No Chinese People Are Allowed in French Restaurant Im Schiffchen in Düsseldorf
May 18, 2020
The 73-year-old French chef of Im Schiffchen in Düsseldorf, Germany, Jean-Claude Bourgueil announced on Facebook last Wednesday, “We start on Friday, but only with our bistro. No Chinese wanted!!!”
This announcement came as the French restaurant was closed for months because of the country’s coronavirus lockdown. However, the chef quickly found himself in a sticky situation when observers of the Facebook post responded with the chef being a “racist.”
Asians in Germany and around the world have been faced with discrimination and xenophobia because of the coronavirus. This begs the question. If all Asians are responsible for what happened in China, does that mean Asians can start blaming entire groups of people for the wrongs committed by individuals from those groups?
Chef Bourgueil attempted to apologize by stating on Facebook that he meant to target the dictators or men in charge in China and not the Chinese population. But the apology fell on deaf ears.
“I am a child of the French revolution and detest all dictators in this world. Dictators that oppress their citizens and punish people with death,”Bourgueil stated.
Ironic he said “French revolution.” The same revolution that fought the Nazis in World War II for their freedom, only to go back and re-subjugate Southeast Asians; especially Vietnam.
Bourgueil continued “People of nine different nationalities work at our restaurant. My wife is Asian and I myself am a foreigner in this land. Rest assured, I can be accused of many things, but certainly not racism and I do not tolerate it.”
Michelin Guide has removed Im Schiffchen from its website and issued a statement about the incident. “Respecting everyone is one of Michelin’s core values and is rooted in Michelin’s corporate genes. We will never tolerate any form of racial discrimination.”
As of Thursday, May 14, German time, Im Schiffchen’s Facebook page has been taken down. Düsseldorf, where the French restaurant is located; has the largest Japanese population in Germany since World War II.