Skip to comments.Controversy Surrounds Lunch Menu at Concord High School
Posted on 02/06/2014 3:45:35 PM PST by nickcarraway
Administrators at a Northern California private school are facing tough questions and offering a big apology after a menu controversy.
Students at Carondelet High School for Girls in Concord wanted to come up with ways to celebrate Black History Month in a lunchtime celebration. But when the Christian school announced a lunch of fried chicken, cornbread and watermelon, students and parents were outraged and offended.
The principal and dean of the school refused to talk to NBC Bay Area on Wednesday, but school officials held an assembly on campus to discuss the issue and sent an apology letter to parents.
"I'd like to apologize for the announcement and any hurt this caused students, parents or community members," Principal Nancy Libby said in the letter. "Please know that at no time at Carondelet do we wish to perpetrate racial stereotypes."
University of San Francisco professor James Taylor said he can see why some students and teachers would be offended, even though the lunch may have been well-intentioned.
"Chicken, watermelon, collard greens these stereotypes of black Southern culture that come from the same place where the N-word comes from," he said.
Ruth Wilson, chair of the African-American Studies Department at San Jose State University, said the food isn't offensive, per se in fact, fried chicken is an American mainstay, thanks in large part to Kentucky Fried Chicken's Colonel Sanders.
The reason this particular meal sparks bad feelings, she said, is because blackface-era cartoons and plays showed African-Americans eating these foods in ugly caricature depictions.
The school community could have prevented this, she said, by reaching out to the key stakeholders black students and parents and asked them what they think was appropriate. In Silicon Valley, she added, many blacks are not even from the United States, but from around the world and may have enjoyed another cultural dish.
Several students told NBC Bay Area that Libby talked to members of the Black Student Union on campus, and the students suggested that the watermelon be taken off the menu.
Libby agreed to make that change, they said. She also said in a letter to the school community that they will remove fried chicken and cornbread from the menu.
I’ll take the fried chicken and cornbread if they don’t want it. Watermelon is OK sometimes during the summer.
People are so easily offended these days.
Don’t discount the possibility that the attracts on this school actually based it it being a religious school.
In Mississippi everybody eats that and more
I certain that everything would have been fine, if theyd have called the foods by their African names.....
California stupidity is beyond legendary.
just goes to show ya how stupid educated people can be
My dear old Mother used to make the best fried chicken. As a true daughter of the old South I guess it was expected.
Daddy used to grow great watermelons. They were called Padgett melons and were large round ones and really sweet.
That was the usual menu on MLK Day at a vocational school I worked at in OKC. The kitchen staff was all black and totally in charge of the menu. You had to make a reservation if you were coming from another campus.
I wonder now how many Freepers are venturing out in whatever weather to get some fried chicken after reading these posts??
Makes you wonder just what the students and parents would have preferred on the menu. Or is it like everything else they complain about - all complaints and no solutions?
Whatever. I love fried chicken, cornbread and watermelon. And don’t forget collard greens and pintos. This is nothing more than old-timey SOUTHERN cuisine, both BLACK and WHITE!
I haven’t had any really good fried chicken in a while.
There is a Kentucky Fried Chicken place only a dozen miles away and it is probably OK but the last time I checked the prices had gotten really high.
Used to be a place called Cat Fish Sams in the Fair Park area...best stuff in Dallas. I wouldn’t go to that part of town after dark...but during the day...I got fat.
Fine champagne, caviar and lobster, this is what moochie lunches on.
Golden Chicken is good. $20 bucks for a mix bucket. Lasted us all week.
I'm baffled, too. I can't imagine, for example, someone doing a Ukranian festival without kielbasi.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.