We Shall Overcome The Menu

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I saw this menu floating around Twitter yesterday but since I had a lot of things to tend to I didn’t bother joining in the uproar. That and I saw no real reason to get in an uproar anyway. Maybe if this were a few years ago when I had a pick stuck in my head might I have gotten a wee bit sensitive about and joined in the chorus of jeers.

I did have a few potential ideas in my mind when I saw it, though. Like maybe this menu is the brainchild of some confused non-black person who wanted to pay “tribute” via food.  As in, uh, what do Black people eat? Soul food, oh yeah, let’s serve everyone that. You know, good intentions that weren’t necessarily all the way thought out. A few people would get upset, but no big deal in the end.

And then there’s the other scenario that places some racist with a penchant for prejudice jokes turning the cafeteria into one indirect Klan rally where they get  to prove white superiority by serving a bunch of bug eyed, sophomoric (in their bigoted minds) blacks some watermelon and fried chicken.

If that sounds stupid to you then good, that was my intention.

As unfortunate as the latter scenario would be, that’s not what’s keeping black men, women and children in peril. We have bigger catfish to fry.

But I forget how funny life is and no greater example of that point is this video that I stumbled along only a few minutes ago:

So there you have it. A black woman who has been trying for years to honor black history month and/or black culture in general in her own way finally got her opportunity to do so and thanks to one person’s smart phone and a lot of people’s sensitivity everyone’s ready to throw her own chicken grease at her.

I’m going to keep driving this point home until it finally sticks one day: People need to stop being so stuck on maintaining political correctness.

Do all black people eat soul food? No.

I don’t like black eyed peas, I’ve never had greens, and I have no idea what the hell jalapeno cornbread is.

I tend to only like chicken strips, wings, and sandwiches, which means no matter how cheap it is on Tuesday you won’t find me in the drive-thru line at Popeye’s for the two piece dark special.

I don’t eat pork, haven’t touched beef in almost eight years and wouldn’t eat ribs with your mouth.

And yet, I’m still very aware of these foods, will run for joy towards a catfish or shrimp po’boy and grew up in a house where every year folks would rush our way for chitlins on New Year’s Day.

Whether people like to acknowledge it or not you know damn well Soul Food is a part of black culture. Why are some pretending to be aloof to that? Black people are not a monolith. We get it. I don’t know why some people feel the need to profess this in every single instance. Say it when it counts as you only lessen the point letting it slip from your mouths and fingertips every other second.

Some people are so pressed with appearing a certain way to white people that they indirectly fall into that same line of thinking that says you ought to be ashamed of your culture.

Uh, no the hell any of us don’t. I don’t like watermelon, but I love my mama’s mac and cheese. As do the white people who probably want the recipe. I don’t eat scrapple, but rest assured if I did it doesn’t mean I’m any less intelligent.

Instead of bitching about this online why not go to the source (the chef, duh) and say, “Hey, maybe next year we can do a healthier option.”

Or: “How about some jambalaya and etoufee next year?”

Or: “Say, why not a chicken patty and cocoa bread (sorry, I miss this and HU)?”

Or whatever other foods derived from various sects of black culture you can think of.

That sounds a lot more productive than shouting “NBC TRYING TO PLAY US!”

The biggest irony of it all is not that a black woman is responsible for this but the fact that white people were probably geeked up about the menu. Whenever I do go to a soul food restaurant I see nothing but blue, blond, and happy.

Should they feel sorry for themselves, too? You know since this is so embarrassing.

If I thought like the lot of people I’d probably walk into a Thai restaurant and be petrified to order anything too hot. You know, wouldn’t want to set the race back perpetuating the stereotype that those Creoles (which is a cute way of saying Negro with a history of French owners and rapists) loves them some spicy food.

Media companies deserve a huge amount of scrutiny, but in this case maybe not so much.

Let’s please try and be a lil’ less sensitive, ya’ll. Clearly that woman’s feelings were hurt by the uproar. If she gets fired I hope the ramble rousers wake up smelling like pinto beans and shame on Monday.

In the meantime, I need to ask my mom for her cornbread recipe. Ain’t nothing like the real thing.

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