An all-girls Christian school in Northern California is getting some unwelcome national attention because of its special lunch menu "honoring" Black History month - fried chicken, watermelon and cornbread.
As Chris Rock has pointed out, there's nothing wrong with cornbread, but the stereotype of Black people having an unusual obsession with certain foods is a classic staple of American racism and many students and parents were offended by the menu.
The principal of the school apologized in a letter sent home to parents, saying the intention behind the menu creation was good and that no offense had been intended.
I'd like to apologize for the announcement and any hurt this caused students, parents or community members... Please know that at no time [at the school] do we wish to perpetrate racial stereotypes.
Ugly minstrel-show caricatures of Southern Blacks eating watermelon in particular used to be a mainstay of American advertising, a legacy that is still painful for many in the Black community.
University of San Francisco professor, James Taylor, believes the menu was probably not meant to hurt anybody's feelings but understands the backlash against it.
Chicken, watermelon, collard greens - these stereotypes of black Southern culture that come from the same place where the N-word comes from.
If you're curious, somebody actually bothered to collect and analyze data about watermelon consumption and it turns out that, per capita, Asian Americans consume the most - so much for stereotypes being rooted in truth.
Via NBC Bay Area