Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Cafe slammed on social media for serving up 'racist' burger named 'Uncle Tom' - but owners say they did not know it was offensive
American sensitivities are often little known abroad
A newly opened cafe is at the centre of a racism row over the naming of a burger. Master Toms, in Brisbane's city centre, only flung open its doors less than four months ago but it has already found itself embroiled in accusations of racism, 9News reported.
The cafe has named one of its burgers Uncle Tom, which is also a derogatory term describing a black person who is considered to be excessively obedient to a white person. The name first came to prominence in the novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, in the mid-1800s. The novel, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, details the suffering of African-American slaves.
Customer Jonathan Butler-White, who noticed the name when he dropped by the cafe recently, said he felt a 'mix of disappointment and anger'.
'I think it's concerning but I don't think it's surprising,' he said. 'I did leave straight away.'
Mr Butler-White then made his feelings known to the cafe through social media who told him they were 'completely unaware' of the name's historical meaning.
Master Tom's manager Eduardo Cantarelli vowed to change the burger's name and update the menu.
'We really want to change that because that's not good for us, it's not good for the business,' Mr Cantarelli said.