“It’s no secret down here that Blacks and chickens are quite fond of each,” Dave Chappelle, imitating a White store owner, jokes in one of his stand up comedy routines. He continues his shtick in his Black voice, “I thought I liked chicken because it was delicious. Turns out, I’m genetically predisposed to liking chicken.” He later adds that he is afraid to eat chicken in public because he does not want to justify the stereotype about Blacks and their
love and appreciation appetite for chicken.The wildly popular stereotype affects black culture in all kind of ways:
Enter Burger King, assisted by the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige.
Where do I begin? There is so many questionable moments in this short, thirty second commercial clip:
- The White man in the front of the line, with two black women behind him (1 for 1 in terms of subtle power position).
- “What’s in the new chicken snack wraps?”–hashtag worthy. This line will be my retort for the next 25 minutes. You’ve been warned.
- Mary J. Blige interrupts the white man with all kind of sass and attitude (an attitude stereotypically attributed to vocal Black women)
- The assumed Burger King manager, the previously interrupted white man, then gives her permission to sing (2 for 2 in terms of subtle power positions).
- Mary starts to sing a soulful hip hop ditty about chicken…yep, you read that last sentence correct. Damn Mary *50 Cent voice*
- Chicken porn–pouring that white sauce all over the chicken, twisting the chicken to show the white tender insides
- Y’all see the manager feeling the vibes at the 0:20 second mark. Go back and check it out.
This video is without a doubt “Shake My Head (SMH)” worthy. I do not care if it is unfinished or was planned never to be released. The company’s intent does not matter to me. Its impact concerns me!
But, do you want to know who I blame for this? Not the disparity of these kinds of fast food restaurants in less affluent communities, not the housing segregation prominent in every major city throughout the country, not the disparity in the cost of a burger value meal and the cost of healthier food via Whole Foods (or some other comparable food store, which are also conveniently not located in less affluent neighborhoods because organic/healthy food is
relatively more expensive than fast food). I don’t even blame the fact that the government subsidizes the cost of fast food, reducing the true cost of a Big Mac from $200+ dollars to roughly $4 (and we are all complicit in that great crime because we pay taxes), which makes it accessible to less affluent communities even though the nutritional value of the meal is in the negatives. Nope.
I point my finger to McDonalds’ and their recent appropriation of hip hop/rap to sell their chicken products, dating back a couple of years. Like everything else that is successful, competitors imitate. Hence, Burger King and Mary J. Upping the ante, no more non-recognizable black singers. Nope, we are going with the Queen.
Actually, to be fair, I need to point the finger deeper into our past with black face ministral shows. Here’s one of the more popular ones from the 1950s, Vernon and Ryan. Heck, I continue to point my finger deeper and deeper into the past, if I so chose. I won’t…for now. Instead, watch this outrageous McDonalds’ commercial. Where was the outcry for this video, a while back? Guess those non-recognizable faces didn’t warrant the same level of concern. *Shrug*
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.