“That’s your favorite day of the Week, isn’t it?!!!!!”
Yesterday was Thursday. I have a late class on Thursday that gets out at around 5 PM. Because it lets out late, I will usually grab an early dinner-esque food offering from the cafeteria. It just so happens that on Thursdays, for dinner, the cafeteria always serves chicken tenders. Delicious, cheap, chicken tenders. I’m talking FIVE tenders for $3. That’s a steal for twice the price right? I agree. Just about every Thursday I will leave at the break we get in class and get these tenders and eat them in class. But yesterday, a jovial White guy classmate of mine made a remark that will echo in my mind mostly because of my own response:
WG: “Awww, Dude! You got tenders! Man those look good. It IS chicken tender day isn’t it?
Me: “Yeah man, they’re pretty cheap, and they’re good.”
WG: “Yeah dude! I bet Thursday is your favorite day of the week!!!”
Me: “It really is!”
That glib response will echo in my soul and the souls of my descendants for generations to come. “It really is.” I wasn’t thinking. I was speaking off the cuff and it wasn’t until I left that I realized I had committed the mortal sin: admitting to a White person that I actually enjoyed chicken.
I enjoy it as much as the next person but Fuck that! Thursday is my FAVORITE day? The only days I’m happy are the days when I get my chicken? I actually enjoy sushi quite a bit and crave it more than I ever do chicken.
We Black folk tend to have a love-hate relationship with chicken. It’s tasty, by-and-large inexpensive, and it’s easy to come by. But then again, there is that lingering stereotype that somehow we like chicken more than any other race. Where the Hell did this stereotype come?
According to the USDA, the per capita chicken consumption of Americans in 2007 was 86.5 pounds per person. Americans consume nearly 90 pounds of chicken per year. Unfortunately [insert sarcasm here] , the United States Department of agriculture does not compile chicken consumption statistics by ethnic group. [They don’t have to right? Because only black people buy chicken. Everyone KNOWS that] Also, last time I checked, you don’t have to prove your Black ancestry when you go to the market to buy chicken breast.
I find nothing at all wrong with admitting that I enjoy chicken and chicken-derived food products. I love wings. I often bake chicken breasts and make lovely chicken-caesar salads for myself . . . AND SO DO WHITE PEOPLE! People of all colors enjoy that lovely domesticated fowl. Sales in the poultry industry exceeded 46 BILLION dollars in 2006. As a proud black man, who enjoys a variety of food, only ONE of which just so happens to be chicken, I hereinafter and forevermore shall embrace my love of chicken. White people be damned! I refuse to let some asinine stereotype shame me into feeling guilty about something. I will no longer internalize this generalization and nor should you!