“In an article worthy of The Onion but published in all seriousness in Slate, writer Ron Rosenbaum plumbs the depths of absolute ridiculousness to explain his white meat racism theory,” Gladnick wrote.
Rosenbaum first explains why white meat, in his view, is so terrible.
“White meat turkey has no taste. Its slabs of dry, fibrous material are more like cardboard conveyances, useful only for transporting flavorsome food like stuffing and gravy from plate to mouth. It’s less a foodstuff than a turkey app, simulated meat, a hyperlink to real food,” he wrote.
He then inserts race while ranting about the “inferiority” of white bread.
“Why have we broken the chains of the whiteness that bound us to fatally tasteless white bread while still remaining imprisoned in the white-meat turkey ghetto?” he asked.
After explaining the origins of the phrase “living high on the hog,” which he says has to do with white slave owners (naturally) consuming the better part of the pig while leaving the worse parts for the slaves, Rosenbaum continued with a racial overview of dark meat versus white.
“Despite its superior taste, dark meat has dark undertones for some. Dark meat evokes the color of earth, soil. Dark meat seems to summon up ancient fears of contamination and miscegenation as opposed to the supposed superior purity of white meat. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that white meat remains the choice of a holiday that celebrates Puritans,” he wrote.
“Indeed,” Rosenbaum says, “the connotations of the pale and darker parts of the turkey constitute a meaty metaphor for the Thanksgiving feast itself. The allegedly more refined and daintier white parts, the wings and breast, have never touched the ground the way the earthier darker legs have done. And you know how dirty dirt is.”
“And if you still can’t figure out what Rosenbaum is suggesting, he spells it out for you,” Gladnick wrote.
“It was enough to make me wonder whether there could be a racial, if not racist, subtext here,” Rosenbaum wrote.
After citing the opening lines of Robert Lowell’s poem, “Children of Light,” Rosenbaum admits his own prejudice.
“Maybe that’s why I have a prejudice against the white-meat sacrament of the holiday that covers up the white man’s crimes.”
Apparently, in Rosenbaum’s worldview, eating white turkey meat is not only racist, it’s an act that somehow “covers up” all the evil things done by white people.
“Could fear of facing our dark history be behind the prejudice against dark meat? Or is there more to the darkness of dark meat that feeds that fear?” he asked.
“The next thing you know, Slate will find racial implications in coffee products,” Gladnick wrote, before reminding readers that the magazine already did that in 2004.
After going on about ooze and slime, Rosenbaum concluded by saying he may try the white meat anyway.
“Maybe that’s it,” he wrote. “Dark meat represents slime and viscosity. Dark meat embodies all the menace of dissolution into the nothingness that is the slimy ground of being itself!”
“Come to think of it, maybe I’ll try the white meat this time,” he added.
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