Oberlin College students wage war against the hidden racism of their cafeteria menus.

USDA_Food_PyramidAS God is my witness, I don’t know whether or not this is supposed to be a parody: “Students at an ultra-liberal Ohio college are in an uproar over the fried chicken, sushi and Vietnamese sandwiches served in the school cafeterias, complaining the dishes are “insensitive” and “culturally inappropriate.”” Apparently, it is an almost killing offense against cultural sensitivity at Oberlin College to serve General Tso’s chicken with steamed chicken, banh mi sandwiches on ciabatta bread, and under-cook the sushi rice. And then there was this exercise in cognitive dissonance by Oberlin’s Black Student Union:  they protested earlier this month because “[t]he cafeteria there wasn’t serving enough vegan and vegetarian options and had failed to make fried chicken a permanent feature on the Sunday night menu”.


…Look, I understand the Let’s have more vegetarian (or, sure, vegan options) complaint, and I can understand the Look, there’s nothing wrong with fried chicken and, yes, we eat the stuff, so LET US EAT THE STUFF complaint.  I just find it fascinating that any group can simultaneously argue for a vegan option AND a fried chicken option.  If there is a foodstuff more universally hated by PETA and its ilk than fried chicken, I do not know its name.  Combining the two causes into one seems to me to be the activist equivalent of combining matter and antimatter in a blender and hitting the “Whoops, we just lost the Eastern Seaboard” button.

As you may have guessed, I am having difficulty taking this story seriously. I suspect that so does the New York Post. I mean, don’t get me wrong: serving the wrong sort of food can be a legitimate issue. To give a serious example: apparently Oberlin’s version of tandoori cooking included beef, which is indeed not something your average observant Hindu expects to see in a ‘traditional’ foodstuff, particularly when it wasn’t labeled as such.  But I can’t help thinking that the students at Oberlin College must have an incredible amount of free time on their hands, and nothing really useful to do with that time.


Ach, well.  This is not really unexpected, I suppose.  After all, to quote Stephen King quoting Bob Dylan: when they give you forks and knives, you have to cut something.

Moe Lane


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