Slate Writer: Racism Could Explain White Turkey Meat Preference

November 26th, 2012 4:03 PM

Have you been enjoying your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers? Do you have a preference for the white meat? If you do, then racism could explain why you prefer the white meat to the dark meat.

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. First he details why white meat is supposedly so horrible:

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.

Perhaps Rosenbaum has no taste buds. Also there is the matter of the finer texture of white meat compared to the stringiness of dark meat. However, Rosenbaum sees dark overtones in why people are less than enthusiastic for dark meat despite becoming "enlightened" 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?

...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.

Indeed, 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:

It was enough to make me wonder whether there could be a racial, if not racist, subtext here.

The next thing you know, Slate will find racial implications in coffee products. Oh wait! They already did as you can see here:

A friend recently alerted Chatterbox that Dairy Queen is marketing a new frozen drink called the MooLatte. Isn't that, he observed, er, kind of in poor taste? What he meant was that "MooLatte" sounds a lot like "mulatto," which is a word, not in much use nowadays...

...Doesn't Dairy Queen have any black employees? Or at least somebody who's seen Show Boat? Why didn't anyone point out the MooLatte-mulatto problem?

Or maybe the problem is that the writer was too clueless to see the obvious correlation between "Moo" as in cows giving milk and "Latte" as in espresso and steamed milk.