Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Serving fried chicken during Black History month is racist?

I love following George Takei on Facebook.  He often posts quirky and funny stuff that gets me to thinking.  Yesterday, he posted this article about a New Jersey school celebrating Black History month.  On February 16, 2017, the following menu was offered in the school cafeteria.

Fried chicken
Sweet potato casserole
Sauteed spinach
Mac & cheese
Cornbread, peach, or apple crisp

Not for nothing, but that menu sounds like good old fashioned southern cuisine to me.  Maybe if they had added watermelon, it might be more offensive.  Just kidding.  I don't think watermelon is necessarily a "black" food, either.

Apparently, some people got up in arms about that menu, which was considered offensive because it supposedly plays on black stereotypes.  Thomas A. Smith, the superintendent of Hopewell Valley Regional School District, explained that the lunch was chosen by the district's food vendor, who was not given any context or explanation as to what was expected.

Maybe I don't have the right to comment about this because I am neither black nor do I have any kids.  It just seems to me to be a lot of ado about nothing.  Since when is serving fried chicken a racist act?  If they served this same menu in March, would there be as big of an uproar?

It's true that racism is a huge problem in American society and elsewhere around the world.  Yesterday, I read the shocking story of a 19 year old white man who shoved a coat hanger up the rectum of a mentally disabled black teammate.  Former high school football player John R. K. Howard of Dietrich, Idaho entered an "Alford plea" at his trial; he maintains his innocence but recognizes that a jury would probably find him guilty.

Mr. Howard had originally been charged with sexual assault, but shockingly, district judge Randy Stoker did not find that shoving a coat hanger up someone's rectum constituted sexual assault.  Howard supposedly also taught the mentally disabled young man racist songs and used racist slurs.  Later, the victim was taped saying that his family fabricated the story for financial gain, a claim that his family vehemently denies.  Given the fact that the victim is mentally disabled, I think it makes sense to consider the source and realize that it's possible that he was manipulated.

On Friday of last week, Judge Stoker also ruled that the assault was not racially motivated.  Consequently, Mr. Howard got a slap on the wrist.  He will not serve jail time for assaulting his teammate.

It seems to me that Mr. Howard's astonishingly light sentence, which includes community service and probation, should cause a lot more outrage than fried chicken on a school lunch menu during Black History month.  But what do I know...  I'm a moron, right?



  1. I agree that it looks like a southern tableu. I suspect that in many church-going traditional families, black and white, who go to church and then have home-cooked meals together, it's the type of meal that is served.

    1. If they served it in March, would people find it racist?

      Much ado about nothing.


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