|Amazing Chick-adillac image courtesy of http://www.flickriver.com.|
As you may recall, last time we were together I was preoccupied with the prospect of the first Mormon game show host being elected to the White House, consumed by the possibility that 47% of American dogs would soon be riding atop the roofs of Range Rovers on their way to the country club. I’m not gonna lie, I was scared.
Fortunately, that didn’t happen, and you know what that means...four more years of inappropriate Obama/chicken references from corporate America!
Yes, with another term of the Obama administration, we can look forward to promotional assholery subjecting America to awkward moments like the one this past holiday weekend, at an Upper West Side Whole Foods Store in Manhattan. NBC:
The sign outside the supermarket on Columbus Avenue and 97th Street featuring an apparent caricature of Obama advertising an upcoming sale on whole organic chicken outraged neighbor Woody Henderson."There are certain things that have been used to put down black people -- watermelon, fried chicken," he said.Jason Nunez of the Bronx said, "Even if he's not the president, you're going to have an African American promoting the sale of chicken? They can do better than that."Residents and passersby agreed the man in the sign looks like Obama but not all thought it was derogatory."Obviously it looks like the president, but I don't think it's racist," said Joseph Joshua.A spokesman for Whole Foods said store artists create a variety of pop culture imagery to promote sales and events. The sign advertising the chicken was put up earlier in the week but taken down "once it was brought to our attention by a shopper that it may be perceived as offensive," said the spokesman.
Veiled racism aside, I must ask Whole Foods, Uh, who has a chicken sale on Presidents Day? Just as Labor Day is traditionally appropriated for mattress promotions, isn’t Presidents Day specifically reserved for car sales? Shouldn't Toothy Cartoon Obama be hawking Cadillacs rather than chicken?
Now, now, do not cluck your tongue in judgment. To be fair, my Jewish people probably love Cadillacs even more than Black folks. My grandfather owned a pink Seville (read: JEW CANOE) that would have made the hardest East Oakland OG nod solemnly and fist-pump his chest in respect. You can be as politically correct as you want and still recognize that, between our mutual affections for large American cars and Chinese cuisine, Blacks and Jews are uniting the races, two PF Chang's parking spaces at a time.
My point is that as Americans, in addition to being hyper-vigilant when it comes to implied racism associated with poultry references, should we not also examine how we use national days of remembrance and figures of historical significance to promote ridiculous shit like mattresses and cars and, yes, chicken?
It’s just a little food for thought if we in this great capitalist society are going to stick to the calendar of tradition regarding shameless promotional tactics which may or may not involve racial stereotypes and/or important historical figures who may or may not be dead.
Anyway, as you may recall, Obama Fried Chicken was definitely over the top for me but, even though I've adhered to a strict pescetarian diet for over two decades, I’m not sure how much fautrage I can muster over a nice organic chicken.
Then again, I’m also not going to get offended if PF Chang’s starts using cartoons of Joe Lieberman to sell their overrated lettuce wraps...although I wouldn’t buy that chicken either.