Non-Controversy of the Month

In a society in which we are discouraged from discussing the truly outrageous things that are going on in the world, it’s perhaps inevitable that people would contrive to be offended by trivialities.

I found this on the Internet the other day.

According to the article, NBC has issued an apology (to whom?) because, during Black History Month, their cafeteria served a meal that consisted of fried chicken, collared greens with smoked turkey, white rice, black-eyed peas and jalapeno cornbread. (Sounds like damn good eating to me.) The article doesn’t make clear who was supposedly offended by this. It is common in our society to associate certain foods with certain ethnic groups, and no one is bothered by this. Italian-Americans don’t get offended when a movie shows Italians eating pasta. I am of German descent, yet if the UO dorm cafeterias were to celebrate Oktoberfest by serving bratwurst and sauerkraut, I would not find this offensive.

The article quotes the chef, Leslie Calhoun, who is Black, as saying:

    I don’t understand at all. It’s not trying to offend anybody and it’s not trying to suggest that that’s all that African-Americans eat. It’s just a good meal. I thought it would go over well.

I would have thought so, too.

I spent nearly ten years of my life in the awful city of Los Angeles. Yet I will always fondly remember the soul food restaurants that I went to there. There is this place in Hollywood that I would go to called Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. (What two things could possibly go together better than chicken and waffles?) They have this dish called Stymie’s Choice. It consists of a heaping pile of fried chicken gizzards and grits, covered with gravy. Damn, it’s good.

There’s one soul food restaurant here in Eugene. It’s called Papa’s Soul Food Kitchen. (I recommend the gumbo.) It was, until his recent death, owned by a guy who called himself “Papa Soul”. He was a fixture in the local music scene. He would play the washboard with local bands. Lately, the place has started having live blues shows.

So, I don’t feel much sympathy with people who take offense at finding fried chicken and collared greens in the NBC cafeteria. All I can say to them is: “Get a life”.

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3 Responses to “Non-Controversy of the Month”

  1. purple Says:

    This is mostly generic southern food , as well. I grew up eating this kind of food in the school cafeteria of a rural area in the south that was mixed white and black, where few people had much money. Sans the turkey , of course, and add breaded okra.

  2. The Spanish Prisoner Says:

    I guess this just shows how out-of-touch some people in the media are.

    Breaded okra? I will have to try it some time.

  3. Renegade Eye Says:

    Okra’s texture takes getting used to.

    I don’t see what the controversy is about.

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