Even the liberal academic institution New York University is facing cultural insensitivity controversies; this time, employees for the food service vendor Aramark served students a menu that was considered offensive.
On the menu to celebrate Black History Month, which is celebrated during the month of February, were the following items:
- Collard greens
- Smashed yams
- Mac and cheese
- Two beverages: Red Kool-Aid and watermelon-flavored water
Students complained, brought up the issue with the head chef, which led to the NYU president criticizing the menu options, and then the two employees responsible for the menu were fired. The student who investigated the menu said she did not intend anyone to get fired.
CNN also mentioned that the students were offended that it wasn’t a representative Southern menu, but it allegedly unfairly portrayed African-American cuisine in a stereotypical and mocking fashion.
It may indeed not re representative of a Southern menu. There are no grits and there is no sweet tea. Nevertheless, it bears a startling resemblance to menus in fine restaurants on the barbecue circuit that draw a more diverse clientele than the student body at NYU, not to mention the faculty.
Are they going to petition and picket every one of those establishments?