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Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:35 AM

Here's Why Your Fried Chicken and Watermelon Lunch Is Racist

By Arit John
February 6, 2014 5:31 PM

A private girls' school in Northern California wanted to incorporate Black History Month into lunch time, so it decided to serve fried chicken, watermelon, and cornbread. As the Associated Press reports, school officials are apologizing because that was a really, really horrible idea. The school's principal wrote a letter to parents, who were offended, and said the school doesn't "perpetrate racial stereotypes." Unfortunately, that's exactly what they did.

In honor of Black History Month, we'd like to explain exactly why your fried chicken and watermelon lunch is ill-advised, with the hope that people will find better ways to honor this month.

Via Authentic History.
Fried chicken isn't racist. Eating fried chicken isn't racist. A lot of people like fried chicken, and some happen to be black. In 2010, a black chef at NBC served fried chicken and collard greens in honor of Black History Month. QuestLove was not impressed, and stirred up a Twitter storm when he tweeted the picture. ďI donít understand at all. Itís not trying to offend anybody and itís not trying to suggest that thatís all that African-Americans eat. Itís just a good meal,Ē the chef, Leslie Calhoun, told The Grio, adding, ďI thought it would go over well.Ē It did not.

The problem stems from the way fried chicken is associated with black people, and the historical baggage that comes with it. The same way blackface recalls minstrel shows, the "black people love fried chicken" image recalls negative portrayals of black people. According to Claire Schmidt at the University of Missouri, it started with Birth of a Nation, the 1915 film on the founding of Ku Klux Klan. In one scene:

A group of actors portraying shiftless black elected officials acting rowdy and crudely in a legislative hall. (The message to the audience: These are the dangers of letting blacks vote.) Some of the legislators are shown drinking. Others had their feet kicked up on their desks. And one of them was very ostentatiously eating fried chicken.
"That image really solidified the way white people thought of black people and fried chicken," Schmidt said.

http://news.yahoo.com/39-why-fried-chicken-watermelon-lunch-racist-223129517.html?.tsrc=tmobustoday

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Reply Here's Why Your Fried Chicken and Watermelon Lunch Is Racist (Original post)
MrScorpio Feb 2014 OP
newfie11 Feb 2014 #1
MADem Feb 2014 #8
malthaussen Feb 2014 #147
MADem Feb 2014 #187
yeoman6987 Feb 2014 #20
Rex Feb 2014 #45
newfie11 Feb 2014 #99
Rex Feb 2014 #111
ScreamingMeemie Feb 2014 #114
newfie11 Feb 2014 #142
ScreamingMeemie Feb 2014 #143
newfie11 Feb 2014 #145
ScreamingMeemie Feb 2014 #146
arcane1 Feb 2014 #94
newfie11 Feb 2014 #103
arcane1 Feb 2014 #128
newfie11 Feb 2014 #137
Hekate Feb 2014 #2
Major Nikon Feb 2014 #3
Art_from_Ark Feb 2014 #10
pschoeb Feb 2014 #14
Iggo Feb 2014 #27
Art_from_Ark Feb 2014 #32
Iggo Feb 2014 #46
Rex Feb 2014 #47
Art_from_Ark Feb 2014 #154
whopis01 Feb 2014 #138
lunasun Feb 2014 #158
Art_from_Ark Feb 2014 #169
MADem Feb 2014 #188
liberalmuse Feb 2014 #84
JI7 Feb 2014 #4
madaboutharry Feb 2014 #5
Eleanors38 Feb 2014 #12
HockeyMom Feb 2014 #28
Eleanors38 Feb 2014 #80
TexasProgresive Feb 2014 #121
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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:44 AM

1. I've lived all over America

But had no idea fried chicken and watermelon=racism until President Obama was elected.

Some of my best friends, while living in LA, were black. I was there during the Watts Riots. Fried chicken and watermelon never came up.

The riots in Washinton DC, I don't remember a discussion on food choices.

This is same old republican bullshit.

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 07:45 AM

8. How soon people forget Fuzzy Zoeller.

That was a long time ago, too....just as offensive then as now.

At the 1997 Masters tournament, Zoeller made what some considered to be a racist remark regarding Tiger Woods. After finishing tied for 34th place with a score of 78, Zoeller, referring to the following year's Masters Champions Dinner, for which the defending champion selects the menu, said, "He's doing quite well, pretty impressive. That little boy is driving well and he's putting well. He's doing everything it takes to win. So, you know what you guys do when he gets in here? You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year. Got it." Zoeller then smiled, snapped his fingers, and walked away before turning and adding, "or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve."[3] K-Mart and Dunlop ceased sponsoring Zoeller after the incident.[4][5]


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Response to MADem (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:46 PM

147. Nah, I remember it well.

His career took a serious nose-dive after that gaffe.

But I doubt Fuzzy has a truly racist bone in his body. The guy was always talking, and he didn't do a lot of pre-processing. I think he was reflecting more good old dyed-in-the-wool White Boy stereotyping than any specific racial hatred. But he probably wouldn't have wanted Tiger around his daughter, which is wisdom, although not because of Tiger's race.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #147)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:17 AM

187. I think Fuzzy wuzza racist, myself.

Maybe he was a cheery racist, but he was a racist.

If the chicken and collard greens wasn't enough, the "boy" iced the cake. All the "sporty charm" in the world just can't make up for that kind of shit. I mean, the guy thought he was being funny, and he thought no one, in the pale and rarified air of an all-white country club, would have a problem with his humor.



Granted, Tiger is no saint, and he lost his family as a consequence of his stupidity, but his conduct is a separate issue, unrelated to his multi-racial heritage. A "good old boy" acting like Tiger did, screwing around willy-nilly, would be labeled an ass, too.

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:38 AM

20. Celebrate nothing

 

In our schools, it has been decided not to celebrate anything. They continue to have regular classes throughout the year instead. The school district figures that you can celebrate at home or not if you desire. There is nothing at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter or any holiday. On one hand, it is additional days for English and Math, but I do believe the students do miss out on some diversity of holidays. I wish the federal government would put out a guideline on what to do for all holidays. Perhaps a list of foods and activities that are appropriate. That would help alleviate the schools that genuinely want to celebrate all diverse holidays without looking horrible when they do make errors.

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 01:50 PM

45. I've known about that since I was a little boy.

 

Maybe you did not grow up in Racist South Texas like I did. If you would have, you would know about these things from the age of a small child.

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Response to Rex (Reply #45)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:43 PM

99. I moved a lot, my dad was an IBEW electrician

In Texas I've lived in Midland, Monahans. Del Rio, Freeport, San Angelo, and Galveston. I may have forgotten some.
Maybe I just was not near racist people.

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #99)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:08 PM

111. Consider yourself lucky then.

 

nt.

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Response to Rex (Reply #111)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:11 PM

114. Or super-sheltered, with no access to television or even books...

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #114)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:31 PM

142. Super sheltered lol

We owned a 30 ft house trailer, lived in trailer parks, moved about ever 3 months. Ever been to a boom town in the 50's? Nothing sheltered about it!
Yes we had tv from the mid 50's, yes I had books but I had more than that.
I had the advantage of living where people were not prejudice and then living where there were, " colored bathrooms and water fountains."
There were times I was the only "white" kid. What better way to know that no matter the color, everyone is the same.
Black, red, brown I see the person.
No I've not heard the fried chicken/watermelon shit until Obama became president. The last time I heard so much racist shit was I the 60's and I thought we were over it!

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #142)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:33 PM

143. I had the "advantage" of living in the North, and even I am familiar with this stereotype.

I'm sorry, but I find that very, very hard to believe.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #143)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:42 PM

145. Ya know I'm thinking your name fits. Nt

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #145)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:44 PM

146. You know, I'm thinking we can keep it to the topic at hand instead of throwing insults.

I think you led more a sheltered life than you believe.

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:35 PM

94. I grew up in Virginia and heard many fried chicken and watermelon jokes about black people

 

One repeated theme was that they ate the chicken so thoroughly that the bones would shine, so brightly you could use them as a mirror. It didn't make any sense but there it was, primarily from older generations.

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #94)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:51 PM

103. I also lived in VA ( northern VA)

Lived in Catlett, Bristersburg, and Alexandria. Again I must have been oblivious to the watermelon thing. I moved from LA there and worked in Washington DC just as the riots were ending. I worked at Group Health in the district and everyone I worked with was black. I guess since this is derogatory they never mention it.

Looking back I guess I was lucky to not have encountered racist people personally.

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #103)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 06:13 PM

128. You're definitely lucky. I was born & raised in Richmond

 

And there were always racists at school and at least one racist adult in any group.

To me, it's always seemed like the boundary between North & South isn't the Virginia border, but a dozen or so miles south of it. Once you get to Alexandria, you're in the North

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #128)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:05 PM

137. I'm sure your right

My brother in law used to be a Capt. On Eastern airlines.
He was talking to the tower at Richmond and mentioned how green the grass was. Asked what fertilizer was used and the reply was, Yankees.
My brother in law was not amused, he's from IL.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:47 AM

2. It plays to old, old stereotypes.Didn't know it was in Birth of a Nation--it no doubt existed before

Argh. In my mind it's rather like someone deciding to draw some pictures of Jews and thinking: "Mustn't forget to put really big hooked noses on everyone!"

We've made progress, but we're far from done.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:51 AM

3. I don't really understand this

I'm not really sure how people in the North feel about this issue, but most people, white or black, in the South understand that fried chicken and watermelon certainly can be used in racist ways. That much I get. What I am less able to understand is how a black chef can serve a menu of traditional African-American foods which happens to contain fried chicken and this is somehow supposed to be racist. Is intent, or lack thereof never to be considered?

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:12 AM

10. As somehow who grew up in the South,

I've never understood why the whole "fried chicken and watermelon" thing would have any racist connotations. I grew up in an all-white neighborhood and all the kids loved fried chicken and watermelon. I just don't get it.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:41 AM

14. Its not the food itself

The racist part was that it was said black folk were easy to control with fried chicken or watermelon. So, much like a dog, you could get a black person to do anything with just some fried chicken or watermelon.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 10:43 AM

27. Just because you don't understand why it does, doesn't mean it doesn't.

White Guy #1: Bob is black.
White Guy #2: Then Bob loves fried chicken and watermelon.
Both: Ha ha ha ha ha...!

That's racist, whether you get it or not.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #27)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 11:20 AM

32. I've never heard anyone say that sort of thing

No one I knew ever looked down upon people who liked fried chicken and watermelon, because, hell, everyone I knew liked those foods. Really, I cannot for the life of me see how that is construed as racist.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #32)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 01:52 PM

46. Then it never happened.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #32)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 02:01 PM

47. So, because you never experienced this directly - it must not exist?

 

You realize that there are 6 billion people on this planet and it is a rather large area by human standards?

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Response to Rex (Reply #47)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:21 PM

154. There might be 6 billion people on this planet,

but only a relative handful of those people think that fried chicken and watermelon have any sort of racist connotation.

And yes, I grew up in a place where there was a bit of unabashed racism, but I never heard anyone make that sort of insult.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #32)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:11 PM

138. Try this - type watermelon and fried chicken into google, hit search, then click on images.

Then see if you still feel that it can't be construed as racist.

I understand where you are coming from - I believe what you are saying about your experiences. But I also know that there are a large number of people who use that imagery in a racist fashion.

Is it accurate? No.
Does it make sense? No.
Is it really stupid? Yes.

But racism is stupid, not accurate, and doesn't make sense.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #32)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:37 PM

158. you will not understand this 1960's cover from Ike and Tina Turner either then!


A brilliant mockery of the blackface minstrel history which is quite well known

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Response to lunasun (Reply #158)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 01:25 AM

169. Oh, I understand that cover, all right

As you noted, it's a brilliant mockery of the blackface minstrel history, not to mention the whole watermelon thing. Their point is "White people like watermelon, too. And look how silly we look in whiteface. That's how silly white people look in blackface."

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #169)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:27 AM

188. Here--let Dave explain it to you. I mean, come on--no one can be that obtuse.



"I'm genetically predisposed to like chicken...I have no say in the matter!"


"Look at him--he LOVES it!"

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:59 PM

84. I knew this at 5.

And yes, it is a hurtful, racist stereotype often used as a hateful caricature towards people of color. Your not understanding or not "getting it" in no way negates the symbolism or its intended meaning. I guess why I'm responding to your comment is that I'm really tired of seeing the, "I'm not offended at all and I don't understand why others are so touchy or feel the need to be "politcally correct. Get over it!". You probably didn't mean it that way, but your comment is not that far off from those pleading innocence in order to completely discount and disregard another's very real, painful experience. Am I guilty of this as well? You bet, and I'm not proud of that fact after becoming aware of it.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 06:10 AM

4. it's a very common racist thing used against blacks

 

i'm in my 30s and grew up in southern california and have known this at least since my teenage years and probably even before.

a lot of the racist shit spread on the internet and elsewhere play on this also.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 06:43 AM

5. If the school wanted to celebrate

in some way with food, all they needed to do was reach out to the African American community and get some advice.

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Response to madaboutharry (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:34 AM

12. Probably a good way to cover ones ass. In my hometown in N. Florida,

 

black citizens (at an arts event) sered up boiled peanus, collards, and fried chicken gizzards. Of course, whites loved this, too, as these foods are common in the deep South. Maybe fried cat fish would be politically "safe" until someone fucks up that dish for celebratory functions. Or BBQ pork shoulder. Or black-eyed peas. Or field peas.

There are some things we need to rehabilitate, or get over, lest we continue to dance through an increasingly dense mine-field.

Incidentally, watermelon was served.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 10:51 AM

28. Savannah

We spent the weekend there and ate dinner at a highly rated Southern food restaurant The line was out the door and just about all people were taking it out. Served cafeteria style. Yes, fried chicken, BBQ pork shoulder, black eyed peas, collard greens, candied sweets,buttermilk biscuits etc. No watermelon though. lol The food was delicous and plentiful.

It was run by 3 (black) sisters, and to be perfectly frank, we were the only white people there. Definitely not a tourist type place. We decided on this local restaurant over something like Paula Deen's.

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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #28)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:53 PM

80. Just this morning, the Mexican-American lady next

 

to me in the Mexican restaurant in Austin remarked I was "the first white person she saw eating menudo." There goes the neighborhood.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #80)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:25 PM

121. were you hung over?

Some around here consider menudo a prime hang over cure.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #121)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:43 PM

126. No, but I've taken the cure before! Mine can be ordered with pig's feet.

 

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #126)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 06:22 PM

131. MMMmmm How about some tripas

Our ancestors ate just about anything. They were not wasters.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #131)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:55 PM

149. Indeed. My Mom bought sacks of stewing hen gizzards

 

(very large) for almost nothing. I helped her season them, dredge then flour, then brown them crusty in a bit cast iron pan. We poured off the excess oil, cut the burner back, added some milk, and put a lid on the pan. After a time, they softened up in a nice gravy, and were laddled atop Spanish yellow rice & served with small light green field peas. A Fla Cracker twist on Cuban food.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:48 PM

100. To me it's all included in a category I've always heard and referred to as "Soul Food"

My husband was from the La. and his parents were still sharecroppers when he was young. So I had the opportunity to experience a lot of soul food when we were together. I'm the type of person that will try anything and I usually like it all. I've always eaten spinach and kale, but OMG collard greens cooked with fresh pork and spices served with fresh made biscuits, there's nothing like them. Let's not forget the magical world of grits.. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can eat them. There's so many different ways to fix them, I could go on so long that I'd sound like Forrest Gumps' friend in the movie! Corn bread pancakes and fried fish for breakfast....yum!

As far as I'm concerned, there's not too much out there that's better than Soul Food and people who get off on making racist jokes in regards to the gift that the African American culture has given us, don't know what their missing.

I guess you could say that the joke is really on them.

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Response to madaboutharry (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:01 PM

107. Better yet, pay local African American owned/managed restaurants

to cater the event.

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Response to madaboutharry (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 04:17 PM

213. See, that would have been a great idea.

I mean, what is better than celebrating black history month than by actually getting involved? And there might be sharing of excellent recipes at the same time.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 07:04 AM

6. If they really wanted a authentic African American meal

That none of the children would eat, at least the main entree;
Chitterlings and Collard greens with sweet potato pie for desert.

Most white people have never eaten chitterlings and I'll bet there are a lot of black people who haven't either.

This issue is over charged with emotion which is blowing it all out of proportion. There are real awful stereotypes against African Americans that need to face the full force of our outrage- this is not one of them. Eat the chicken and watermelon and give thanks to the poor wretches on those slave ships that carried the seeds of watermelon and peanuts for us all to enjoy.

BTW- a friend of mine from Ghana treated us to a wonderful meal that he called peanut soup. There was no sign of peanuts in the soup. the broth was clear and extremely spicy with chicken and various vegetables. The wife, kids and I thought it was wonderful but he would not give out the secret. He said that if we wanted it we had to come to his house. After moving from Houston we lost each other but I still remember Francis and his son fondly.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:03 AM

16. I can't think of too many things that bridge cultural gaps better than cuisine

While things like fried chicken can certainly be used as a tool to divide, it's also one of those cultural things that most people don't realize where it comes from. Fried chicken in the South is like pizza in the North. When people think of pizza, they think of Italians and the contribution they made to American cuisine. When people think of fried chicken, they think of Col Sanders. Something is wrong with that picture.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:16 PM

152. Yes,something is wrong with that picture.

Fried chicken makes me think of my Grandma wringing their necks while the kids plucked them,not some old white guy wearing a white suit.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 02:36 PM

51. Mmmm, collards and sweet potato pie!

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Response to polichick (Reply #51)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 02:38 PM

52. Picky-picky I notice you did not go for the whole menu.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #52)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 02:57 PM

54. Yeah, no thanks. :)

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:21 PM

63. If they'd served chitterlings and collards,

I suspect the outcry would be just as vociferous.

Lesson to be learned by the cafeteria? Don't stick your neck out, don't try to be creative, just ignore the whole damn thing.

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Response to mainer (Reply #63)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:58 PM

83. Actually, the message might be to ASK a question.

What would you like to eat in celebration of black history month?

Look at that! Crisis averted.

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Response to M0rpheus (Reply #83)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:06 PM

110. What should they have served?

That's an interesting question I'd like to hear the answer to. And would it have garnered any negative reaction?

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Response to mainer (Reply #110)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:08 PM

112. They should have served "lunch."

Without any racial connotations. Simple as that. Study black history, and then, go eat your lunch.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #112)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:15 PM

115. So nothing that would in any way relate to the event being celebrated?

We're so afraid of offending that it's best not to make the effort?

I mention (below) that i lived for many years in hawaii. We'd often celebrate Hawaiian history with luau food like kailua pig and poi. And we'd celebrate Japanese cultural days with Japanese food. Ditto with Filipino food. I don't think the school cafeteria folks ever imagined that they'd get fired for trying to go along with the spirit.

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Response to mainer (Reply #115)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:18 PM

117. Is pig and poi related to Hawaiian's being lazy, shiftless, good-for-nothings?

I think the school cafeteria folks and a lot of people here on DU could stand to educate themselves on Jim Crow laws and the extreme stereotyping of African Americans after the Civil War.

The fact that people are still arguing this after having countless links and examples shown to them makes me ill.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #117)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:21 PM

118. Well, I'm learning how angry people are about fried chicken

and it just takes me aback. But that's why I come to DU, to find out what other people are thinking.

p.s., Hawaiians also struggle under the stereotypes of being lazy and shiftless, you know. But their foods don't come into it.

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Response to mainer (Reply #118)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:24 PM

120. I believe you are being deliberately obtuse and disingenuous.

The fact that, even with a quick education, you persist says a lot more than I really want to know.

Racism is alive and thriving in the U.S.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #120)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:26 PM

122. I just admitted I'm getting an education here

Being nonwhite myself, I'm just that I'm not as sensitive to other ethnic groups' hot buttons.

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Response to mainer (Reply #110)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:27 PM

123. You listed quite a few foods in another post.

It's Black History Month. They could have put a small bit of thought into it. How about a regular lunch with the option to try something from the many places we hail from. Pick sample foods from Jamaica, *Pick a country or countries from Africa* or, even some Afro-Caribbean foods. Soul food is just one small aspect of what Black people eat.

The solution takes a little thought, but it is NOT complicated.

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Response to M0rpheus (Reply #123)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:30 PM

157. Back when they cooked real food in school

we had what most are calling soul food for lunch more than once a week.Fried chicken,pinto beans,cornbread,greens and banana pudding.

We called it country food as there were less than 1% Blacks at my school.Its still that way here in the restaurants,except its called country cookin' now.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:25 PM

156. Just don't ask me to cook the chitlins.

We left the house for the day when that was going. *shiver*

Once stewed, deep fry with egg, corn meal, & flour, you get a hush-puppy-like delight.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 07:08 AM

7. Thank you. n/t

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:05 AM

9. This pasty-white Irish-American LOVES fried chicken!

 

The first national fast food chain to set up shop in my lily-white hometown (pop. 13,400) was KFC, and it's still there, over four decades later.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:18 AM

11. I guess there's no way to include Soul Food in a school observance of Black History Month

without being racist.

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Response to antiquie (Reply #29)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:23 PM

67. Fried chicken is on their suggested menus!

So no to soul food.

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Response to mainer (Reply #67)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:32 PM

72. What if I add dry white toast and a coke to the order?

 

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:40 AM

13. I think it works this way: What makes chicken and watermelon racist depends on who cooks it.....

for the record I love pan fried chicken. Its something not many restaurants offer.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #13)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:07 AM

17. Do y'all really think we just make this shit up so we can whine about something?




Why is watermelon racist?

Same deal. From Theodore Johnson writing for The Huffington Post:

Just as the undesirable leftovers of farm animals, such as pig intestines and feet, are linked to the slave diet, watermelon is the food most associated with the 19th and 20th century depictions of blacks as lazy simpletons.
Remnants of the connection between shiftless, lazy blacks, and watermelon still remain today. You know the song the ice cream man plays (not "Pop Goes the Weasel"? Well, the original version, from 1916, is titled "N*gger Love a Watermelon Ha! Ha! Ha!"


Read the article. It'll fill you in on a few things that are fairly common knowledge for us.


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Response to M0rpheus (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:27 AM

18. Not what I said. Racism is as bad in this country as it ever was. I thought it was going away. It ..

took this last election to really wake me up. Most people who don't like the President can't even give a reason why that is specifically. But the great unspoken specific is racist.

That said: sometimes (almost always) if chicken and watermelon is on the table, its dinner.
If its in a graphic or spoken joke, its racist.

If we're going to fight, lets fight together: End racism.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:49 AM

22. I apologize.

For jumping down your throat.

This statement:
I think it works this way: What makes chicken and watermelon racist depends on who cooks it.....

It leaves me guessing at what you mean. I'll admit that lately on DU it leads to some less than charitable guesses.

But this:
That said: sometimes (almost always) if chicken and watermelon is on the table, its dinner.

This is specific and is correct.

The stereotypes, get old very quickly when you hear them all the time.

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Response to M0rpheus (Reply #22)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 10:08 AM

24. I know what you mean. We need to be pay attention, something I started do fail at until the last ...

election. If I fall to the side, please do give me a nudge, we're in this together. Racism not only harms the victim, it further damages the racist.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:08 PM

57. Satd the best way

so far. just because you eat Watermelon or Fried chicken it shouldn't be classified by your ethnic background. I personally like them both and wouldn't give a damn what they say. Worry if I answer, fight might be starting

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Response to M0rpheus (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 12:43 PM

41. Not saying there wasn't a racist version in 1916

But according to a quick Google search the song comes from the 1600s' London.

"Pop Goes the Weasel
Half a pound of tuppenny rice,
Half a pound of treacle.
That's the way the money goes,
Pop goes the weasel.

There has been much debate over the years about the meaning of Pop Goes The Weasel. A hugely popular music-hall song, its memorable and seemingly nonsensical lyrics spread like wildfire throughout Victorian London."

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Response to Fastcars (Reply #41)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 01:10 PM

42. Let me help ya there...

You know the song the ice cream man plays (not "Pop Goes the Weasel")? Well, the original version, from 1916, is titled "N*gger Love a Watermelon Ha! Ha! Ha!


While it's not exactly obvious in the text, they're speaking of the OTHER common Ice Cream man song.

The song you might recognize as the "Turkey in the straw", apparently did a little time as this.

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Response to M0rpheus (Reply #42)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:26 PM

70. My apologies....

Watching the Olympics and reading at the same time is evidently not conducive to accuracy.

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Response to Fastcars (Reply #70)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:51 PM

79. No apologies needed.

The article was not very clear.

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Response to M0rpheus (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:10 PM

58. Thanks for the enlightenment. I just learned a lot about the background of the watermelon

stereotype that I never knew. Pretty awful history and it continues.

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Response to M0rpheus (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:41 PM

75. Thank you!

I had no idea of the background of that song.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:45 AM

15. These foods have a history

 

I can understand why eating watermelon is associated with relaxing and doing nothing. It's a sloppy food and you need time to eat it. It takes a long time to grow and ripens in Summer when something wet is very refreshing. It tastes best cold so it has to be iced down or put in the creek to chill for a long time. All these activities are not something a slave master would want their slaves to do.

A watermelon plant takes up a lot of room in the garden for just a few melons. It is not something a hungry slave would plant because it would take up too much space in the very little land they were allowed to garden to feed their families. And a watermelon does not have a high calorie content, not compared to potatoes, garlic or corn. So the watermelon would most likely be given to a slave. A slave master would see that as a waste of money or believe the watermelon was stolen.

It is my understanding that fried chicken has a different history. It is one of the few meats that if cooked right will not spoil rapidly. It can be carried around easily and can be eaten easily without too much mess. Chickens were one of the more common animals raised on farms in the 1940s. Chickens are cheap to feed and quick to grow to maturity. Most anyone can clean a dead chicken by themselves, not like a hog or sheep that requires a long time to process.

During Jim Crow, African Americans were not allowed to enter many restaurants. If they wanted to travel, they had to pack a lunch. Fried chicken was the most common lunch packed because of it's easy availability and transport.

Identifying these foods as if they are favorites of African Americans today is antiquated, ignorant and propagates the slave master's bigotries.


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Response to fasttense (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:30 AM

19. Very good opinion.

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Response to fasttense (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 10:15 AM

25. All foods are ethnic and have a history in America

If you are eating them to celebrate the heritage of a race it is a good thing. If you are using them as a pejorative, it is a bad thing. I think it is the context that matters.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:40 AM

21. I think it's time to get past this. Fried chicken is too good not to just enjoy.

 

Same thing with a ripe, ice cold watermelon.

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #21)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 12:25 PM

39. Wanda Sykes, the comedian has a bit about black people and watermelon

 

that's hilarious.

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Response to woolldog (Reply #39)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:01 PM

55. She's a scream but I have mixed feelings about the skit

 

I think it would be better to just let go of it. We need to get rid of the things that a black person can do but a white person can't without being called a racist. Skits like this perpetuate the divide.

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #55)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:47 PM

78. hmmm....the way I see it

 

the bit is about her struggling not to play into well known, existing sterotypes about her race. The joke is that even though she likes watermelon and chicken she feels she can't show that in front of whites for fear of confirming their stereotypes/preconceptions about blacks. I don't see her as perpetuating the divide, but rather a commentary on it and one of it's perverse side effects. This struggle (of negative stereotypes and trying not to play into them) is something minorities face all the time. Not talking about that isn't going to make it go away.

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Response to woolldog (Reply #78)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 06:16 PM

129. That's the way I took the routine. Sykes is phenomenal.

 

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:59 AM

23. Would fried rice and wonton be considered racist

if a school cafeteria served it for Asian history week? I don't think it would cause even a ripple of outrage. I have to admit, I feel a little sorry for the school cafeteria, which was just trying to take part in the event and blundered into this mess. A lot of whether or not it's racism has to do with intent, and in this case, it seems the intent wasn't to offend.

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Response to mainer (Reply #23)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 12:01 PM

37. That would really depend on which asian population's history you were celebrating.

As Chinese (Fried Rice and Won-ton) and Japanese foods are very different. As are Indian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean and the many other Asian populations in the world. Lumping Asian populations all together, at a minimum could be considered insensitive regardless of whether that was your intent. Lack of offensive intent does not make it not offensive.


Being sensitive to the needs of people with backgrounds different from yours can be difficult, and complicated, but it's worth the extra work.



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Response to M0rpheus (Reply #37)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:13 PM

59. So what if it was ramen on tuesday, lumpia on wednesday

and pho on thursday for Asian week? Would that still be racist?

On Cinco de Mayo, I always try to cook tacos for my family. Am I racist?

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Response to mainer (Reply #59)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:54 PM

81. Can't wait for Thursday. Pho is good stuff! But anyway...

First, what I said basically boiled down to: as you framed the question, it is at least insensitive.
I made no mention of racism within your frame.

I am personally unaware of any stigma attached to the varieties of Asian food. A celebration of your Asian Week (which should be more like a month, cause there's a whole lot of Asia), with authentic foods, and customs would probably be pretty damned cool, IMHO.
On the other hand, the stereotypes about Black Americans, and the types of foods we prefer are always lurking just barely off-stage as we go through our day.

On Cinco De Mayo, what you do with your family is pretty much your business. Have at it! I hope you enjoy your tacos!
Now, if you invited me over for the first time on Cinco De Mayo and said, "we knew you were coming so we made fried chicken and watermelon just for you!" we'd have a problem.

Sometimes you just have to accept that it is just the way we (the offended parties) say it is.

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Response to M0rpheus (Reply #81)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:51 PM

104. OK, I do see your point

It would be pretty insensitive to put fried chicken and watermelon on the dinner menu just because you were coming to dinner ... unless you specifically said that's what you'd love to have.

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Response to mainer (Reply #104)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:04 PM

108. That is exactly, the issue here.

It would be pretty insensitive to put fried chicken and watermelon on the dinner menu just because you were coming to dinner ... unless you specifically said that's what you'd love to have.

'nuff said.

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Response to M0rpheus (Reply #37)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:20 PM

62. please, no kimchi..

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Response to dionysus (Reply #62)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:22 PM

65. Many school cafeterias already have kimchi on the condiments table

so too late!

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Response to mainer (Reply #65)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:33 PM

73. ewwww...

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 10:23 AM

26. I'm thinking the real question is

 

how did the school get watermelon in the middle of February???

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #26)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 02:33 PM

50. That has been my "burning question" throughout the whole dust up.

and it is probably the combination in context that caused the majority of the blowback. The chicken in isolation probably wouldn't generate the same reaction.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #26)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:38 PM

125. Now that something to explode some teaheads.

Likely they are immigrants from south of the border. Maybe those watermelons are wet on the outside as well

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 11:06 AM

30. Fried chicken and watermelon were summer picnic favorites

 

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 11:07 AM

31. what silly shit people waist their brains thinking about.

Eat more chicken!

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 11:28 AM

33. I love fried chicken and watermelon,

although I don't know that I've often eaten them together. I've never thought of either as "black" food; nor have I thought of other things like collard greens, which I love, as ethnic food of any sort.

Probably because I've never lived in the South, or BEEN to the south outside of 2 days in Houston for work purposes, barring 2 months in Atlanta when I was 4. Which I remember almost nothing of.

I AM aware of the fried chicken/watermelon association as "black" food, even though I don't relate. It would never have occurred to me to promote it as representing a culture, though, even if there were no negative connotations attached, since my 53 years of eating good chicken, watermelon, and greens have no ethnic associations, one way or another.

The fried chicken? I learned to cook fried chicken, fried okra, ham hocks and beans, biscuits and gravy, and a variety of greens, from my grand-mother-in-law back in the '70s; she was of mixed race, Cherokee and caucasian. She was, growing up and in her younger adulthood, a migrant farm worker.

I don't eat any of those things very often, because they aren't good for my weight, blood sugar, or heart. I still love them, though.

I had to explain to one of my students just recently why, when he was going to role play MLK being interviewed, he could not make his face black. Other classmates were dressing as the famous people they were portraying, and he wanted to, as well. He'd never heard of "blackface," and didn't know the historical use in minstrel shows. He was horrified when I explained.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #33)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 12:26 PM

40. Your explanation is backwards, in my opinion.

I AM from the South and fried chicken, watermelon and cornbread are staples in the Southern diet (and, excepting the watermelon, some of the reasons why the South, as a region, is the fattest in the nation). WHITE Southerners eat that, too.

I guess I'm not understanding what your not having been to the South has to do with anything (BTW, Houston is NOT "Southern," per se. It's Southwestern and has its own regional foods).

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Response to Fawke Em (Reply #40)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 01:42 PM

43. It's not an explanation of anything.

Just a comment on context for individuals, which is probably why it seems "backward" to you, being from the South. I'll bet people in the South eat "Southwestern" foods, too.

And yes, I'm aware that Texas is not "the South." Even though it IS south. It's just the closest I've been. Having grown up in the Southwest, I'm familiar with my regional foods. I've always been quite a bit further West than Texas, though, and never really considered Texas part of my "region."

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 11:34 AM

34. Thank you for the history lesson!

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 11:39 AM

35. Every month should be black history month.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 11:46 AM

36. "Everybody" loves fried chicken

The problem is this is the first thing the school thought about when celebrating black history. That's the problem, all the obscurantism notwithstanding.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 12:15 PM

38. That meal simply sounds "Southern" to me.

Us "white" Southerners like that meal, too.

I think "that image really solidified the way white people thought of black people and fried chicken" should be modified to include "white people outside of the South."

To me, that meal represents a regional bias more than a color bias.

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Response to Fawke Em (Reply #38)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 10:01 PM

159. +1

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 01:43 PM

44. Out of all

the stereotypes out there, this one right here about all of us liking watermelon has got to be among my biggest peeves. For starters, I personally don't like watermelon. I don't like how messy it is to eat, and I think it tastes nasty and is not sweet enough. Strangely, I'm OK with watermelon-flavored foods such as yogurt, but watermelon itself? It does nothing for me. Only two people in my family eat watermelon regularly, and that would be my parents.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Reply #44)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:15 PM

60. You know who stereotypically LOVE watermelon? The Chinese

I was in France when they served a table of Chinese patrons watermelon because (as the waiter told us) all Chinese love it!

You know what? It's true. But I don't think the Chinese patrons felt offended.

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Response to mainer (Reply #60)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:00 PM

106. And yet, you don't see depictions of the chinese loving watermelon in the US...

As depicted in this post: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=4470397

There are many problematic depictions of Asians of all stripes, but this is not one of them.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 02:11 PM

48. Expressing yourself about issues like this poses difficulties.

It reminds me of an Onion piece from 1998:

Chinese Laundry Owner Blasted For Reinforcing Negative Ethnic Stereotypes

In fact, I hope I don't need to duck for posting this

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 02:16 PM

49. Manufactured outrage.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 02:42 PM

53. here is why this was a racist thing to propose



if people don't get that this is racist, I can't really deal with them

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Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #53)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:01 PM

56. When is that from?

 

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #56)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:22 PM

64. 30s or 40s looney tunes is my guess.

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Response to dionysus (Reply #64)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:04 PM

109. I doubt it's aired in decades. Time to let it go.

 

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #109)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:18 PM

116. You're right, those stopped airing decades ago, and yet we get new digital versions.





It's not like the idea really went anywhere. Still a little too early to be letting it go.

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Response to M0rpheus (Reply #116)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:22 PM

119. Or this... this happened a month ago...

on MLK day:



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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #119)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:47 PM

127. Exactly. It's not as if the stereotype has gone anywhere.

And yet, we should get over it? I'll get right on that...

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Response to M0rpheus (Reply #127)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:01 PM

150. As long as it continues to be a hot button, some "people" will continue to push it.

 

In my experience, the only way to stop it is to ignore it long enough. After a while, they'll justy get bored.

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #150)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:13 PM

151. I don't have another 50 years to ignore.

If it was just DU, I could manage it. But it's the news, in the street, in the office... It's always something.

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Response to M0rpheus (Reply #151)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 05:57 AM

181. The only thing you have any control over is how you react to it.

 

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #181)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:43 AM

191. There are something like 40 million African Americans in the US

So all 40 million of them have to ignore racism, and unless they are all successful all the time, it's their own fault racism exists?

Hmmm.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #191)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:48 AM

192. That's not what I said. Reread the thread.

 

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #192)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:51 AM

193. What I read

is you telling African Americans to just get over this racist stereotype. "Let it go." And let it go for "long enough" because if you do nothing for "long enough" everything will get better.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #193)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:53 AM

194. That's your interpretation.

 

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Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #53)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:00 PM

85. No doubt ... i am wondering about the mental gymnastics those denying ...

... that a fried chicken and watermelon meal reportedly used to represent African Americans is NOT racist

The link below is very verbally graphic and very uncomfortable ... Here is the description of the mission of the collection at the link

The Mission
The mission of this collection is to educate about the power of imagery in the stereotyping of race. By understanding how it happened, we can recognize it happening now. Once aware, we can make a conscious effort to avoid the messy thinking stereotyping promotes that leads to fear, prejudice, hate, and discrimination. Increasing sensitivity to these stereotypes can promote racial tolerance. Ultimately, civilization depends on learning to value the racial and cultural diversity of our histories, our nations, and the world in which we live.

http://www.authentichistory.com/diversity/african/3-coon/5-chickwatermelon/index.html

The connecting of Blacks to chicken and watermelon was done with the intention of dehumanizing Blacks, to subject them to ridicule, and to justify and solidify the discriminatory practices of Jim Crow. Although the odd item existed during the Reconstruction period, an explosion of Coon chicken and watermelon imagery occurred at the turn-of-the-century, just as a whole new generation of Black Americans was achieving adulthood who had never known the trauma of slavery firsthand, and who resisted the second-class citizen status imposed on them by Jim Crow. As these "New Negroes" pushed against segregation, they were met with a more violent pushback by White reactionaries. The Ku Klux Klan was reborn, and membership soared, as did White-on-Black vigilante violence, including the lynching of Blacks.

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Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #53)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 11:35 PM

165. There are better examples

http://hollywood.pdx.edu/html/coon_chicken_inn.html

People who used those foods and images as a pejorative towards blacks are unquestionably racist. The flip side of that is that people should understand that much of the cuisine we have, especially in the South were originated or developed by African-Americans and our culture is their culture. I think that's what black history is all about and should be celebrated rather than used as a tool to demean. If someone is using those dishes to tell a racist joke, they should be called out as racist assholes. If someone is using those dishes to celebrate the diversity of our culture, they shouldn't be castigated for it. People should be smart enough to tell the difference and they should also be educated on who made those cultural contributions just like people associate other Americanized dishes with other cultures.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:19 PM

61. It doesn't matter what they served

It could have been chitlins and collards.

It could have been African peanut stew.

It could have been black-eyed peas.

Someone would have screamed "racist." The safest course of action for any school cafeteria even DREAMING of celebrating black history month would be to not serve anything different at all. Or pizza.

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Response to mainer (Reply #61)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:37 PM

96. You're just determined not to learn a damned thing.

Chitlin's (hate 'em), Collards, peanut stew, and Black-eyed peas, are NOT a part of the stereotype.

They don't all like chicken and watermelon? Can't give them anything they won't complain about. They're lucky we feed them at all, right?

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:23 PM

66. next month is March, and I'm Irish,

and I plan on eating a lot of corned beef & cabbage. with onions and carrots and potatoes.

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Response to yorgatron (Reply #66)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:24 PM

69. That makes you racist against yourself.

Or maybe no one who's NOT Irish is allowed to eat it?

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Response to yorgatron (Reply #66)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 06:29 PM

133. I thought the national dish was a potato & a sixpack.

 

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:24 PM

68. it's such a stupid and outdated stereo type by now, i bet the racists making those jokes eat plenty

of fried chicken themselves.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:28 PM

71. So is this "soul-food advisor" website racist?

Because fried chicken shows up in one of their first two suggested menus.
Honestly, it's getting so hard for even well-meaning people to walk around the land mines. You try to do the right thing and use the soul-food advisor to guide you, and you'll still get called racist.


Below are special menus designed for Soul Food Special Events.

EASTER MENU - Special-Occasion-Menus
Chicken and Corn Bread Dressing
Baked Ham (of your choice)
Barbecue Ribs
Seasoned Green Beans
Fresh Turnip Greens
Fried Corn
Macaroni and Cheese
Country Deviled Eggs
Corn Bread/Dinner Rolls
Sweet Tea

BIRTHDAY MENU - Special-Occasion-Menus
Oven Fried Chicken
Seasoned Meat Loaf
Fresh Collard Greens
Creamy Macaroni & Cheese
Country Deviled Eggs
Corn Bread

http://www.soul-food-advisor.com/Special-Occasion-Menus.html

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Response to mainer (Reply #71)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:55 PM

82. I really find your reaction to this thread fascinating.

In the several posts that you've made, you seem angry. Your anger seems to center around your assumption that I'm saying that fried chicken and watermelon is inherently racist.

Well, I'm not saying that and neither did the article that I posted. As a matter of fact, it's right there in black and white saying that fried chicken and watermelon is NOT racist. So, I really don't understand why you're upset.

The article does however directs a charge of racism against those who use such foods to negatively stereotype Black people. Surely, you know that such people exist and they're even doing such a thing today.

But yet, in your posts, you've neglected to direct your anger against people who continue to employ racist stereotypes about fried chicken and watermelon in any of your posts. I'm wondering if you are willing to correct this oversight.

That being said, here's some more information that could possibly be of use. I hope that you find it helpful.

Good day.

http://www.authentichistory.com/diversity/african/3-coon/5-chickwatermelon/index.html

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #82)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:59 PM

105. No, I'm not angry, just very sad that the cafeteria people got slammed

when, in all likelihood, it never even occurred to them that it's a racist menu to offer to t he kids.

I'm not white, and I often find things that white people say to me thoughtless, but not intentionally hurtful. Countless times, I've heard "Oh, your English is so good!" Or "what country are you from?" Or they'll try to speak "my" language to me, when "my" language is English. I've learned to just laugh it off because I know, in their hearts, they're trying to connect, even if it's clumsy. And to waste too much energy being angry is just ... well, a waste of energy. Not everything is racism. Sometimes, it's just cluelessness, and I'm all for forgiving the clueless.

I think there are too many people angry all the time. I just wish people wouldn't take offense so quickly, and I feel sorry for whoever planned that school menu, because I suspect she/he was trying to get into the spirit of things, and is probably now mortified by the charges that she's racist.

And how sad that some people are demanding the menu planner get fired over this. They would ruin his/her life because they're so angry they can't forgive a gaffe like this?

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:36 PM

74. because of a film almost nobody saw?

'"That image really solidified the way white people thought of black people and fried chicken," Schmidt said.'


Puh-lease. Did even 20% of white people ever see that movie?

So that has something to do with the way white people thought? Or white people think NOW?

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #74)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:09 PM

89. Yes, it is because of the way that some people think now

When we finally divorce the food away from the negative stereotypes associated with it, against Black people, then we can safely say that we've become a much better society.

One suggestion is that we should stop using racialized mascots like "Uncle Ben" and "Aunt Jemima," however "updated" they are depicted for the modern era.

Those aren't companies run by Black people, so you know. They're run by Whites who profit from the stereotypical depictions of Blacks.

That's just to point out that these tropes still exist, despite of the fact of how old they are.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #89)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:35 PM

93. I had to google it

I wasn't really aware that Aunt Jemima was black.

So you are saying that white people are more likely to buy Aunt Jemima stuff because of the black woman's picture on the box? They must really like and trust black people then, eh?

And Quaker Oats isn't really owned by Quakers either.

Good old William Penn.

I was just reading about the original colonies. The Puritans really hated Quakers. Want to keep those scandalous heretics out.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #93)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:49 PM

101. You weren't aware that Aunt Jemima was black?

Really? OK.

Then it should also be a surprise to you that the racial stereotype that Aunt Jemima fits is that of a "Mammy."

I can only observe that you're going out of your to avoid knowing anything about what this conversation is about.

Which is why I'm wondering that you believe that you're making a convincing argument.

However, I've got a short video for you. If you'd like I can show some more, detailed, vids as well.



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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #101)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:24 PM

140. Well done MrScorpio well done

Last edited Mon Feb 10, 2014, 05:30 AM - Edit history (1)

As if no one has ever seen the bottle of syrup.

Can I throw some alcohol on the fire.

It would be even more of a tragedy for some of these people if they knew that an actual "Mammy" looked nothing like the "jolly old fat lady" portrayed in The Wind Done Gone. She was more Halle Berry because she was often a hidden in plain site family member that was the result of a rape. But we aren't allowed to post such things at DU - the reality is too unreal for many so they want those of us that descend from those rapes to fa la la pretend it never happened.

Psssst - your thread is way better than that other one.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #140)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 01:32 AM

170. no one?

Who made that claim?

Our syrup was Mrs. Butterworth. And our pancakes, which I never made myself, were Hungry Jack.

Sure, I probably strolled past the items in a store, but never paid any attention to the face on the box.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #170)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 05:31 AM

179. Oh fiddle dee!

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #101)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 01:18 AM

168. that was kinda my point

many white people don't know anything about 'Birth of a Nation' having never seen it, nor heard about it. The first time I heard about it was when I was watching the movie "Having our Say".

So the notion that it had or has a huge impact on the way white people think is silly.

That was the argument I made.

I made no claims to knowing all about Aunt Jemima or Mammys or whatever else you want to bring up.

Now as for the video, I find it silly and sad. Some people, for example, got upset because all of the supercharged and fast employees were black. Uhm, maybe because all of the US Olympic track team is black, because fast people like Bob Hayes, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt are black.

And black atheletes like Lebron James are pictured as scary and white atheletes like Steve Nash and Tom Brady are not.

Steve Nash - 6' 3" and 178 lbs
Lebron James - 6' 8" and 250 lbs
Charles Barkley - 6' 5" and 252 lbs
Kevin Garnett - 6' 11' and 253 lbs

Steve Nash just isn't very scary next to a guy like Lebron James or Shaq.

Tom Brady - 6' 4" and 225 lbs.
Surprising to me, he is almost as heavy as Lebron and also almost as heavy as
Michael Strahan - 6' 5" and 255 lbs.

But in the world of football, Tom Brady is not all that physically scary. Not next to guys like
Ndamukong Suh - 6' 4" and 307 lbs
Warren Sapp - 6' 2" and 300 lbs

Brady's pretty small next to linemen and he doesn't pulverize people like running backs and linebackers. In a game, he's more likely to get slammed to the ground than he is to flatten somebody else in a play.

So in some ways they seemed to be grasping at straws, looking for reasons to be offended.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #168)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 02:03 AM

172. Well, it seems to me that you are bothered when people are offended about these things

Last edited Mon Feb 10, 2014, 05:59 AM - Edit history (1)

To the point where you find it necessary to diminish their concerns. I would take the time to elaborate on why doing that is not a good thing, but I doubt you'd listen and understand why that's the case anyway. Do you do this simply because you are unable to empathize with their point of view, or are you simply offended yourself when others object to perceived racial stereotyping?

Because that is the entirety of the objection in the first placeÖ It's not the fried chicken and watermelon, per se. It's the fact that those things are still used as devices to negatively depict Black people.

And also, the citing of "A Birth of a Nation" is still important, in that it shows the basis for the stereotypes that are still used today. It's not necessary to actually watch the movie. The article's author was merely citing a media depiction for reference, that showed the history of the stereotypes.

And one last thing, no one is asking you to be an expert on syrup to look at picture of a Black woman, who could have come right out of "Gone With The Wind," in order figure out what a Mammy isÖ That's just a part of our overall American experience, available to anyone who opens their eyes and sees such a thing.

Over explaining why you don't know these things is not helping your argument, by the way.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #172)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 05:13 AM

178. Ditto this

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #101)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 04:28 PM

214. Just butting in here to say

that I have thoroughly enjoyed your replies in this post.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:41 PM

76. Fried Chicken and Watermelon are two of my favorite foods.

And I'm white. Also, I don't know that I have ever met a white person, vegetarians excluded, who doesn't like fried chicken. And I hate Mayonnaise, which I learned in Undercover Brother is a white stereotype food product. How did this happen? I just don't even understand these stereotypes.

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Response to Shoulders of Giants (Reply #76)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 07:51 AM

186. it would behoove you

and all the others ignorant of the stereotypes to take the time to learn and become empathic to them... very important for a healthy, peaceable future


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Response to handmade34 (Reply #186)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 10:48 AM

204. I think you misunderstood my point.

I know most stereotypes. However, I think they are almost all bullshit. I was identifying here how a black stereotype applies to me more than a white stereotype, despite being white. I remember my grandfather laughing at me and calling me a "porchmonkey" when I was four because I was eating watermelon on his porch at a cookout. That was my first experience learning this stereotype. I would learn my grandpa was an old fashion racist. He was also nearly every other "ist" possible. Needless to say, when I grew up, I didn't spend much time with this grandfather.

I've also noticed many racists will insult other races with insults that apply more to them. For example, I had an uncle who would call all black people thieves, criminals, thugs, n-words, etc. This uncle had a criminal record and a drug problem. If you thought I was trying to say these stereotypes don't exist, you misunderstood my point. My point is, they are complete bullshit perpetrated by ignorant people.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 03:45 PM

77. An example of why fried chicken is racist...

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Response to TeeYiYi (Reply #77)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:37 PM

95. Why it most certainly is not racist:

 

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #95)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:41 PM

98. Unless you're black...

...you're probably not in a position to tell black people what is and isn't racist.

TYY

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Response to TeeYiYi (Reply #98)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 03:39 AM

175. Thanks.

 

For saying that.

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Response to bravenak (Reply #175)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 02:18 PM

210. ...

You're welcome.

TYY

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:01 PM

86. After reading so many of the responses in this thread (well, "I" like watermelon, too),

I'm irritated, shocked, and gobsmacked.

I was born, white as snow, in 1970 in Milwaukee, WI. I grew up knowing about fried chicken and watermelon as a racial stereotype--and not a positive one.

My son just walked into the living room. He is 15 and has lived in Texas for 5 years now. He knows (I just asked him) that fried chicken and watermelon is a racial stereotype. I don't buy it...for those who would like "people from the South" to be excluded because they like it too, or for those who somehow never heard of it. Did you grow up without books? Without televisions?

For those who would say it's "manufactured outrage," you, I have no words for.

In reading this thread, I come away with the feeling that it's okay to go back to racist stereotyping when so many of us have "never heard of them."

A side note:

Round head was a term often used by my father's family against Norwegians back in 1920s Milwaukee... I still think of it that way. But, because I'm sure a lot of people have never heard of it before, does that somehow make it okay to use it again?

OY.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #86)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:08 PM

88. It is both shocking and amazing to read through this thread

I am really disheartened

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Response to etherealtruth (Reply #88)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:15 PM

90. It's almost unbelievable.



I thought we were going forward.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #90)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:24 PM

92. I wish I could say I was shocked or amazed

I have attempted to formulate responses to many of the posts ... but my anger precluded civil responses (and oh yes I LOVE fried chicken and like watermelon and have only slightly more melanin than the Pillsbury Dough-boy).

Though I am not shocked ... I am having a difficult time wrapping my head around so many of the responses.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #86)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:40 PM

97. Maybe it's time to outgrow some of your own preconceived notions about what is racist

 

and learn something about the background of soul food.

Then maybe you wouldn't be so "irritated, shocked and gobsmacked".

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #97)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:50 PM

102. Maybe you should be a bit more sensitive to other races...

Just because you say it's so doesn't make it so...

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/news/jimcrow/coon/

The coon caricature is one of the most insulting of all anti-black caricatures. The name itself, an abbreviation of raccoon, is dehumanizing. As with Sambo, the coon was portrayed as a lazy, easily frightened, chronically idle, inarticulate, buffoon. The coon differed from the Sambo in subtle but important ways. Sambo was depicted as a perpetual child, not capable of living as an independent adult. The coon acted childish, but he was an adult; albeit a good-for-little adult. Sambo was portrayed as a loyal and contented servant. Indeed, Sambo was offered as a defense for slavery and segregation. How bad could these institutions have been, asked the racialists, if blacks were contented, even happy, being servants? The coon, although he often worked as a servant, was not happy with his status. He was, simply, too lazy or too cynical to attempt to change his lowly position. Also, by the 1900s, Sambo was identified with older, docile blacks who accepted Jim Crow laws and etiquette; whereas coons were increasingly identified with young, urban blacks who disrespected whites. Stated differently, the coon was a Sambo gone bad.
The prototypical movie coon was Stepin Fetchit, the slow-talking, slow-walking, self-demeaning nitwit. It took his character almost a minute to say: "I'se be catchin' ma feets nah, Boss." Donald Bogle (1994), a cinema historian, lambasted the coon, as played by Stepin Fetchit and others:

Before its death, the coon developed into the most blatantly degrading of all black stereotypes. The pure coons emerged as no-account niggers, those unreliable, crazy, lazy, subhuman creatures good for nothing more than eating watermelons, stealing chickens, shooting crap, or butchering the English language. (p. 8)

*************************************


Shame on anyone who attempts to validate this type of behavior. Just really...UGH

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #97)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 11:35 PM

166. Wtf

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #97)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 03:42 AM

176. I don't think you know the background of soul food.

 

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #86)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 06:34 PM

135. +1

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #86)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:49 PM

148. +1

Great post, ScreamingMeemie. Captured my thoughts from reading through this thread quite effectively.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:07 PM

87. Response by Carondelet HS

This is a Catholic HS with the following language in its mission statement:

We believe in the dignity of the individual, the value of diversity, and the need for reconciliation and mutual respect.


and here is their official response to the menu gaffe:
http://www.carondelet.net/data/files/gallery/ContentGallery/Statement_from_Carondelet_website.pdf

I sincerely hope that someone was fired over this.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:16 PM

91. Just a few images to remind folks -

 

Oh the history of whites linking African-Americans to watermelon --







?ref=l2

?78

















Yes, watermelon and fried chicken delicious, but it's usage in regards to African-Americans brings up a very ugly stereotype.

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Response to Hell Hath No Fury (Reply #91)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 06:31 PM

134. Breathtaking in their...

...insensitivity

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Response to Hell Hath No Fury (Reply #91)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 11:26 PM

164. I remember that stuff...

It used to be all over the place when I was a kid in the 50's in NYC. It stopped being so public at a certain point, but the idea stayed around in the background.

Ordinarily, I'd agree that watermelon could be considered just "almost ethnic" food, like pizza, and there's no problem using it in a celebration. But, like so many other things, it had been used for over a hundred years to demean an entire segment of our population and has lost any neutrality or decency as an image.

Maybe eventually fried chicken and watermelon will lose their stigma of insult and we can just serve them as good food once again, but somehow I don't think I'll live to see it.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:10 PM

113. Having lived for many years in Hawaii

Ethnic food was always on the menu in schools. Whether it was poi or spam musubi or chow mein, none of it had racist connotations. And having a chef in the family, I've never thought of food itself as racist, just reflective of one's parentage. I guess I'm learning a few things here about hot buttons that I didn't even know existed.

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Response to mainer (Reply #113)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 05:31 PM

124. Google "obama watermelon" and check out the images

Lots of racist messages using fried chicken and watermelon, including the notorious image from stormfront of the White House lawn turned into a watermelon patch.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 06:20 PM

130. To me it's really simple

The black community regards watermelon and fried chicken as coded references to racism. We respect their wishes. Simple.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #130)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 06:25 PM

132. +1

I personally think they're right too, but even if I didn't feel that way, I'd be respectful and avoid the offense.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #130)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 06:53 PM

136. Indeed. It's not very complicated

Treat people respectfully. Don't tell others what they are allowed to feel.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #130)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 10:07 PM

160. Exactly. I don't get why that's so hard to understand. (nt)

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #130)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 04:34 PM

215. +1

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:18 PM

139. Does the race of the cook matter?

Some are calling for the cook to be fired for this offense.

When a similar outrage happened at another venue during Black History Month, the African American cook was forced to defend herself.

http://thegrio.com/2010/02/04/nbc-cook-defends-fried-chicken-choice-for-black-history-month/

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Response to mainer (Reply #139)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:27 PM

141. Check out post 91

It will explain it to you.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 08:39 PM

144. Mr Scorpio

I think you have touched a nerve. And I'm saving these threads up. I'm point blank sick and tired of anything BUT well meaning folks at DU telling black Americans and black DUers what we are and are not allowed to be offended by.


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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #144)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:23 PM

155. To tell you the truth...

I'm not surprised at all.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:18 PM

153. That this needs explaining

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 10:09 PM

161. hey Diane Fedele, didnít understand the charges of racism either............

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2008/10/16/30814/obama-bucks/

A local California GOP womenís organizationís most recent newsletter claims that if Obama is elected, his face will appear on food stamps, rather than dollar bills like other presidents. The group then included a picture of ďObama BucksĒ ó a phony $10 bill with Obama surrounded by racist imagery:

The president of the organization, Diane Fedele, didnít understand the charges of racism: ďI didnít see it the way that itís being taken. I never connected. It was just food to me.Ē


Sure OK


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Response to lunasun (Reply #161)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 03:19 AM

173. Oh, for fuck's sake! And I've been seeing the watermelon imagery regarding the White House garden

posted by GOPers since Michelle started it. The racist themes applied to the Obamas have never stopped.

It came from Rush even before Obama won the nomination in 2008. It has never gone away. I travel a busy route in my area where the GOP family posted that miserable African witch doctor Obama poster in their window in 2012.

They took all their other signs down when the GOP lost all of the elections they had signs for, but they made sure to leave that vile thing up all this time.

The old racist memes have not gone away, they have been recycled and they live on. Tired of this garbage, what petty and low down people they are to do this.

Yes, the watermelon thing was racist and still is. Why? It's being used by racists to put down the first AA president. If anyone is fool enough to think otherwise, they need to pay some more attention.

EDIT: You win the thread.


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Response to freshwest (Reply #173)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 11:45 AM

209. did not want to post this- sorry if offensive- but all these people on this thread

that say they never heard of this or manufactured outrage or I like chicken too
Maybe images are needed to see what others are exposed to for generations vs a fantasized chip on their shoulder

Pretty much my reaction is it's almost incredulous , but I will tell you who i truly do not believe was clueless.............. Diane Fedele !!
The private school girls - may have been a slur by one or small group

A spokesman for De La Salle High school, an all-boys school affiliated with Carondelet that runs the Black Student Union, reiterated that the group was not responsible.

"I know for a fact they have nothing to do with the menu at Carondelet," said J.A. Gray, director of communications for De La Salle, in an interview with USA TODAY Network.

According to Ditzel, a student announced the lunch menu over the school's public address system on Monday.

"It was a shock to the administrators, the students and the teachers, and they were angry about it," Ditzel said.

Ditzel said she did not hear the announcement and that it had not been approved by the administration, per school policy.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 10:11 PM

162. Thanks for sharing this.

 

I don't understand how people cannot see that fried chicken and watermelon is a racial stereotype.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 10:27 PM

163. Thank you for this thread.

It's fascinating to see how many people are determined NOT to "get it", and how hard they're willing to work at rationalizing not getting it.

It's shameful to see that on DU - no surprise, though, unfortunately.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 11:39 PM

167. K&R

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 01:58 AM

171. Thank you, MrS.

That this needs to be explained to so-called progressives is incredible, but thank you for stepping up with this explanation.

I will add, for those DUers who insist on defending fried chicken and watermelon as a perfectly appropriate way to acknowledge black history: Your insensitivity--even worse, your doubling down--makes DU suck.

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Response to Heidi (Reply #171)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 03:29 AM

174. +1

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Response to Heidi (Reply #171)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 06:08 AM

183. +1

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Response to Heidi (Reply #171)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 09:01 AM

195. +1000

And don't forget the 'counter point thread'.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 03:44 AM

177. Great thread.

 

Best one of the day on this subject.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 05:55 AM

180. So what is your opinion of African American business owners who open "Soul Food restaurants"

....and serve fried chicken as a staple of their menu?

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #180)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 06:03 AM

182. Again, it's not the food, it's the stereotyping...

If the stereotyping didn't exist, we wouldn't be having this conversation over fried chicken and watermelon.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #182)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 06:18 AM

184. But do you think the owners of said restaurants are playing to a stereotype?

I mean, the menu in the school lunch room wasn't accompanied by the old racist cartoons of a hundred years ago either.

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #184)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:41 AM

190. The dishes are about as stereotypical as you can get.

Besides, I can't stand much of what passes for soul food. Try and get me to eat collards and black eyed peas and see what happens.

Personally, to celebrate the occasion, I'd rather they come up with something new, rather than serving the most stereotypical plate possible.

Besides, the stereotypes aren't as out of fashion as you think, especially in modern day racist circles.

It's time to expand the parameters away from the old tropes.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #190)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 10:13 AM

200. You rather deftly avoided my main question again.

Do you believe that "soul food" restaurants owned by African American chefs that serve all the dishes your refer to as stereotypes are simply playing to said stereotype of "black people's food", and what would your comment to them be? Do you feel that their businesses are an affront to moving past racial stereotyping?

Obviously, I know the stereotypes aren't out of fashion. Not in modern day racist circles. But also not in modern day menus at notable famous "soul food restaurants".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvia%27s_Restaurant_of_Harlem

http://www.sylviassoulfood.com/foodproducts.html

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #200)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 04:10 PM

212. Context is everything.

An African-American restaurant, which would definitely have fried chicken on its menu year 'round... The watermelon, I doubt it, the answer to your question would be, no. That restaurant would serve a much more diverse cuisine and, depending on where it's located, a more diverse clientele. It could be chicken and waffles in L.A., or ribs in Memphis, or red beans and rice in Spanish Harlem.

Soul food would be served by people without any constituent stigma attached to it.

However, if outside of that context, you put a menu together without any regard to the fact that there's more to soul food than the most stereotypical parts of it known, then we have a problem of shortsightedness.

For example, percentage wise, Whites eat more watermelon in this country than do blacks. Especially out of season, for obvious reasons.

But as long as racist whites persist in depicting things like watermelon as a stereotypical food that's enjoyed by lazy blacks, then it's clear that something like that on a menu for Black History month would also continue to be problemactic.

What's the lesson here? Blacks like watermelon?

Fight the racism, not the food.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #212)

Tue Feb 11, 2014, 02:46 PM

217. The watermelon really was out of left field

As someone who has frequented numerous African American Baptist Church Dinners in Newport and Providence, I've never seen watermelon served at one with the exception of a summer outdoor event at a time when every summer picnic serves it.

It was the other things like fried chicken, the collard greens and cornbread that I've seen served at all of them, and wondered if anyone had claimed they found it too stereotypical to be serving.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 06:52 AM

185. Some of the responses surrounding this issue are just jaw dropping.

I mean, WOW!

Thanks for this thread.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:32 AM

189. SMH

Not surprised, glad it was pointed out however the school administrations should have nipped this from the start.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 09:10 AM

196. MrScorpio, non-black DUers truly DON'T get it

It's not because we're being deliberately obtuse. It's because we truly don't have the experiences that Black DUers have. It's because most of us are liberals and we would never dream of using food to hurt another ethnic group. We are so far removed from any thought of using watermelon as a hurtful symbol, that we can't comprehend that others might be so cruel. All we see is tasty food, and yeah, we love it, and we're taken aback that people think we're racist because we don't understand.

I've learned a lot by reading your thoughts here. I apologize for my own ignorance. I hope you'll find it in yourself to also forgive those of us who didn't get it, because it's really all about life's experiences -- or lack of it.

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Response to mainer (Reply #196)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 09:57 AM

198. I can't speak for MrScorpio

But perhaps you can post this on Kitty's thread?


Perhaps tell her she ought to be ashamed of herself? Because when folks double down from a place of 'don't be silly black people I know more than you and this one black guy I knew agrees with me' it really pisses us off.

I don't alert on people - her thread is not alert worthy.


But shame, shame, shame, shame, shame, shame . . .

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Response to mainer (Reply #196)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 04:47 PM

216. I could go into detail on why I think this is happening

But I won't do that because it'll derail the conversation off into a whole new tangent.

I will say that this is a learning opportunity for some of us here, and I hope that it's taken advantage of.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 09:55 AM

197. An obvious

Kick just to put this thread above the 'other' thread on this subject. I want the op of that one to just say she's ashamed of herself and delete it. And she ought to be ashamed of herself.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #197)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 10:44 AM

203. That would be nice.

 

If it were deleted.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 10:01 AM

199. I've lived in the South my entire life and had never heard about the watermelon thing...

... until DU (a few years ago). That's not to say it doesn't exist based on my personal experience, and speaks to the benefits of a place like DU to expose users to new things.

The black chef getting flak for it seems odd to me, though. At what point is fried chicken more a cultural dish for black Americans and not a negative stereotype?

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 10:15 AM

201. Thanks for the thread, Mr. Scorpio. nt

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 10:22 AM

202. Yup. It's not the food. It's the stereotype.

For that school to tie that food to Black History Month was clearly based on that negative stereotype. Those who aren't getting that aren't getting much of anything.

All of those foods are part of the American diet. Everyone eats them, pretty much. A school cafeteria could serve fried chicken, cornbread, and watermelon any time, and it would just be lunch. But, for Black History Month, some moron decided that that was the meal to serve because it was Black History Month. The stereotype was the reason. The moron who made that decision asked, "Well, what food do black people eat?" That's where the menu came from.

Whoever made this decision is a really stupid person. It's not "the food black people eat." It's just food. Calling up the stereotype is the boneheaded mistake.

I'm amazed that people don't recognize the issue.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #202)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 11:00 AM

205. Ahem

Those who aren't getting that aren't getting much of anything.

MM - I think they are being deliberately and willfully ignorant. They know precisely what they are doing.

They have a whole thread about it - and now there's another another one.


I can't wait until St. Patrick's day. Turn about is fair play.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #205)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 11:23 AM

206. "I can't wait until St. Patrick's Day. Turn about is fair play."

Well, which stereotype wielded against the Irish are you gonna use? That we like corned beef and cabbage (I do, already looking forward to it) or that we are falling down drunks? (I don't drink)

Obviously, one stereotype is actually harmful and it doesn't involve food.

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #206)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 11:28 AM

207. Who me? Little old me? Fiddle Dee!

I'm waiting for the 'faux outrage' post that is inevitable.

If you don't like it come March 17th - feel free to alert. But you know someone is going to be outraged -


And if it is anyone on those other two threads - or giving MrScorpio a hard time on this one -

I'm going to make them literally eat their words. Why can't I just take their posts the past few days (since they are alllllllllllllll good on DU) and change it around and slap them in the face with it via the written word?


Turn about is fair play.

You don't like it - alert.


ETA - It's going to be (my guess) the outrage thread - over Mayor De Blasio rightfully snubbing the parade. Book mark this - and mark my words.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #207)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 11:35 AM

208. Why would I alert?

Quite frankly the whole thing sounds like it should be pretty entertaining. You've got more than a month to go, don't blow it all in one spot!





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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 02:45 PM

211. someone up-thread mentioned chitlins ("chitterlings")

My family (black) is from New England, but my aunt married a man from the South, so she used to cook chitlins for him. Every so often, she'd cook them for herself and her sons, too. The smell was Godawful. I tried it one of those times and I couldn't overcome the texture. Ugh.

I'm bringing this up because DL Hughley told a story about chitlins last week on his radio show. He said his mother served chitlins in his childhood, but he hated them. But when she explained to him the history of chitterlings, he changed his mind and even started to like them. Chitterlings are the intestines of a pig. They were throw-away garbage that the master on the plantation gave to the slaves for food. Sometimes thatís all they were given. So the slaves found a way to make them taste good. DL Hughleyís mother told him that, to her, a mother in bondage making a meal taste good so that her children would have something to eat was a supreme act of love. And so he thinks of it this way today.

For Black History month, that kind of background info behind certain foods would be educational. BBQ ribs had the same genesis, I think. Iím sure there are people better schooled about it, but thatís my take on food and black history.

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