post-racial america

NBC Employees Checked In With Black Friends to See If Black History Month Menu Was Racist

Yesterday’s kerfuffle about NBC’s Black History Month menu seems to be devolving into a Saturday Night Live–worthy farce about liberal racial oversensitivity. To recap, yesterday Leslie Calhoun, a cafeteria cook, prepared a menu featuring collard greens, fried chicken, etc., in honor of Black History Month. After a picture of the menu was tweeted by Roots drummer Questlove, the Internet became inflamed with racial indignation. NBC apologized, also via Twitter, which incidentally is the whitest medium ever, and the cafeteria took the sign down. Today, the Post talked to Calhoun, who is black and, frankly, offended that people got so offended.

She’d been agitating to do the menu for the eight years she’d worked there, she said. “I thought it would go over well.” But:

The next thing you know, people were taking pictures of the sign and asking all the other black people in the cafeteria if this was racist. They said that it wasn’t.”

That’s awesome. Especially since the black population at NBC is only around 11 percent countrywide, and so we imagine everyone bombarding like the one guy who happened to be in the cafeteria with questions, like, “Hey, black person. Don’t you think that’s racist? Aren’t you upset? Don’t you think you should be? I mean, you understand why this is offensive, right?” The last, by the way, is the question NBC’s The Grio put to Calhoun in their online video interview with her about it today. To her credit, she stuck to her guns.* “Actually, I don’t. I don’t understand it at all,” she said. “It’s not trying to offend anybody. It’s not trying to suggest that’s all that African-Americans eat. It’s just a good meal. And the display was really nice, I thought.”

NBC’s lost ‘soul’ [NYP]
Earlier: NBC Cafeteria Honors Black History Month

*Holy crap! We said guns in a post about black people! That’s probably racist. Somebody call Al Sharpton to check.

NBC Employees Checked In With Black Friends to See If Black History Month Menu Was Racist