Ma., told the Boston Globe.

And that quote right there encapsulates the politically correct culture in which we live. Most people liked it, Midden said. But because a few people didn't, Ben & Jerry's caved.

The company says the main reason for removing the fortune cookies was because they got soggy inside the batch. If you believe that, I have a bridge made of Cherry Garcia to sell you.

The move comes days after the Asian American Journalists Association released media guidelines about how to cover Lin. "Is there a compelling reason to draw a connection between Lin and fortune cookies, takeout boxes or similar imagery?," they wrote. "In the majority of news coverage, the answer will be no."

Notice how the AAJA specifically mentions news coverage. There's never a compelling reason to run a graphic of Lin standing on a takeout box. But a tongue-in-cheek ice cream product being sold in Harvard Square is not news coverage.

How else should they have honored him? He plays in the Big Apple, but apples aren't a good ice cream fruit. He played for the Harvard Crimson. That color doesn't go well with frozen yogurt. He grew up in Palo Alto, Calif., attending high school in the shadow of Stanford's football stadium. Adding bits of cardinal would have upset bird lovers.

There's a difference between being color/race blind and completely ignoring a person's heritage. The über-PC police got all worked up about the inclusion of fortune cookies but surely their anger was misplaced. Lin's family is of Chinese discent. Fortune cookies are associated with Chinese food. A liberal ice cream company no one ever associates with racism, hate or unfairness decided to have some fun with the connection. That's all.

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