Clearly one of the challenges in the post-election will be determining a new threshold for sensitivity to racism. In the Bush era, New York City 'twas a town ruled by fear and inflammatory sound bytes. At the drop of a stereotype, the race police would be at your door.
But with our new African-American President, the rush to racist judgment is tempered, just a bit, by a desire to be ... thoughtful. Like Obama, we want to be comprehensive and consider things like context and intent. Yet and still, we know the racists will play. And so begins the tale of a little downtown bakery bringing one our first WTF? moments in the Year One of Our Lord Obama.
Gothamist informs us that Fox's Arnold Diaz is the reporter on the case, busting the Lafayette French Pastry and tasteless bakemaster general Ted Kefalinos, for selling offensive "Drunken Negro Face" cookies.
The name is odd, and the cookies look odder -- they're chocolate covered with red jelly eyes, like Obama and other black people -- and it's all a little shocking until you find out Mr. Kefalinos's last brainstorm was to come up with "Dead Geese Bread" in honor of the Hudson Plane Crash. Ah, clearly we have a genius at work! And so in tune with the complexities of human emotions. Both "Drunken Negro Face" cookies and "Dead Geese Bread" give you that warm fuzzy feeling in your heart, no?
With names like that, however, one realizes the Lafayette French Pastry shop isn't selling cookies, so much as peddling cutesy edible drink-coasters for hipsters. This is Modern Ethno-Cultural Art! And in downtown New York City, you probably either think that's cool or you don't.
Upon repeated interrogation, Mr Kefalinos denies any and all charges of racist intent. Which leads to the greatest takeaway from this little brouhaha of insensitivity: we probably need to start distinguishing between crazy-racist, and just plain crazy.
Patrice Evans eats racially-insensitive cookies for dinner at his blog The Assimilated Negro.