If you decide to go to the debate-watch party at the Republican City Committee headquarters on Cottman Avenue next week, you might see some familiar faces: the owners of the food truck deemed racist by Philadelphia City Councilwoman and second-generation Korean American Helen Gym.
Republican state Senate candidate Ross Feinberg, one of the hosts, says that he hired Wheely Wheely Good to cater the event right after he read our account of the food truck controversy last week.
“This truck is cute, not racist,” insists Feinberg, who co-opted Donald Trump’s motto for his own campaign earlier this year. “We’re trying to support small businesses — not detract from them. Why does she want to run them out of town?”
Feinberg points out that his two children are part-Japanese and that he’s spent a lot of time in Japan.
“These types of caricatures that they’re using on the truck are so common in Asia,” he observes. “They got a bad rap from the councilwoman, and we just want to show our support and give them some positive publicity.”
Feinberg isn’t the only one on the Trump side of the aisle face-palming in response to Gym’s accusation. Someone posted our story on Free Republic, the Internet forum for the Drudge Report set, and the dozens of comments are exactly what you’d expect them to be, incorporating words and phrases like “McCarthyism,” “liberal mental illness,” and “tyrannies.” Naturally, there was also a call for Gym to resign.
Meanwhile, conservative talk show host Rich Zeoli had a field day when he had Wheely Wheely Good co-owner Alanna Li on 1210 AM to recount her run-in with Gym at a recent catering gig. And fellow 1210 AM on-air talent Chris Stigall has had plenty of laughs as well, tweeting, “This is wheely, wheely my favorite Philly story of this year. Wheely.”
Li tells Philly Mag that since our story ran, she’s seen many new faces at the truck.
“They say they found us because of your article,” Li says. “They are coming and showing their support. At first I was really scared of what [Gym] might be able to do to us with her power, but now that we’re getting all this support, I definitely have hope.”
As for the Republican event next week and all the publicity and support that Wheely Wheely Good is getting from the Right, Li is happy about it, but mostly because of the impact on her bottom line.
“We’re a business,” she says. “The more business, the better. And this party is just another event.”
If you don’t feel like going to the Republican watch party, you can find Wheely Wheely Good at this Thursday’s night market in Chinatown.
When we first interviewed Li last week, she told us that Gym specifically warned her, “I don’t want to see you in Chinatown.” So it will be interesting to see what happens if the councilwoman and the food truck owners cross paths on 10th Street.
“Last time when she confronted us, she took us by surprise,” says Li. “This time, we’ll be ready for her. I’ll be prepared.”
Gym previously told us that she didn’t want to talk about Wheely Wheely Good, and she hasn’t said a word about it since the story was published.
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