NY middle school apologizes for ‘culturally sensitive’ chicken and waffles meal

February is the month of love, the shadow of Punxsutawney Phil, and of course, the deluge of Black History Month propaganda. It’s everywhere from your recommended TV shows and movies to your kid’s classroom.

Growing up, I didn’t think of traditional months as trendy. Frankly, I don’t think these months are dedicated to the rich culture that makes up our great country. Ideally, during these months, children are introduced to the history and culture of the said tradition which would naturally include things like traditional clothing, music and of course, my favorite…cooking.

However, suppose it is Black History Month. In this case, the focus is on how to acknowledge your white privilege and the broader search for the benign. You can’t even enjoy chicken and waffles without being called a racist.

An outrageous dish

I never had chicken and waffles until a few years ago. It wasn’t something I found appealing, and I think it was, in some retrograde way, a reflection of my toxic whiteness.

Needless to say, I ate the dish, and it was fine; It’s not my favorite, but I can understand why people from all walks of life enjoy food. Interestingly, a middle school in New York had to change the menu to include chicken and waffles because of their cafeteria vendor.

Their crime — serving the dish with a watermelon dessert on February 1, the first day of Black History Month.

“We are deeply disappointed by this tragic situation and apologize to the entire Nyack community for the cultural insensitivity displayed by our food service provider,” said Knack Middle School Principal David Johnson A statement

I’m sorry, I need a minute; Is it culturally sensitive to serve kids chicken and waffles with watermelon? I mean… you’ve got protein, a delicious sweet treat and hydrating fruit.

Did I leave anything out? Only black people who are allowed to enjoy these delicious foods and fruits?

Mr. Johnson continued, “I am disappointed that Armark will serve different items from the published monthly menu. especially items that reinforce negative stereotypes of the African American community.”

Since when is chicken and waffles with watermelon a negative stereotype? Oh, I know, since it’s Black History Month.

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You must atone!

Apology In keeping with the February requirement to apologize for the ridiculous things, food supplier Aramark also issued a statement.

“While our menu was not intended to be a cultural meal,” they said, “we recognize that the timing was inappropriate and that our team should have been more thoughtful in service.”

Oh, so chicken, waffles, and watermelon aren’t unique to black culture? So what’s the problem, and what are we apologizing for again?

“This was a mistake and does not represent our company’s values ​​and we are committed to doing better in the future.”

Value?! It’s chicken, waffles, and watermelon! It’s not like the food was served by cafeteria workers dressed in traditional KKK garb or with racial slurs.

But alas, we wouldn’t be America if we didn’t try to solve a non-problem with nonsense training. So the vendor has agreed to partner with the school district to ensure their employees attend ‘sensitivity training’ to ensure they align with the district’s “commitment to vision and equity-driven work.”

The joint statement on training said, “We believe this will provide a good learning opportunity to understand the impact of systemic bias and negative stereotypes regarding the African-American community.”

Do we live in a world where a sweet and savory poultry dish with a side of fruit can cause so much emotional damage.

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You’ll feel bad, and you’ll love it

I remember when these heritage months were supposed to be celebrated focusing on said culture. A time to learn about the past, embrace the culture and look forward to the future with pride.

Instead, Black History Month has become a focus on one aspect of history, embracing the culture at your own peril and presuming that all actions, present and future, are intended to harm the black community.

“We have to educate the people in those places to do these things on the skills of our culture,” Nyack School District parent and Nyack NAACP president Nicole Hines explained, “And knowing that adding these items together is going to cause harm to students in schools and families and communities.”

I’m curious what Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. would think of the black community’s feelings of being ‘hurt’ by chicken and waffles. This is nothing compared to the damage done by rap and hip-hop songs that glorify gang culture, the dissolution of two-parent families and drug addiction.

But sure, let’s focus on fried chicken and watermelon as harmful.

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Pass the syrup

Was this an honest mistake by the seller? No, I don’t think so, I think they changed the menu on purpose, or at least someone did, and I think it was meant as a jab at black culture.

Hard to prove, of course, but this isn’t the first time Aramark has faced criticism for doing the same thing in the past, so all signs point to it being intentional. The response from school districts, community members and vendors, however, was hilarious.

I have a family member who likes to passive-aggressively push my buttons to get me to respond. It took years of discipline, but I no longer ‘rise to the occasion’, so to speak.

The same should have been done here. With all the real barriers and real racism we have to deal with, focusing on something as trivial as a menu change to provoke trivial reactions is a distraction that the African American community doesn’t need.

It’s time for Black History Month to get off its high horse and stop embracing the cathartic need to punish people based purely on the color of their skin and to advance the narrative that the black community will always be helpless victims. There is more to this community than the legacy of slavery and the actual negative stereotypes that run rampant in our country.

Enjoy the damn chicken and waffles and focus on real problems instead of manufactured ones.

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