The Associated Press recently reported that the Denver public school district has apologized for the lunch it had planned last Friday. The reason behind all the hullabaloo was that the lunch was designed to honor Martin Luther King day, and it boasted an epic menu of southern-style chicken, collard greens, and a biscuit; however, a parent had the nerve to call the delicious-sounding menu "stereotypical and offensive" and it was quickly changed to something far less appetizing.
Ok, the last part is simply speculation, but the memories many of us hold of school meals are unfortunate and at the very least nauseating. Pizza with rubber cheese. Salisbury steak, whatever that is. French fries so dry they sucked all the saliva out of your mouth. Have you had enough?
This menu sounds absolutely delectable! Who doesn't love a real southern meal? Maybe school-cooked wouldn't be exactly the same as home-cooked, but southern-style chicken! Collard greens! Biscuits! Perhaps a savory brown gravy was on the menu!
Go down south and see if any southerner tells you that they dislike that meal. In fact, go into Denver and ask the majority of people --caucasian, african-american, asian, whatever!--if they like that menu. The resounding answer is going to be yes. I'm sure that the parent who found this meal so incredibly offensive has sat down to the very same one, as while as many other tasty meals, without a thought of what particular race or culture that meal may have belonged to.
Maybe the parent should have complained about children celebrating Columbus Day. Or the "pilgrims and indians" meals that still exist in many of our schools. Or the fact that "intelligent design" is being taught as science in some high school classrooms. Maybe that parent should do their research, and come up with something a little better and more guided to complain about than a delicious meal.
Stereotypes are often negative, harmful and very offensive, but there is a level of ridiculousness in this case that even the Denver Comedy Examiner couldn't let slide.
And with that, "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche". Brioche being chicken, of course. Southern-style, with collard greens, and a biscuit.
What's your opinion on DPS removing this menu from their daily lunch? Nicole Qualtieri would love to know and will respond in kind. For those of you who enjoyed the column, go ahead and subscribe, or shoot Nicole an email at Nicole.Qualtieri@hotmail.com, or even follow her on twitter!