By Warner Todd Huston
You can’t even eat turkey on Thanksgiving without being called a racist by our friends on the extreme left side of the aisle in America today, especially if you prefer the white meat over the dark.
Just before Thanksgiving last week, the liberal site Slate dredged up a 2010 piece claiming that the reason Americans love the white meat on a turkey is because we are all racists.
The rant written by Ron Rosenbaum is a great example of all that is wrong with the race baiting left in America these days. It is a sad example that literally everything under the sun is just another excuse for the far left to cry racism.
But before Rosenbaum goes into how turkey meat is racist, he prefaced his turkey talk with a digression on white bread, that one-time most favorite American sandwich bread. Rosenbaum says that white bread was once “regarded as the peak of social refinement by the new middle class.”
White bread fell from grace, Rosenbaum says, because “white bread” itself became an epithet — as in “that is so white bread” — and because nutritionists decided it was not a healthy food choice. He’s right, of course, about the attack that health nuts led against white bread. But he makes it sound as if America initially fell in love with store-bought, bagged and sliced white bread because it signified the “social refinement” of the white, middle-class. This is not likely.
In the mid 1900s, store-bought, white bread was not sold as a “socially refined” product. It was sold in two ways, one being pure convenience. After all, previous to when packaged white bread became an American staple in the 1930s, homemakers had to bake their own bread. It was a great time saver to go buy a bagged loaf of bread at the grocery store instead of having to bake your own.
Secondly, white bread was initially (and up until the 1970s) sold as the healthy choice in bread and was featured prominently as a part of a diet enrichment campaign started by both manufactures and even the U.S. government. It should be noted that calcium was added to bread in 1941 when the U.S. government began to notice that many female recruits had rickets and by 1956 it became a federal law to enrich all bread products.
White bread was not sold based on class or race. It was a health and convenience thing. So, Rosenbaum’s wrong on his attack on white bread.
Then he gets to bashing our turkey.
You see, Rosenbaum wants you to know that if you are a white meat eater, the only reason you could be so stupid to like that “tasteless” part of the turkey is because, you guessed it, you are a racist. Rosenbaum wonders about the racism of liking white meat. “It was enough to make me wonder whether there could be a racial, if not racist, subtext here,” he wrote.
Rosenbaum couples the discussion of turkey with that of pork, “the other white meat.” He harkens back to pork chops being racist because the phrase “high on the hog” originated as a phase to denote what part of the hog rich, white, plantation owners ate from first leaving the lower parts — the feet, haunches, and innards — to their slaves.
Of course, it is also absurd to claim that “the other white meat” is considered a “racist” meat 150 years after slavery disappeared and long after any one had any memory of the origins of the phrase “high on the hog.”
In any case, Rosenbaum goes on to claim that dark turkey meat is less favored because of its racist “darkness.”
Despite its superior taste, dark meat has dark undertones for some. Dark meat evokes the color of earth, soil. Dark meat seems to summon up ancient fears of contamination and miscegenation as opposed to the supposed superior purity of white meat. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that white meat remains the choice of a holiday that celebrates Puritans.
Here Rosenbaum falls back on the rote “black = bad” concept that so many racebaiters insist underscores our entire society.
Amusingly, at the end of his piece Rosenbaum shows he has a total inability at introspection by claiming that someone else’s writing is “nonsensical” when he slams the work of French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre. Whatever the merits of Sartre, it is amusing that after Rosenbaum’s whole exercise in logical fallacy he calls someone else’s work “nonsensical.”
But in the final analysis, Rosenbaum’s entire piece is just another silly exercise in the long reach to find racism under every bed, around every corner, and now even in our turkey.
For the record, I like the legs. That would be the dark meat. Rosenbaum could have made his overreaching screed much shorter by sticking with his initial “White meat is just a tasteless slab of dry, fibrous material” theme. At least there he was closer to the truth and could have saved us from all his absurd, racebaiting rambling.