BLACK HISTORY: Drake Menu Leaves Bad Taste

Drake University’s dining hall plans on serving a second dinner honoring Black History Month, after criticism following Wednesday’s meal.

The university’s food services provider, Sodexo, advertised a menu for Black History Month including fried chicken and collard greens.

“I just kind of felt like it was based around a stereotype that I just didn’t feel comfortable with,” student Jashay Fisher-Fowler said.

After Drake’s Coalition of Black Students expressed concern over the meal, the provider added historical information sheets about African American history and soul food.

Drake University says its food service provider Sodexo made this decision independent of the university, calling it “inappropriate and misguided.”

Sodexo later released an apology for offending many members of the Drake Community.

“Sodexo would like to apologize for hosting a dinner on Wednesday evening intended to celebrate Black History Month, but instead offended many members of the Drake community.

“As in past years, we should have communicated and collaborated with the coalition of black students on this event in order to make it a learning opportunity for drake students. “

27 comments

  • jim

    The food service was just trying to honor the southern cuisine. Then the blacks get all bent out of shape because everyone is to sensitive. The one girl called herself African American ; how can she call herself that when I will wager she was born here in America.

  • William Denison

    Whats the big deal? I’m irish and for many years my people ate alot of potatos and are known for that. I think we would of loved to of had some chicken and watermelon in our diet.

    • Tyler

      It’s really wonderful that the Irish have been able to embrace their history of enslavement and the pervasive demeaning stereotypes, of which caricatured eating habits are a part, that have served to hold them back socially, economically, and politically.

      My point is that history matters and differences in histories matter. Surely there are ways Irish Americans have suffered in this country. In this particular instance, we should think about the immense ways black people have been terrorized and belittled for no reason but the color of their skin, and from early U.S. history into the present, certain stereotypes have reinforced the image and reality of black persons as the lesser Other. Context matters.

      • Harry Moyer

        Finally… someone that isn’t a mental moron. Excellently put Tyler.
        Always amazed at the unadulterated racism that almost always snaps to attention at any chance to display the twisted notion that they are about to be enslaved themselves.

      • William Denison

        I’m a middle aged white male that eats more fried chicken than anyone. I even look like Col. Sanders. Don’t hate me cuz I know whats good eatin and I won’t hate you for hating me.Done and done.One less war.

  • Eric

    Wow. Three comments. All three of them racist. Seriously? “Its not like anyone was eating in black face?” Honestly? You are terrible.

  • Beguiled

    So what would have been a more acceptable meal for them to enjoy? A block of government cheese on white bread washed down with shelf stable milk and a snap card with enought on it to go get a candy bar and soda? What did they forget where they came from it’s not like Fried Chicken is mexican food, serioulsy don’t you have something more important to get bent out of shape over?

  • Steven

    I use to work for Sodexo at Drake. This menu was created with students snd the Sodexo staff over 3 years ago. They forgot to mention the students did help create this menu. Perhaps this year could of been a different type of menu but did student group reach out to the food service to offer suggestions? In my opinion student groups are not as active as they once were.

  • Mario

    October is national Italian-American month. If I get served lasagna I am going to be deeply disappointed and offended.

  • john

    I’m American and I like fried chicken and collard greens. I hope they had for dessert some peach cobbler. I’ll bet they are American, too. Stop whining about trivial stuff and try to use that expensive education to solve some real problems that we ALL face. Enjoy your meal.

  • m

    All of these racist remarks make me sick, and im sure they’re all from non blacks. Personally as a white person I dont think its fair to use my own experiences and opinions to relate to matters like this. I think white people as a whole just need to realize that they just DONT GET IT, and may never will. We dont experience racism and a constant and daily basis. I think the biggest misconception is the idea that racism is yelling racial slurs and being publicly ignorant. TRUE racism is the small things that people deal with every day. Its the suspicious looks when entering a store, when people talk to you in a different manner then anyone else, and a multitude of other things that I (as a white male) am blissfully unaware of. We like to think we can relate but WE CAN’T! And seeing something like this in your school cafeteria is one of those little things that chip away at your self esteem every damn day! And white people wonder why its such a big deal…

    • William Denison

      You may feel whites can’t understand racism but many of us whites lived and are living it in war zones and some countrys around the world everyday as victims of racism. I’ll never forget landing in a air port filled with people who if they had a chance they would of killed me. The looks of hate stay in my head. I got so tried of seeing that look I just lowered my head and would not look up. I could feel the hate. Not good. So I kinda get it.

    • tired of the race card.

      I’m sorry, but, if you find fried chicken offensive and racist, you are just looking for a reason to be offended.

      I grew up poor, and white, we ate a lot of fried chicken because it was cheap to raise our own chickens. Have to admit, I’ve never had a collard green, but, we ate a lot of fresh greens out of the garden, again, they were cheap.

      You think white people can’t feel racism? When Treyvon Martin died, many, many white people, nowhere near Florida, were beaten, some to death, by young black men yelling ‘this is for Treyvon’. At the state fair last year, there was a group of young black mean beating people up on ‘Kill Whitey night’. Many minorities assume that all white people are racist. Isn’t that racist?

      When Obama ran for president the first time, I heard many comments of ‘I’m voting for him because he is black’ How is that any less racist then someone saying ‘I’m not voting for him because he is black’. When I said I didn’t agree with his ideas, I was told I was racist. Nope, had nothing to do with the color of his skin, had everything to do with his political beliefs.

      Same way I think people who are here illegally should be punished. I have been told that I am a racist because of that. Nope. I don’t care what color you are or where you are from, or what your religious beliefs are. If you have broken the law, you should pay for that. Allowing some people to break the law because of the color of their skin, while you enforce the law with other people, is reverse discrimination.

      If a white police officer pulls over a black man for a traffic violation, it’s racial profiling. If a white high school kid punches a black high school kid because they like the same girl, or whatever reason high school boys fight, the white boy is a racist.

      If a black officer pulls over a white man, he’s doing his job. If a black boy hits a white boy, they are just kids being kids. Just this past January, 3 black teens beat a white teen so bad they put him in the hospital. Jesse Jackson didn’t come running in screaming about race crimes then. It wasn’t considered a hate crime. Had it been the other way around, it would have made national media and all of Des Moines, and probably all of Iowa, would have been condemned as racist.

      By pulling the race card everytime something as minor as serving fried chicken happens, people are just keeping the race war alive. personally, I think it has gotten worse in the last decade, mainly due to social media and the fact that everything that happens is immediately broadcast world wide. When I was in school, if two boys got into a fight, as boys sometimes do, it didn’t make the news, no matter what color they were. They went to the principal, got their detentions, and life went on. And the boys probably rode to school together the next day as the friends they had always been, regardless of their skin color. In today’s world, video of the fight is on youtube and facebook and yahoo before the fight is over with someone yelling about how it was racially motivated.

      Keep poking the best of racism and you make sure that it is alive and growing. I do not believe these Drake students brought this to the media because they truly believed that Sodexho, or Drake, are racist organizations and need to be changed. If that were the case, they would have handled it privately with the leaders of those organizations. Instead, I believe they brought it to the media to keep racism alive and well. Feed the beast.

      • William Denison

        As Iowans we are all in this together. When your out of state and telling people your from Iowa and they start laughing is that not racism?

    • Racism goes both ways

      Oh, I see this was an activity for Black history month put on by the Coalition of Black Students? So….. is there an activity planned for White History month put on by the White Students? Or, would that be racist? Can white students join the Coalition of Black students? If not, isn’t that racist?

      M, racism is not a one way street. People of all colors can be racist.

    • dan

      i understand your examples of everyday things that show peoples fears, but what is wrong with the fried chicken n greens? it didnt come from hate, it was not intended to be demeaning.

  • David

    I’m baffled as to why the students are upset. I’d be delighted to sit down to the meal that was served. We have turned into a bunch of ungrateful snobs, whining about the most trivial matters. Maybe the group that’s whining will get on to more important things, like wake up to their share of the $17+T national debt. That would seem to make the “problem” of a nice dinner of fried chicken rather insignificant.

  • steve

    wonder how many of em are getting some kind of financial help and what percentage that help is in relation to other ethic groups….hummmmmm……… maybe 100% to maybe 25%

  • adam

    is fried chicken traditional southern cooking, and commonly enjoyed among blacks? i just dont see why this is offensive. why not just enjoy the meal, it was probably pretty good…

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