GTA Chinese, Vietnamese Restaurant Owners Deny Catering to Neo-Nazi Extremists
TORONTO, ON (SP) — Numerous restaurants offering Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine, as well as other Asian-owned businesses, stand accused of catering to a white-supremacist clientele through their use of the number "88" in the names of their firms. The number, while considered lucky in many Asian cultures, is used by racist groups as a symbol to denote the words "Heil Hitler", with 'H' being the eighth letter of the alphabet.
"I had no idea those crazy Nazis used this number", said Bob Wong, owner and operator of Lucky 88 Chinese Restaurant in Toronto. "To many Chinese, the number '8' is lucky, denoting wealth. Kind of like '7' to many Westerners. So when I named my restaurant using 88, I in no way meant to attract the business of the Aryan Nations or any other hate group. It's ridiculous. Anyway, how many Nazi skinheads do you know who like Chinese food?"
Several websites publishing racist hate literature have, over the past few weeks, posted notices denying that they are wishing "wealth and luck" to the groups they victimize when "88" is used at the end of diatribes. The extreme-right-wing organizations appear resentful of the fact that ancient Asian cultures had already been using the number for centuries when the Second World War ended in 1946. It was only then, when Nazi Germany was defeated and what aspects of Nazism weren't crushed were driven into the underground, that Nazi supporters were forced to adopt secret symbols to communicate.
One such website, hosted in Oregon, originally posted an article praising Toronto for its dedication to the cause of "White Resistance". During a visit to Toronto, the author wrote that he saw "signs of the Resistance everywere [sic], particular [sic] on Spadina Avenue. We in the U.S. of A. could learn a thing or too [sic] about the cause from the good people of Toronto. The 88 was everywere [sic]." The article had been removed within a day.