In one visit to the park, we interviewed a Caucasian man named Michael, who told us how there used to be a lot of turtles in the park, but now there aren’t as many. He told us that many people believe that it is because the Asians take them to sell and eat. There was a blog post written about the issue based on a Daily News article, and the comments written in response reflect similar sentiments.
A comment posted by an anonymous person says “ASIANS ASIANS ASIANS! How come the article fails to mention exactly where the turtles are ending up??? They know where. We know where. Why hide the truth??? You bring in tens of thousands of farmers from the middle of nowhere China and people act surprised when they don’t know how to act in civilized society.”
A comment written by “Joe” says “Poachers grabbing and trapping at night. Turtle ‘parts’ and soups are no doubt a delicacy at the ‘Asian’ markets in Flushing. Good reason 1/2 those food stores in Flushing don’t want American patrons. Die hard Turtles and Coy just don’t disappear.”
Another anonymous person wrote, “You’ll find it all in column A or B at your local Asiatic restaurant along with various other mystery meats and local road kill! You should see those little Oriental guys scampering about in their restaurant checkered pants….catching sea gulls with baited fishing poles at Fort Totten. Then there are those Fujianese peasant women squatting by the curbs….picking plant life that’s been peed on and polluted….and later selling it to Chinese eateries. Wadda ya think you’re getting in those cheap $5 ‘lunch specials’ folks….filet mignon? I wouldn’t trust any Asiatic, Oriental fare in Flushing that’s served to us ’round eyes’. Once you mince the ingredients up that small, you’ll never know what you’re eating.” 1
Just like the comments written towards the Italians in response to the bocce court renovations, they are very bigoted. They accuse Asians of stealing the turtles, and also eating them, which is based on the stereotype that Asians will eat anything, including animals that most Americans would be disgusted at the thought of eating. There was not much interaction between Asians and other groups of people in the park, but there does not seem to be any racial tension either. While people might make racist comments online, they do not seem to express them or act on them at the park; everyone just does their own thing at the park.