NBC11: Controversy Surrounds Lunch Menu at Carondelet High School in Concord

February 6, 2014 12:36 pm · 146 comments

If you have trouble viewing the video, please click HERE to read the story.

1 Woody Guthrie February 6, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Thank you Dick Gregory.

2 hahayourefunny February 6, 2014 at 5:29 PM

it really is funny to see so many white people up in arms about people of color getting offended. Sacto Rob had it right, as did Nathan. The hysterical response to claims of racism exemplifies an inability to dialogue about something that people are experiencing ALL the time.

Look, I know talking about race is uncomfortable for a lot of people, and people have this aversion to wanting to be “guilt tripped”…. acknowledging racism exists doesn’t mean all white people are bad. I’m a white genderqueer person, and I’ve seen the way racism operates, and I personally think it’s my responsibility to not perpetuate stereotypes that hurt people (even when I dont understand why certain things might be offensive at first)

This backlash-oriented rhetoric of beign “overly sensitive” or “maniacally PC” seems to be one way to stifle discussion about the *very real issue* of white supremacy/racism in our country. (Note: Just because things are better than they were in the past, doesn’t mean we have reached post-racism in the United States).

Is it really that hard to try to understand where someone with a different social location is coming from? One good starting place is relinquishing control over how and when these issues are discussed, and not assuming you know better than someone who is living that reality (people of color on race, women on issues of sexism, etc). Instead of getting all worked up, try listening and empathizing first. You may still disagree, but perhaps everyone can learn something.

Also, on the note of “white history month”… that’s every month. Anyone who can think critically about the curriculum students are fed know that the majority of information is about white men and their contributions to history with a few marginal examples of women or black people peppered in for “PC” sake – not taking the inherent value of contributions made by women, indigenous and other people of color, and the differently-abled, seriously.

3 Clayanon February 6, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Eating watermelon is very popular with people of all races. Here is a delicious recipe I make all the time for Watermelon Margaritas (not for those under 21 of course).

Watermelon Margaritas
Because of the sweetness of the watermelon this margarita doesn’t need much sugar, so one glass has only 105 calories. A little bit of fresh lime juice brightens the drink and adds a welcome tanginess. For a special touch, rim your glasses with sugar and garnish with lime wedges and watermelon balls.

Cooking Light JULY 2010

Yield: 6 servings
2 teaspoons sugar
1 lime wedge
3 1/2 cups cubed seeded watermelon
1/2 cup tequila
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
Lime wedges or watermelon balls (optional)
1. Place 2 teaspoons sugar in a saucer. Rub the rims of 6 glasses with 1 lime wedge; spin rim of each glass in sugar to coat. Set prepared glasses aside.

2. Combine watermelon and next 4 ingredients (through Triple Sec) in a blender; process until smooth. Fill each prepared glass with 1/2 cup crushed ice. Add 1/2 cup margarita to each glass. Garnish with lime wedges or melon balls, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 105 Fat: 0.2g Saturated fat: 0.0g Monounsaturated fat: 0.0g Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1g Protein: 0.6g Carbohydrate: 14.1g Fiber: 0.4g Cholesterol: 0.0mg Iron: 0.2mg Sodium: 1mg Calcium: 7mg

4 Jerk February 6, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Sick of this Manufactured BS. You got your Feelings Hurt? Go Find a BRIDGE AND JUMP!!!!!!
Asian History Month, Black History Month, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.YOU ARE THE RACISTS.

5 Jim February 6, 2014 at 5:55 PM

@Amalgamated, I have read several of the comments…it appears that not only I but several folks agree…creating your own special time “apart” from the rest just creates separatism…you ask for it and when it’s convenient it’s then racism….stop the hate by celebrating all living beings…black, white, red, yellow, green, purple, gay, straight, bi, gender neutral…see it took 2 lines just to spell out all the differences…accept what is common between us all and celebrate together how we are different

6 kj#2 February 6, 2014 at 6:11 PM

im hungry! where’s the chicken! Watermelon margarita too! not like they were gonna serve it to only one race! People don’t have jobs, bad economy were in a drought! get over it!

7 Silva February 6, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Clayanon (#107) Thanks, we all needed that !! 😀

8 Shelly February 6, 2014 at 6:48 PM

@Jess (101). That’s a good link! Thanks!

9 Broke in Colony Park February 6, 2014 at 7:15 PM

Poor use of airtime. I see no issue here…when does political correctness go too far? Well here is one instance.

10 Antler February 6, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Anon2You at #103 ~ ~ ~ I agree with every word you wrote!

I was born and raised in the South, and I can’t think of anyone of my family and friends who does not LOVE fried chicken and corn bread. The only thing I dislike about the menu is the watermelon…..I just don’t care for watermelon, that much is true…..but the REAL reason is that the correct traditional menu would be fried chicken, cole slaw, corn bread and butter, sliced tomatoes, and warm banana pudding for dessert. Y’all come!!!

11 JustSaying... February 6, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Cinco de Mayo without Tacos, St Patty’s Day or Chinese New Year without their ethnic specialties… Those are ETHNIC FOODS. Don’t you get that Fried Chicken, Corn bread & Watermelon are not foods that represent the African American Community. My office had an international day recently & everyone brought in a dish to celebrate & share with each other a dish from their heritage. That is totally different. You don’t see it as a big deal but it is. The word is IGNORANCE. I am really sad that you don’t see that. I try really hard to teach my kids to be sensitive to other peoples feelings. This lacked consideration that there are negative connotations to those foods & the African American community. You don’t live in the days of Archie Bunker any more. Show some common decency.

12 Eldrige X February 6, 2014 at 7:30 PM

That is the same menu I served for MLK Day, minus the 40 Oz.’s of King Cobra.

13 Always Right February 6, 2014 at 7:39 PM

The watermelon is a much maligned fruit.

It not only has racial overtones, it serves as a pointed political rejoinder.

Green on the outside and red on the inside.

14 Today February 6, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Is my birthday, as it is be Bob Marley’s also,
Guess what’s on my menu, pass the dutchy bra!

15 annomamma February 6, 2014 at 8:54 PM

Enough already! Sick of this double standard crap

16 Dr. Jellyfinger February 6, 2014 at 9:42 PM

You all forgot about pork ribs.

Anyway…..the whole controversy begs the question………. is there any food, or recipes that black folks would like to claim as unique to their race, ethnicity, point of origin…? I mean like macaroni & cheese with grape soda? or????

Why is it racist anyway?
ALL Americans are world renown for burger, fries & a coke
Mexicans are all tacos, beans & rice
Italians are all sausage, pasta & zuchinni
Chinese are all chow mein, rice & fortune cookies
Germans are all schitzel, sauerkraut & beer
French are all snails,baguettes & 2nd place wine….
Don’t even get me started on Jewish foods……..(gag!)

The list is endless. Is it all racist?

I might add that every November comes a day when almost ALL the Americans are all eating turkey!

If anyone is offended, who cares? Let’s eat.

17 SHANAYNAY February 6, 2014 at 10:20 PM

When will people realize that the ones who cry racism, whine and b*tch are the biggest racists of all. N oone else thinks twice, they just think Everyone is created equal.

18 Duck February 6, 2014 at 10:46 PM

#107 Try this out !
I make the same drinks , but I substitute the tequila with 40oz of Old English 800 or Schlitz Malt Liquor or a bottle of Mad Dawg 20/20

19 Really? February 6, 2014 at 10:50 PM

Having relatives who black, they say it all the time… Staple food: fried chicken, collards, cornbread, just the way it is. Our family wasn’t offended, we kinda laughed. We can give them a longer list of soul food if needed… I’m asian, and I was taught black history through my family. We get it. No big deal… We don’t think it’s racist, we only mock the people who make it a race thing…

20 VikingPrincess February 6, 2014 at 10:54 PM

No thanks Dr J –
I’m full

21 Jess February 6, 2014 at 11:14 PM

If you don’t understand why some might find it offensive to have watermelon on the menu, take a look at these images.


22 Dr. Jellyfinger February 6, 2014 at 11:25 PM

Jess, that’s hysterical! LOL!

23 MDUSD Graduate February 7, 2014 at 1:12 AM

We had Multi-cultural weeks at ,my school and the different student groups would serve ethnic foods. Did that make all of them racist? If black students sell bbq ribs, fried chicken (yes, fried chicken,) and sweet potato pie , does that make them racist? Chinese students sold noodles, Indian students sold curry dishes,. Personally, I liked the pizza served by the German club…go figure. It all depends on who wants to be offended at any given time.

24 what!? February 7, 2014 at 2:03 AM

they forgot chitlins and catfish? now THATS racist!

25 CHS/DLS Dad February 7, 2014 at 6:36 AM

I have kids at both DLS and CHS. What should be more clear in this discussion is that fact that the idea for this menu was proposed by
the (BSU) BLACK STUDENT UNION. This was not some prank by insensitive rich white kids.

Every morning, announcements are read over the intercom by a student. Usually, an adult from administration reviews the announcements before they are read. This time, the admin adult either read it too quickly, which one tends to do when you read similar announcements over and over again each day, or they did not proof-read it at all.

I will add this observation: My kids are very close friends with students of many different racial backgrounds. They are not just school-day friends, but the type of friends that have sleep-overs. I have noticed that they all tend to tease each other, often using racial stereotypes that middle-aged folk like myself would never ever use. The reality is they love each other and find that laughter really is the international language. My son will be called cracker, while his very best friend is of middle-eastern decent and will joke that he better look out or he will strap a bomb to himself. Another friend from the Philippines will ask if we will be serving dog for dinner. Much of this may sound terrible to a 50 year old like myself, but again these kids love each other and embrace their differences.

I have always taught my kids that God’s greatest gift is the ability to laugh at yourself. This gift is not just available to wealthy white kids. It looks like the members of the BSU figured that out.

26 cornfed February 7, 2014 at 6:39 AM

To Nathan and the rest of the condescending intellectualists. You can take your superior understanding of the human condition and shove it up your backside. The only reason that these food items are offensive is the same reason that the words negro and black are now offensive–because the racism pimps WANT them to be.

I was raised on the very same food.

27 mike February 7, 2014 at 7:11 AM

Confirms that those two schools are full of a bunch of racist snobs. . . .

28 Oxymoron February 7, 2014 at 8:03 AM

Meh. Maybe the school will score a reality show from it all. You know what they say about Catholic girls, right?

29 Token Black Guy February 7, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Wow……….all these white, asian and hispanic people running around knowing how I should feel. Somehow that’s more offensive than watermelon on the menu………but what do I know. Maybe some of you racial relation experts should tell me. Apparently I’m not a “good” black if I don’t get my panties in a wad over this.

45 year old black male, originally from Florida……..can any of you race baiting, pandering idiots figure out where me and my family stand on this issue?

I have no problem with it. I love fried chicken, I love watermelon and I love corn bread. I hate collard greens. And no, I don’t drink grape soda, but toss out the collard green, throw in some mac and cheese and a sweet tea and I’m back in my Nana’s kitchen. For the record, I also love Thai food and Japanese food.

Anyone who is offended by this menu needs to step away from their keyboards and go live life a little. If any african-americans have an issue with this menu, then ask yourself what the hell you expected when you asked for Black History Month? Foo-foo? Some of you people kill me.


30 Cowellian February 7, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Some people just enjoy being perpetually offended.

31 Laura Zah February 7, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Cowellian, You’re only saying that because I’m HISPANIC! <):{D

32 Pyrrhus February 7, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Well, by the comments on here, I can see why the school made such a decision. Since most of you seem ignorant. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watermelon_stereotype

If you don’t think serving black people watermelon during black history month isn’t a good idea then you deserve all the back lash from the rest of the bay area.

33 BCuzItzClaycord February 7, 2014 at 9:04 AM

#135 – you hit the nail on the head……..But then again there will those who jump you for it, but you are correct.

34 Antler February 7, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Token Black Guy at #135…. Thank you, that gets it said better than anyone else did.

Besides, I really goofed when I forgot the sweet tea in my menu. Do we need fried okra? Please, may we have some fried okra? The oil’s already hot from the chicken…… pleeeeeeeeeeeze???

35 PEGASUS February 7, 2014 at 10:28 AM

I sure wish we could settle this crucial issue, I’m losing sleep.

36 PeopleInCCCAreStupid February 7, 2014 at 11:05 AM

No one cares that you’re white, black, orange, red or green and you just “looooveeee” fried chicken, watermelon and cornbread. STFU already with that BS response. The point is, none of those foods have ANYTHING to do with African American culture or ethnicity. God, you people are nitwits. The ONLY connection between those foods, especially watermelon, and African American culture, are negative. Wake up, you fools! We all know that when people joke about black people eating watermelon and running for fried chicken they are being racist pigs.

37 IDontUnderstand February 7, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Weird. What is the big deal with the menu. Why is everyone so uptight these days trying to make every little thing into something offensive. How stupid can we be.

38 Ann February 7, 2014 at 12:24 PM

This situation echoes what I feel as a parent of a daughter currently at Carondelet as well as a Carondelet grad. Nancy Libby and many of the administration staff don’t handle situations properly. Instead, they throw anyone under the bus to help themselves out of any situation. This should have been nipped in the bud by the school principal. Instead, Nancy Libby declines to be interviewed and has a nun do the talking for her on TV, reading a statement. I have found the administration at CHS to be both out of touch and extremely condescending in their handling any concerns brought to their attention. Both of my daughter’s classroom experience(s) were/are mostly positive, (there are a couple of rotten apples there, but that’s life). The administration at CHS is petty, dictatorial and very often punitive. Laughable! There in no true leadership at CHS. Nancy Libby was supposed to be the interim principal. Why is she still there?

39 Shelly February 7, 2014 at 1:12 PM

@Pyrrhus (138); Thank you for posting another good link. While I don’t pretend that I know how black folks feel, I feel very uncomfortable about the watermelon. I’m old enough to remember many terrible images of the past and that stereotype struck a nerve with me. If I still ate cereal grains and starchy veggies and suger though, I could really go for some fried chicken and all the fixins’, including the additional aforementioned yummies.

40 Shelly February 7, 2014 at 1:25 PM

@Jess (127); Oh yes, that’s a great illustrative link, as well. A picture truly is worth a thousand words!

41 Richardsfamily February 7, 2014 at 1:35 PM

I read on several news blogs that the Black Student Union put together this menu selection? If that is the case, what is just a slow news day?

42 Carlos February 7, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Reading all these comments makes me sad for white people who are completely unwilling to accept an error, apologize and move on. Just more proof that white privilege is alive and well.

43 Just saying February 7, 2014 at 5:24 PM

I love all those foods, I’m not offended!

44 TT February 7, 2014 at 8:24 PM

No matter what you do you can’t please everyone so it doesn’t matter anymore.

45 Mammy's Little Baby February 7, 2014 at 9:49 PM

What? No short’nin’ bread?

46 Realist February 8, 2014 at 2:36 AM

Ahh, more of these “California Crybaby” non-issue isses.

Well, for my part of the PC grabbag, I’m goingto sue Italy for the Romans abusing my Irish ancestors a few years ago. You see, my people still feel held down by the vir.

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