Just when you thought you had seen it all, someone ups the ante with their racism.
A Texas restaurant owner is in hot water for offering a “special” in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day that included chicken and waffles with a side of watermelon.
Sure, why not celebrate one of the country’s most revered civil rights leaders by serving up a hot plate of racist stereotypes.
Sabrina Pyle owns Azle Café in Tarrant County, Texas, The Root reports. Pyle actually thought that she would draw customers in on MLK Day with the offensive meal special. Instead, she faced much-deserved backlash.
“[On Monday] I came up with this incredible, ingenious idea for what I thought would bring people in for lunch,” Pyle told local reporters.
Luckily, a friend helped her see the error in her ways by pointing out the underlying racism in her meal deal.
“After she brought it to my attention, I did take it down. But I didn’t realize it had already been shared,” Pyle said. “I just did something distasteful. I just didn’t think it through.”
“Distasteful” is an understatement.
Before she got a chance to remove the advertisement, it had been screenshotted and shared on Facebook, prompting many commenters to condemn her not-so-bright idea.
“To use something like chicken and waffles and a side of watermelon as a Martin Luther King special is disgusting,” said Brad Pelt who shared a screengrab of the restaurant’s post to his followers. “It’s not OK.”
Since the post went viral, Pyle has reportedly received harassing phone calls and messages.
“Like the one I got today: You should know better, you racist scum, I will never eat there for free. You are going to hell, end of story,” Pyle said of a message from her phone. “It’s hurtful.”
Pelt said his reason for sharing the post was to spark dialogue, not call for people to harass Pyle.
“I took the post down because I don’t want people harassing her, her business, her family, or her employees,” he said. “I still think you have to have communication to move forward. You can’t just say I’m sorry and move along.”
Pyle insists that she is not racist and she offered her misguided logic as to why she thought the special was acceptable.
“I was thinking, we have margaritas and tacos on Cinco de Mayo, so, let’s have some fun with Martin Luther King Day,” she said.
It’s important to point out that tacos and margaritas on Cinco de Mayo is just as painfully stereotypical as fried chicken and watermelon on MLK Day.
Furthermore, the association of black people with fried chicken and watermelon is based solely on stereotypes dating back to the post-Civil War era when racists deliberately aimed to depict blacks as lazy, dirty, and childlike, as ABC affiliate WFAA notes.
Nevertheless, it seems Pyle has learned a valuable lesson from this whole ordeal. She claimed she wasn’t “thinking” about the racist implications behind her meal special — if that’s true, she needs to have a one-on-one with her subconscious.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Evan Swigart- TheCulinaryGeek