Post #389 The PC Police Strike

July 8, 2015 at 12:13 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post #389 The PC Police Strike

We were watching The Big Bang Theory the other night and the “gang” were taking one of the character’s mom out to dinner to have sushi.  It was her first time although a diner served it.  “It’s just fish sticks with a side of Uncle Ben’s.”  Later, when asked how she liked it, her response was, “It was good!  The only thing woulda made it better was if it was cooked.  And it was beef.”  The rest of the episode, the runny joke was trying to correct her small town speech to make it less inflammatory.  “Lord, it’s a wonder you people in California can talk at all!”

But it’s not just California, and it not just talk.  I posted a meme on FB last week where a lady is waking up and says, “Good Morning America, what shall we be offended by today?”  The country is currently embroiled in an “interpretation war” of the confederate flag.  Should it be displayed or not?  (I’m not going to answer that today.)  The Washington Redskins football team just lost an appeal today about changing their mascot and team name.  Paula Deen is under fire again because a two year old picture of her and her son playing Lucy and Ricky Ricardo for Halloween shows her son in “brown face”.  And La Donald is watching his empire self destruct after racially charged statements he made during his first campaign speech.

But who ever thought we’d see the day when food was thought to be politically incorrect?  Sandwiches of all things.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, no less.

pbj

It was reported today that a principal in a Portland, OR elementary school decided that PBJ was too iconic of white, middle-class America and denied children from other ethnicities free expression of their own culture and heritage.  Since other students were eating pita, and tortas, and tortillas, PBJs being served in school lunches posed added stress to the children by making them eat unfamiliar foods.

Okay, so I “snoped” it and found it was false.  The argument first came to light in 2013 on a conservative right-wing web site for some kind of nonsense, and somehow found the light of day recently.

But it did remind me of something that happened when I was in third grade.  Maybe fourth grade.  My school was having a huge “banquet” where the moms all got together and made ethnic foods for the kids to try.  I have no idea what we ate, but it was all good stuff.  The school was using this as a teaching moment, to expose a bunch of little kids to things they weren’t familiar with.  It was the mid-sixties; these kinds of things were done then.

And they’re done now.  America is a melting pot.  It’s a place where cultures are supposed to be able to blend and learn about one another.  One of the easiest ways to do that is through food.

Everyone likes to eat.  The easiest ways to break down barriers is over meals.  Heads of government meet over formal meals continually.  The formality allows for discussion in a non-threatening environment.  Families meet over dinners and backyard barbeques.  The informality allows real emotions to be expressed in a comforting environment.  Usually.

Even joking about taking away some food because it’s seen as threatening to another is ridiculous.  Heck, President Roosevelt served the Queen of England hot dogs once, and she loved them.  Probably the only banquet I wouldn’t attend is either a fund-raiser for the other side, or one given by Lucrezia Borgia, the notorious poisoner.

It’s just a sandwich, after all.  Every culture has the sandwich in one form or another.  I knew a girl in high school who boasted she could make a sandwich out of anything.  I once watched her split a roll open and put spaghetti in the middle and eat her sandwich.  I asked why not just eat them separate.  She liked sandwiches.

My mom liked sandwiches too.  I showed her a comic strip where one character was glad the light in his fridge was burned out.  “I could never eat a baked bean sandwich if I had to look it,” he said.  Mom said, “Mmmm, that sounds good.” and she made one.

My point is that when we start politicizing food to the point that we take certain foods off the table to keep things PC, we start going down a slippery slope.  We could end up with school kitchens full of bread, peanut butter, and jelly, and cafeterias full of hungry kids.  Doesn’t sound like a solution, to me.

Enjoy

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