This Whole Foods Obama chicken ad misfires badly
In Manhattan's notoriously liberal Upper West Side, residents' complaints force the organic grocery chain to pull an ad they considered racist.
It's the home of Lincoln Center, the Museum of Natural History, Barnard and Juilliard.
It's just not the kind of place where Whole Foods (WFM) can put up an illustration of President Barack Obama touting the grocer's chicken special and expect folks to shrug it off as anything but racist. Yet the Whole Foods on 97th Street and Columbus Avenue put up just such a caricature earlier this week before receiving a flood of complaints.
A Whole Foods spokesman told The Huffington Post that the location ditched its caricature of the president selling organic chicken "once it was brought to our attention by a shopper that it may be perceived as offensive." Judging by the neighborhood's reaction, that's an understatement at best.
"There are certain things that have been used to put down black people," neighbor Woody Henderson told NBC 4 New York.
The same Whole Foods spokesman said the store's artists created various pop-culture images to promote sales and events, and that the image wasn't meant to be offensive. Were the depiction of President Obama selling Whole Foods' 365-brand cereal, it might not have offended anyone. However, the specific combination of the image and the product being sold didn't sit well with folks on the Upper West Side's streets.
"Even if he's not the president, you're going to have an African-American promoting the sale of chicken?" Jason Nunez of the Bronx asked NBC. "They can do better than that."
This hasn't been the first culture clash for Whole Foods and its clientele. Back in January, CEO John Mackey went on National Public Radio and compared the new health care law to fascism. He's also unsettled his notoriously left-leaning consumer base by identifying himself as a libertarian in 2005 and questioning employees' right to health care in 2009.
While slip-ups like the Obama ad may fly in places like Kentucky, where a man who put a mannequin of the president eating a watermelon on his front lawn didn't see how it could be construed as racist, the Upper West Side isn't a great place to play the "Who, us racist?" game.
"I don't think you can find a more pro-Democratic neighborhood," Whole Foods neighbor Jeffrey Schaper told NBC. "They're sort of shooting themselves in the foot."
I think all the complainers should be shipped to a desert isle in the South Pacific without access to cell phones and the internet, that way the rest of us can live our lives in peace without having to hear how evil we are all the time.
Around 55 years ago people all over the country tuned in to the TV show 'Amos and Andy', which was very well written and very funny. Rather few people, Black or White, considered it denigrating to the African American community because it portrayed all people honestly and respectfully, but still it was removed from the air. Perhaps society is no more open-minded and enlightened a half century later when everyone has to be on pins and needles to be perfectly correct on all political and social matters when any given minority is portrayed or publicized. Everyone, no matter their race, creed, color, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation is now equal and protected under the law. A few people in the country simply need need to grow up and act like it, it's the 21st century.
Peace to all ~
I'm surprised no one called the ACLU to bring a lawsuit against them because it was not politically correct!
So if the most popular food eaten in the entire country is advertised
by a black person, it is RACIST ?????
Have these people lost their everloving minds ?????
All people in America eat chicken. Most people in America eat it
very often. How is associating a black person with chicken racist ????
The KFC in the town where I work does not even have ONE white
employee working there. How out of touch with reality are these nuts
in New York City's Upper West Side ????
Worry about the economy. Worry about Norh Korea. Worry about modern
day slavery in countries in Africa. But don't worry about chicken !!!!!!!!
I couldn't help wonder if the the picture of a black family tending to crops in front of a large white mansion is now okay?
I also remember a story last year about the NBC cafeteria serving fried chicken and greens during Black History Month and the cafeteria supervisor was in trouble for being so "insensitive". A FOX commentator later noted, "What was she supposed to serve during Black History Month? Matzah ball soup?"
Let's leave the 'progressives' and liberals to themselves. They deserve each other.
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