Who else would have thought this up except for the geniuses at Slate? Apparently, we aren’t being made to feel guilty enough about Thanksgiving as it is. Libtards already beat us over the head about how Thanksgiving celebrates our racist, oppressive colonialism and therefore, it’s a terrible, awful, horrible holiday that only racist, oppressive, colonialists could possible enjoy. Now they’re adding in our choice of meat.
Seriously. If you like white meat on a turkey, it’s because you’re secretly racist.
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.
But I am fascinated by how tastes get made and unmade, the intersection of culture, class and sensory responses. Not being a postmodernist I wouldn’t call the overwhelming American preference for white-meat turkey a form of cultural hegemony. More like a mass hallucination. Why, for instance, hasn’t white meat shared the same fate, the same cultural disenfranchisement, as packaged white bread?
… Do they still associate white meat with refinement? It was enough to make me wonder whether there could be a racial, if not racist, subtext here. Perhaps there is a clue in the shifting fate of the “other white meat”—pork. I’ll never forget the moment when I learned the antebellum racial origin of the phrase “living high on the hog.” I had driven down the I-5 “grapevine,” that fog-shrouded mountainous interior route from San Francisco to L.A. with a couple of Communist Party women who were mothers of death row prisoners (long story). When dawn broke and we arrived in Watts, they guided me to a place called Ray’s Redwood City, an all-night, almost all-black joint where the ladies of Saturday night dined with the ministers of Sunday morning (not at the same tables), and my fellow travelers ordered me a dish called “high on the hog,” a mountain of scrambled eggs topped by a fried pork chop.
It was then I learned the etymology of the phrase in America. It hails from the plantation days, when the white slave owners dined on choice pork chops cut from “high on the hog” while the slaves made do with the lower parts of the pig—the ham hocks, the pigs feet, the pork bellies, and the innards. White meat was high on the hog, but not higher on flavor than other (often darker) cuts. Indeed the “other white meat” now available most frequently in lean and tasteless pork chops and cutlets has little more taste than white meat turkey.
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.
… Could fear of facing our dark history be behind the prejudice against dark meat? Or is there more to the darkness of dark meat that feeds that fear?
Oh, of course. Slaves got stuck with the dark meat back in the day, while racist slaveowners enjoyed the white meat. So therefore, anyone who enjoys white meat today must be a racist!
In all seriousness, this is a pressing matter for Slate? This writer, Ron Rosenbaum, really spent hours pondering the racism of dark meat vs. white meat? The mental gymnastics required to come up with this drivel clearly shows that this guy has more than a few screws loose. And a lot of time on his hands.
But hey, you know libtards. Anytime they can use something completely innocuous to accuse Americans of being racist, they’re on board! Even if it means making complete and utter fools out of themselves.
Hat Tip: Weasel Zippers