German firms `Obama-branded fried chick fingers spark anger in New YorkMarch 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)
Tags: african american leaders, american lifestyle, angela merkel, bill perkins, chancellor angela merkel, chick fingers, councilman charles barron, democrat senator, first black president, fried chicken, frozen food company, german firms, history of racism, new york daily news, senator bill, spiegel, spiegel online, todd shaw, university of south carolina, york daily news