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Commentary

Fried Chicken and Kool-Aid Served for Black History Month at College Dining Hall

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At Conservative Tribune, we present you plenty of stories of political correctness and oversensitivity run amok on college campuses.

This is most certainly not one of them.

According to the Washington Times, food service giant Aramark is apologizing after serving fried chicken and Kool-Aid as part of a Black History Month menu at Loyola University in Chicago.

I know what you’re thinking. Check the URL bar. Not The Onion.

“A sign posted earlier this week at the Damen Dining Hall on the university’s Rogers Park campus had encouraged students to ‘try our African American cuisine popular in the African American community,'” the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday.

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“The dinner menu included fried chicken, maple mashed sweet potatoes, collard greens and ‘black eye peas salad,'” the Loyola Phoenix noted. “Grape-flavored Kool-Aid was offered for a portion of the night, but when The Phoenix returned later in the evening, the Kool-Aid was replaced with water and its sign was turned facing away from diners.”

Oh yeah, just remove the grape Kool-Aid. I’m sure that will make the whole controversy blow right over.

“I think it’s disrespectful on a level because they pulled out the stereotypical meals, but it could have been worse,” Karrington Jones, a 19-year-old black student, told the paper.

He “added the initiative could have been executed better by an event highlighting special recipes typical of the African American community rather than as a normal dinner offering in the dining hall.” Clearly, Mr. Jones is not familiar with Aramark, whose corporate philosophy appears to be “The Least Amount of Cost and Effort Necessary to Not Break Health Codes.”

Do you think more should have been done to whoever perpetrated this sick stunt?

“There was no need for (Dining Services) to pull out purple Kool-Aid and serve that and pass that off as part of an African American cuisine,” black student Kevi Drummond added. “I felt like it was disrespectful.”

On Friday, one day after the meal appeared, Loyola apologized for the “insensitive and inappropriate” signs and menu.

“Recently, our food service vendor Aramark offered a menu in Damen Dining meant to celebrate Black History Month,” a statement from the university read, “but which was also seen as promoting stereotypes of the African American community.”

The university also blamed the signs on a single Aramark employee.

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Aramark, for its part, said that the “intention of the onsite team was not to offend patrons, [but] we fully recognize that the execution of the promotion was done in an insensitive way.” They also said staff would be retrained.

I don’t know how you retrain people who don’t know that serving fried chicken and grape Kool-Aid for Black History Month could be seen as grossly racist; these are typically the kind of individuals who are euphemistically referred to as “the unemployable.” Were it me, I’d personally favor retraining Loyola staff to find a better food vendor — one that doesn’t hire employees who would even consider a sick stunt like this.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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