Thursday, September 23, 2010

Racism Chasing in the Age of Obama: Avalon Restaurant Criticized For 'Black On Black Crime' Hot Wing Flavor



We live in blessed times. Racism is such a thing of the past that folks have to put on their racism chasing shoes in order to find it. As Brother Martin said, let freedom ring and justice rain down on us from the mountain top. We have truly reached the promised land when stories about buffalo wings are considered newsworthy, and when white and black can finally unite in common brotherhood as they sell chicken wings covered in "black on black crime" sauce.

You all know that I am a fiend for some good fried chicken. Now, I don't eat it in public or with mixed company lest some racial stereotype be fulfilled. But in private? I can't resist. From my most fondest of memories in which my dad brought home ill-gotten garbage bags full of Popeye's fried chicken, to my eating chicken fingers (this was off the kid's menu...I could not be denied) at a friend's wedding party reception at the great MK restaurant here in Chicago a few weeks ago, the bird is in my blood. Thus, my dedication to bringing you fried chicken related nonsense whenever I stumble upon it--black folks protesting over Popeye's; Latarian Milton attacking grandma over a disputed chicken wing; and of course the crazed chicken McNugget lady.

It ain't the reefer madness. No, fried chicken related madness is the real and most accurate barometer for our national mood. Somehow the yard bird speaks with deft clarity and precision to the collective political unconscious and the colorblind politics of the Age of Obama. Ultimately, the yard bird is Plato's chorus, for we have indeed walked through the looking glass when fried chicken chasing has replaced racism chasing as our national pastime.

Tocqueville and Myrdal would be so very proud.

The story follows.

****

Avalon Restaurant Criticized For 'Black On Black Crime' Hot Wing Flavor

At Big Shot Bob's House of Wings in Avalon, apparently it's everything. Channel 11 News featured the restaurant in the Pittsburgh “Best Wing” contest, but it’s a name of one of the flavors that caught the attention of many WPXI viewers and Facebook followers."If I had any idea this would happen, it wouldn't have gotten on our menu," said Big Shot Bob's owner Matt Cercone. "We've been getting threatening phone calls here, and there are people saying we're going to go out of business."Big Shot Bob's is more popularly known for its 100 different flavors of wings, but it was the "black on black crime" wing flavor that generated the negative publicity.

Channel 11 first learned about the controversy through our WPXI-TV Facebook page. A viewer wrote, "How about this for a story. There's a place called Big Shot Bob's house of wings and they have a featured wing called black on black crime."

Cercone said after he started receiving complaints about the wings name, he changed it. Cercone said he meant no harm and that the wing's inventor, a loyal customer who happens to be African-American, came up with the name."Offense was never part of anything," said Cercone.Big Shot Bob's changed the name of the wings to "Big Fine Woman 2000." Cercone said they allowed the woman who first brought the controversy to light to name them.

4 comments:

Tanya said...

He wanted his wings to make you feel despondent and nauseous?

Anonymous said...

Watching the Latarian Milton spot makes me think about Farai Chideya's doing the "news" on the old Chris Rock show on HBO. Unfortunately, this is more tragedy than comedy.

chaunceydevega said...

@Tanya--That is a good point on branding. What does black on black crime sauce taste like? Is it yucky? firey? Shocking? A let down and expected?

But you know you love the yard bird too Tanya ;)

@Anon--You know you love Latarian.

fred c said...

When I was young and abrasive I worked in a record store at the time of Richard Pryor's album, "That Nigger's Crazy." I became thrilled with the idea of saying dangerous words out loud. At some point, I said to my friend Terry, an ebony hued human Abrams tank who was married to my cousin, "I always wanted to be colored, that's why I got this (pulling up my sleeve to display my rose tattoo)." Terry took me by the lapels and pulled me outside, holding me semi-suspended against a dark piece of wall, and explained to me, calmly as I recall, the exact nature of my mistake, with instructions never to repeat it. We were friends after all, he was just helping me. I thereupon learned the wisdom of being careful with dangerous words.