March 29th, 2004, 12:44 PM
Tennessee Chicken and Watermelon
My home state has done it again. I never knew it was racist to mention baked chicken and watermelon in the same sentence. Maybe watermelon and "fried chicken," depending on how it was used.
State officials in Tennessee pulled a public health ad from the radio waves there after listeners complained that it played to racial stereotypes by mentioning the word watermelon, reports the Nashville Tennessean.
The ad, placed on 10 stations statewide by the Tennessee Department of Health, encouraged listeners to to ''try baking your chicken, eating a fresh tossed salad on the side and scrumptious watermelon for dessert.''
''I don't believe it was intended to have any racial overtones,'' said Diane Denton, spokeswoman for the department. ''We wouldn't want to offend anyone. We want to be culturally sensitive.''
But even some African-Americans contacted by the paper thought the reaction was overkill.
''That's a wonderful advertisement. Tell them to put it back,'' said the Rev. Enoch Fuzz, who heads the health committee of the local NAACP. ''African-Americans are dying at a much higher rate than other populations, and we've got to turn that around. That's a stereotype we've got to get past. We can't get sensitive.''
The mentally handicaped are persecuted in this great country, and I say rightfully so! These people are NUTS!!!!