Yo, mothafuckas! 

Aaight, just in case you thought eatin' vegan food was fo suckas, we up in this bitch with some slammin' ass recipes that be thug as fuck!

In one respect, "Thug Kitchen" which started out as a blog, then became a book series ("We puttin the ILL back in TRILOGY SUCKAS BO! BO! BO!") was rather refreshing. Usually these things are written by someone named Rainbow Moon Unit Whale Singer, and you have to sift through five thousand words on saving the planet and the horrors of the Holocaust of killing and eating animals before getting to a rather timid recipe for a lentil bake.

And although I personally thought lines like "have a salad, your asshole will thank you" was a bit much, it got a certain degree of traction. Apparently the recipes weren't bad, and the idea that you were eating something designed by a guy like Samuel L. Jackson rather than a twig-limbed hippie gave the recipes and franchise a kind of cachet, even though I personally found the idea of a recipe in the same vein as one for Butterfinger McFlurry as written by donfreenut tedious in other ways. After a while it just becomes a barrage of "urban" stereotypes. 

And then.... it got problematic.

When you publish a book, you generally do a book tour. And part of the book tour is stepping out from behind a computer screen and presenting yourself to the audience. And no, it wasn't us expecting a guy looking like Fetty Wap with more tattoos than Wiz Khalifa and Cleveland Jr. stepping out onto the podium. Or Steve Urkel.

Their names? Michelle Davis and Matt Holloway. They're so white, she's a strawberry blonde, just shy of being a redhead. They live in an apartment in chic Hollywood and when they're at home, like, oh my God, they are, like, so totally Caucasean. Where do, I, like, get, pumpkin spice like soy like latte? Kisses! (Apparently characterizing white people like this is instantly a problem, but using a black stereotype is not, right?)

*record scratch*

As the caption they posted to a photo of a Whole Foods frozen vegetable section read, 

THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT.

In the UK version of The Office, Ricky Gervais' David Brent argues that a joke about the Queen thinking of a black man's enormous dick isn't racist because having a big dick is a compliment. The manager patiently tries to explain to Brent that it's still a racial stereotype, and what you're now suggesting is that what black men should be proud of is having a huge dick. And that racial stereotypes are wrong and certainly inappropriate for the office. And that is lost on Brent.

For the record, there really are vegan cuisines of color. There's multiple vegan soul food restaurants in the Atlanta area, many of which are vegan on religious grounds - and some really nice and successful cookbooks like Afro-Vegan, which use African and Caribbean recipes that only use plants. Which are written by actual black folks, who don't mothafuckin' thug out like a G, UNH! UNH! UNH! 

And suffice it to say, they're not exactly pleased at, yet again, parts of their own culture repackaged in blackface and shoved back at them.

The first defence Muffy and Blake gave to their deception was that they never ACTUALLY said black, or claimed to be, even though they did their level motherfuckin' best word is bond my O-G brotha to try and channel the most stereotypical young black man they could envisage. And let's not forget that "Thug" has its own connotations, with either rappers using it or people on Fox News or who listen to talk radio using it with a knowing wink where and when they used to say "n*gger".

Needless to say multiple events were cancelled because of the outrage that someone in the 2010s would have the sheer balls to engage in a deliberate digital blackface.

Their second defense was the David Brent one. Well, yeah, sure they in essence tried to pass themselves off as black, but only because black people are cool and they wanted the blog to be cool and get eyeballs. And unlike David Brent, the idea of stereotyping people as "cool" is no less problematic because you think it's a compliment. 

What hasn't occurred to Becky and Hunter there, in their pastel clothes and veneers, is that they can "take off" their "cool black persona" when they're done making money off it and get into the cars they made with that money and drive wherever they want without being pulled over and subsequently shot dead because the officer was "scared". They don't have to deal with any actual systemic racism they can just pick and choose what they want, profit off it, and wonder what other people's problems are.

I'm not giving you any more information on these poser assholes, except to highlight that they should be tarred and feathered. Oh but wait, Gwyneth Paltrow thinks they're "hysterical" and commissioned another book.

 

EDIT: to head off some of these "you're the real racist" messages: I'm not the only person to think this;

https://www.theroot.com/thug-kitchen-a-recipe-in-blackface-1790877230  <---- website by/about people of color

http://atlantablackstar.com/2015/10/30/white-founders-of-thug-kitchen-attempt-to-downplay-backlash-over-their-use-of-the-word-thug/

http://www.forharriet.com/2014/10/dear-creators-of-thug-kitchen-stop.html#axzz4zAHSHus8

 

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