The American lexicon has changed dramatically over the last decade. Words that always worked for me in the past have been hijacked and used adversely. Bad means good, off the chain means it’s fantastic, and crack is now a dangerous drug. Imagine my bewilderment this week when I learned that the iconic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is now under assault. No, it has nothing to do with Mrs. Obama the Mostess who wants my Hostess (Twinkie) . But before I get to the real story, shouldn’t Mrs. Obama start first with her husband’s plate before she begins at mine? I’m already petitioning survivalist food companies to make dehydrated Little Debbie’s with a shelf life of 25 years just in case her husband wins the election and her caloric crowbar comes to my lunch box.
Okay, back to the real story. The news Tuesday unsettled me. A staple of every American child’s lunch box since 1880, the PB & J sandwich has been deemed racist by an educator in the northwest. No I’m not kidding. A school principal in Portland, Oregon opined Monday that when a student asks a non-American born student of say Somali or Mexican decent whether they like peanut butter and jelly, she says it’s a form of racism. She claims it makes them feel uncomfortable because foreign children grow up on Pita’s and tortilla’s and not our food. She adds that having to say that they’ve never had our sandwich and risk ridicule, makes them feel uncomfortable thereby making it a form of racism. I hate to burst her bubble but that logic makes about as much sense as a wicker bedpan. When I talk with a Somali, I am not jealous nor do I care they think it’s odd that I’ve never eaten Sambosa (Curry Puffs) or drunk camel milk (a delicacy). Nope, bring on the teasing and ridicule, I’m not adventurous, in fact I’m a no “drama-dairy” (pun) kind of guy. Besides, I could never get over the hump. (sorry another pun)
So for our own edification, what is the definition of racism. I looked it up in the dictionary. It says: ra·cism [ ráy sìzzəm ]
Prejudice or animosity against people who belong to other races the belief that some people or different races are inherently superior or inferior.
While I would never make fun of my foreign friends and their penchant for odd food choices, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the PB & J sandwich is still far superior to pita’s and curry puffs.
By definition I am not a racist, but I have concerns that my American taste buds may be. If anything the teacher has it wrong, she’s picking on the wrong food. She needs to pick on crackers because I think the cheese is sliding off hers!
Thanks for the hearty laugh, John. I read this to Jed this morning and you had him rolling in the aisles…..it was “bad” and totally “off the chain”!