Thursday, 3 December 2009

Obama Fried Chicken + Clipse

You may have heard of this joint in New York - actually there are at least two of them, one in Harlem, one in Brooklyn. My initial reaction when Oneman blogged it for us earlier this year was to laugh: just another bit of incongruous, over-the-top Obama-branding, like the Obama ecstasy pills doing the rounds in Texas. But that was counting without the hyper-intense nature of American racial politics, especially with regards to Obama, and especially with regards to American history. We didn't notice this in London at the time, but apparently in April NY City Councilman Charles Barron organised a protest against the restaurant, unhappy at what he said were the racist connotations of the name:

“People from the community were calling me and saying they were outraged by this racist connection to Barack Obama and fried chicken... it’s exploitative. It's like saying Obama is a watermelon lover.”

The owners, unsurprisingly, say it's a celebration of the 44th President of the USA: a tribute, rather than sneering, subtle racism.

It's not really for me to say, as a white Briton, but what the hell, if it's good enough for Clipse and Cam'ron (even if MTV have problems with it), then it's good enough for me:

"That new C-L fly / Outside of Popeye's eating chicken and fries"

The tune's no Junior Spesh, but at least the home of fried chicken is trying to catch up finally.

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