An image of a menu from a Korean restaurant in Toronto, Canada, has gone viral on social media for its portrayal of a food label that may be regarded as racist.
Touching upon the stereotype that white people can't handle spicy food, the picture portrays a label of the menu's least spicy rating of food as "white," the Daily Mail reports.
The picture of the menu was posted on Reddit and prompted numerous responses between followers who thought the labeling is racist and others saying it is not.
The issue debated was whether it is reasonable to collectively stereotype white people.
Several followers of the thread who said they are white found the menu reference to be "funny," while other judged it as an unfounded and unjust generalization.
A number of followers supported the theory that the label has to do with the color of Korean broth. Because Korean broths are usually flavored with "red" spice, a non-spicy soup will be regarded as "white."
At the same time, Korean speakers on the thread clarified that there are two different words for the color white and "white people." They pointed out that the Korean word equivalent for the word "white" on the menu refers to the color, not the race of people.
This observation did not stem the tide of comments on the legitimacy of the stereotype of white people not being able to handle spicy food. One participant pitched the example of his girlfriend considering a dish seasoned with only salt and pepper as too spicy.
Other users stated they were "sick" of racially-based jokes, with one offended user stating that egging on white people for the stereotype negatively qualified them as one "amorphous, unified, global entity."
Several individuals claimed that a number of Asian restaurants presented them with non-spicy dishes despite their having asked for hot spice because they were white.
Some white people on the thread stated they were not offended by the menu label.
One user, who stated she was white, said that white people should "collectively chill" about jokes that can be construed as "racist."
"It's obviously a stereotype just like any other but nothing to get mad about," she said.
The Toronto dining establishment with the controversial menu has been identified as Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu, BlogTO reports.
To date, the picture of the menu has been upvoted about 8,000 times on the Reddit social media platform.