Questionable Obama Fried Chicken joint opens in China

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A new restaurant in Beijing, China called OFC, for Obama's Fried Chicken, and featuring a banner with the image of a smiling President Obama dressed as KFC's Colonel Sanders in his signature suspenders and bow tie, has people questioning Chinese motives. The sign also includes a slogan in Chinese which translates to English as, "We're so cool, aren't we?"

Issues of cultural relativism can breed misunderstandings, but one wonders why China would associate the U.S. president with fried chicken specifically. Back in February, KFC China ran a short-lived ad for the new Soft Roll Fish Fillet which featured an Obama lookalike getting squashed by a colossal Fish Fillet sandwich falling from the sky, followed by an enthusiastically-cheering, American flag-waving crowd. Was this a subtle anti-American message being sent?

In fairness, back in 2009, two NYC fried-chicken restaurants in predominantly black neighborhoods, Obama Fried Chicken in Brooklyn, and Obama Fried Chicken & Pizza in Harlem, came under fire for supposedly reinforcing an unfortunate stereotype, though the motives were obviously commercial. At the time, City Councilman Charles Barron had organized a demonstration, and said, "People from the community were calling me and saying they were outraged by this racist connection to Barack Obama and fried chicken. If you think that free speech gives you the right to insult and degrade us and stereotype us, then you've got a battle on your hands."

In the case of OFC (which seems to pretty blatantly flirt with copyright infringement), some have speculated that the logo could be a response to the U.S. having filed a complaint with the WTO over exorbitant Chinese tariffs on American chicken exports.