Black History Month Ethics, As The Great Stupid Devours Itself

The lunch menu offered on February 1 at Nyack Middle School in Rockland County, New York consisted of fried chicken and waffles, with watermelon on the first day of Black History Month.

Perfect! Exactly what the diversity obsession deserves: a nice petard-hoisting. I wonder: would any menu of perceived black ethnic cuisine be seen as appropriate, or would it all be “racist”? Where’s the line between stereotypes and historical fact? Would serving potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day be offensive? If I was a dinner guest (I never am, but theoretically) should I be offended if I was served mousaka, with the host saying, “Since you’re Greek, we made this just for you?”

(If it was good mousaka, I’d be thrilled. Most mousaka is terrible. I think I’d prefer being served fried chicken, waffles and watermelon. And since I’m not black, I wouldn’t be obligated to be offended.)

David A. Johnson, the school’s principal, grovelled in a letter to parents that the luncheon fare was “inexcusably insensitive and reflected a lack of understanding of our district’s vision to address racial bias. We are extremely disappointed by this regrettable situation and apologize to the entire Nyack community for the cultural insensitivity displayed by our food service provider,” Johnson wrote.

Johnson said the lunch menu changed from what was originally planned. A lunch menu for the month of February posted on the school’s website shows the food vendor had planned to serve Philly cheesesteak, broccoli and fresh fruit on February 1.  How white of them! Of course, that menu would have been attacked as an insult as well, and White Supremacy thumbing its metaphorical nose at black culture.

Naturally, the episode sparked intense virtue-signaling and race-baiting by school officials. James Montesano, the interim superintendent for Nyack Public Schools, affirmed the district’s “commitment to equity”:

“It is our hope that this incident on February 1st will be an opportunity to expand collective knowledge – beyond ‘sensitivity training’ – regarding the racialized systems in which we all live; and ultimately work towards undoing the negative impacts of these systems on our students, staff and school community.”

For its part,  Aramark apologized for the “unintentional insensitivity” shown by the company but swore the menu was not intended to comment on black tastes in cuisine.


Now the company says it will partner with the school district to ensure its employees “participate in training that aligns to the Nyack School District’s vision and commitment to equity-driven work.” Re-education camps! They’ll fix everything!

35 thoughts on “Black History Month Ethics, As The Great Stupid Devours Itself

  1. Some people are never happier than when they’re outraged, or at least when they can claim to be. The distinctions are not racial or political, but simply temperamental.

    This story reminds me of one from 2011 (I know the date only because I blogged about it at the time). The DC school attended by the Sasha and Malia Obama served Asian food on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. The right-wing loonies ignored the fact that the mostly Chinese-inspired menu had far more elements that were specifically not Japanese than that were even primarily Japanese. As I wrote then, “To call teriyaki intrinsically Japanese at this point is the equivalent of insisting that hot dogs are German.”

    But all this was considered evidence of President Obama’s anti-Americanism, because a school his daughters attended had hired a vendor that delivered a pan-Asian lunch on December 7.

    Are those with their skivvies in a twist about chicken and waffles being stupid and obnoxious about this incident? Of course. But not all such manifestations come from the loony left… just from the loony.

    (Please note the AP-offending “the” in the previous sentence.)

  2. Best part of the offense of “black cuisine” is it 95% *HAS TO* be rooted in northern racism – certainly northern chauvinism towards the South and you won’t convince me otherwise.

    When *any* southerner discovers what people are talking about when they hear “black people food” to a T will all say “oh look, Southern Comfort Food, and it’s excellent. How is this black people food?”

    Because that’s all it is – cuisine regionally associated with the South. The tastes of which African Americans from the South brought north with them and probably there had the stereotype ingrained by *northerners*.

  3. There’s pretty famous soul food and southern food restaurant called, appropriately enough, “Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Cafe” in downtown Phoenix. All the NBA players visit when they’re in town. Here’s their Facebook page: They are most famous for their smothered chicken. OB Jr. and I have eaten there. We felt completely welcome. Of course, this was probably twenty years ago. But I suspect it would be the same if I were to go there today. The White family has this weird thing going where they like making money while running their business.

    My dad sold farm equipment in Dade County, Florida. His customers (all white and mostly southerners) would invariably give Pop a bushel of whatever they grew or let us forage in their fields (strawberries included). But there were also collard greens, turnips and okra. Were we white supremacists for eating such common southern foods? I love watermelon. Is that permitted? I’m confused.

    My favorite story from my dad’s customers: Claus Schogren (a Norwegian) grew okra exclusively. It was a very profitable cash crop, perhaps because okra was so popular among the black people in Dade County. My father (who loved anything vegetable, including okra, of course, even steamed rather than breaded and fried) once asked Claus whether he liked okra, to which Claus responded, “I’m not sure, Bob. You know, it goes down so darned fast, I’m not sure I’ve ever even tasted it!”

    Food’s food. It’s either tasty and healthy or not. I wish these people would just leave food alone. And anyway, aren’t we supposed to be diverse in what we eat? Eating non-American food used to be the height of coolness when I was in college. It was the sign of being enlightened. We’re all supposed to stay in our respective food lanes now? I can only eat Irish and English and German food? No more watermelon? I’m confused.

  4. This is another piece of evidence showing us another nail in the metaphorical coffin.

    The following graphic looks like what the social justice woke are doing to the USA…

    (I’m not going to bastardize that excellent graphic by changing it to fit my needs)

  5. At least he labled it for what it is:
    “…regarding the RACIALIZED systems in which we all live…”

    I take that to mean systems which are by themselves race independent but which have been actively polluted and have now been made dependent on racial approval to avoid cancelation zombies attacking.

    And if you want some southern comfort food, a local favorite in Columbia, SC is Lizzard’s Thicket.

    • If you’re looking for good home cooking comfort food and you’re in the Chattanooga, TN area try Bea’s Restaurant, the fried chicken and yeast rolls are out of this world! We were rather poor growing up and this place was a very special place to go when I was in Elementary School because I could eat all I wanted and it was great food! We didn’t get to go very often. With eight in the family and two older brothers that were 4 and 6 years older the food on our table vanished very quickly, I still eat really fast. I try to visit this place whenever I’m visiting grade school friends in Chattanooga.

      • I love the fixed menu. I’ve always wanted to start a single menu restaurant, much like eating at home. Will call it “Shut up and Eat.”

      • Small world! Bea’s is great, still owned by the same family and going strong. I ate there just a couple of months ago. When I lived in Chattanooga, we went there about once a month after church on Sundays. We still go a few times a year when we visit our friends from that church.

          • No, I never attended Highland Park regularly, although I did attend a number of special events there in the 70s and 80s and know a lot of folks who were members there. I attended Morris Hill Baptist in the East Brainerd area (just outside the city). Highland Park church moved to the Harrison area off Highway 58 nearly a decade ago (now called the Highlands Church). The college they founded, Tennessee Temple University, remained on Bailey but folded a couple of years later due to falling enrollment. Last summer a major fire all but destroyed the old Highland Park building on Baily, which was being utilized by another church whose name I can’t recall offhand. Some of the former TTU buildings are currently being used by a “non-governmental organization” to house illegal immigrants flown and bussed under cover of darkness to Chattanooga by the Biden administration.

            • I went to Highland Park Baptist back in the mid to late1960’s, my dad was the music director there and taught music at TTU for a number of years. Lived a couple of blocks away on Union, moved out of the neighborhood in the fall of 1970. A couple of my Highland Park Elementary School friends have kept me reasonably up-to-date about what’s been going on in the old neighborhood, lot of “recent” changes with Montessori replacing the old Elementary School building. It was never an affluent neighborhood by any stretch of the imagination but it’s really sad how it declined. 😦

            • Jim Hodgson wrote, “Highland Park church moved to the Harrison area off Highway 58 nearly a decade ago (now called the Highlands Church).”

              Yup, they moved to the location of Camp Joy. I spent a couple of summer weeks there in the 60’s, I took care of the horses to pay for my stay at the camp.

    • I spent a couple years down in Columbia and Lizard’s Thicket was a great little place.

      I also enjoyed Maurice’s Piggy Park, despite the Confederate decor.


  6. From the CNN link “Neither school officials nor Aramark discussed why and when the lunch menu was changed.”
    It had to be a deliberate attempt at pandering. Watermelon is relatively expensive (for institutional use), and out of season right now in the USA. No way they would have planned that for a typical school lunch menu in NY in February.

  7. A couple of decades ago, one of my progeny worked for a professional sports team in a technical staff role. He got along quite well with one of the Black stars of the team – according to my progeny, a very nice individual – and was invited to his wedding in the Deep South. He went and thoroughly enjoyed himself. Like I said, he and the groom were good friends.

    What I found particularly interesting, however, was what this wealthy pro sports superstar had catered for his wedding dinner. You guessed it! Really good fried chicken with all of the fixins. Not a stereotype – just reality.

    I love this country!

    • Anybody who thinks eating fried chicken is somehow a white supremacy thing is missing a really delicious main course fully enjoyed by everyone in the south. Fried chicken is an equal opportunity dish.

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