Fast Food and Racism
Should fast food companies target the black community? What do you thlnk?
Racism and Food:
I used to work at Arbor Hill Community Elementary School in Albany, N.Y. One of my co- workers always made me laugh. When I sat at the front desk, he would always have some extaordinary funny comment. Example:
" Baby, what you eating a grass sandwich?"
" Why want some?"
" Hell, no. I eat real food." Yes, he always made me laugh.
This was a man who had a way with women. You could never take him to seriously. The ladies liked him a lot. In all the time I worked with him he never spoke a cross word to me. Not once. He always made working there fun. He was one of the friends I kept after I left the job.
One day a few years back I got a phone call. My friend was dead. I was sure my friend was mistaken so, I called the school to talk with someone who knew my former co-worker better. It was true. He had died. This man was only 48. That's how old I am right now.
I was more angry than sad to learn of my friends death. He died of heart complications. He had high blood pressure. He was a handsome, young, attaractive man and he was now dead. I blame unhealthy food and the life style that is promoted by the corporate world to the African American community. It's a deadly advertising campaign. In downtown Albany, N.Y. there was always a Mc Donald's. Never a health food store in the neighborhood but, you were always in walking distance to a Burger King. The only public gym I remember is when someone opened a boxing gig down on North Pearl. It was only open a short while. The was a Y but many could not afford that. The only pool in Arbor Hill closed decades ago. It was at the boys club. No public officer cared all that much about the health of citizens of color and that is sad.
For years Mc Donald's and Burger King, and salty pizza joints have targeted African Americans in advertising campaigns. They use old school Motown black music in their commercials. They show heavy people of color smiling and eating unhealthy food. I'm not lovin it.
Wealthy white owners of these corporations do not care how many die of cancer or heart disease and they certainly do not care what life style they are promoting in the black community. As a matter of fact they are using African Americans to single out for sales and care less about the public impact. In that way, they have a great deal of responsibility for the untimely deaths that occur in localities they specifically target to increase profit. That too, is sad. I think it's time for health food stores to target the black community for employment opportunities and sales marketing. For more information on this topic join Food and Jobs With Dignity event posted on my facebook page.
For my friend
by Joanne Kathleen Farrell
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