this has been a hot item today, On: NBC NY
Clearly one of the challenges in the post-election will be determining a new threshold for sensitivity to racism. In the Bush era, America 'twas a town ruled by fear and inflammatory sound bytes. At the drop of a stereotype, the race police would be at your door.
But with our new African-Articulate President, the rush to racist judgment is tempered, just a little, by a desire to be... thoughtful. We want to emulate his consideration of context and intent and code-switching. Yet and still, we know the racists will play....
And so sets the stage for one of NYC's first WTF??? moments in the Year One of Our Lord Obama 2009, courtesy of a little downtown bakery named Lafayette French Pastry.
Fox's Arnold Diaz is the reporter on the case, outing the shop as a shelter for insensitively-named confections, and catching tasteless Bakemaster General Ted Kefalinos, uh, black-handed, distributing inflammatory crumpets he calls "Drunken Negro Face" cookies to an unsuspecting public. ("Hey, this looks like Black-Jimmy when he gets drunk!," said Sarah as she bit into the cookies' choco-nappy-sprinkles head.) The exposé breathlessly premises the question: has a more pernicious proprietor of perversely prejudiced pastries ever, uh, existed?
Well definitely not since Obama's been in charge.
continued, with proper/better editing, at NBC New York
Oh, and here's video and an After-cookie mint update:
I couldn't expound there, but I do think this and the Larry King incident highlight a newfound tolerance for this sort of nonsense. It's like: forgive them Obama, for they have sinned. They know not what they do...
It also underscores a new rule for racial politicking: Everyone gets one shot at oblivious denial.
The old Martin Luther King era racism was open and blatant and proactive. You asked people if they were racist, and they'd salute you and say, "you goddamned right i'm racist, and proud of it! Sun always shines a little brighter without any darkies around."
Those are the people that start real trouble. And if you ask them on camera about their racism, they won't act as our PC-challenged donut-maker here does. This guy has obviously switched hats from cookie maker to master cookie marketer/PR guru (when was the last time a cookie got this kind of pub), so y'know, he's fairly harmless, just trying to use freedom of speech to help line his wallet.
And honestly, if a cookie is delicious enough, you can name it whatever you want. We should judge them by the content of their character/recipes, not by, well whatever, moving on...
Mmm, Tasteless Racist Cookies Available Downtown [NBC NY]
"Drunken Negro Face" Cookies On Sale At Greenwich Bakery [Gothamist]