German firms `Obama-branded fried chick fingers spark anger in New York

March 17th, 2009 - 2:07 pm ICT by ANI  

New York, Mar.17 (ANI): Moves by a German frozen food company to capitalize on President Obama’’s popularity by marketing a new fried chicken product called “Obama Fingers,” has sparking outrage from African-Americans.
“It’’s racist and inappropriate,” declared Brooklyn Councilman Charles Barron.
Calling for a boycott of the company’’s products, Barron said: “We should do all that we can to see to it that no [company] disrespects the first black President.” Judith Witting, a sales manager for the company, Sprehe, said the connection between Obama and fried chicken - a stereotype long associated with African-Americans - never occurred to her.
“It was supposed to be a homage to the American lifestyle and the new U.S. President,” Witting told Spiegel Online, a German media outlet.
“We noticed that American products and the American way of eating are trendy at the moment. Americans are more relaxed. Not like us stiff Germans, like [Chancellor Angela] Merkel,” the New York Daily News quoted Witting, as saying. While the company alleges it didn”t intend to offend, African-American leaders here in the states called on the company to rename the product and apologize. “Without a doubt it does raise concerns that are rooted in the history of racism and stereotypical types of characterizations of African-Americans. It reminds us that [Obama''s] victory does not automatically end that which we”ve been struggling against,” said Democrat Senator Bill Perkins. Todd Shaw, assistant professor of political science and African-American studies at the University of South Carolina, said the stereotype is blatant and “broadly offensive” to African-Americans.
The White House has declined to comment. (ANI)

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