President Obama has found himself embroiled in one fried-chicken row after another. First there was the “Obama Fried Chicken” incident of 2009, in which a Bangladeshi immigrant who claimed to be naïve to the racist stereotype of African-Americans’ consumption of fried chicken decided to rebrand his poultry restaurant in homage to our nation’s commander in chief. He couldn’t have asked for a more effective advertising campaign, once the media caught wind of this fowl scandal. Even the Rev. Al Sharpton got involved in the street protests outside the Brooklyn eatery, pressuring for a return to the restaurant’s original name, Royal Fried Chicken. The owner refused to budge, and Obama Fried Chicken is still serving (apparently mediocre) hot wings and biscuits in Remsen Village today.
Then, this year, Kentucky Fried Chicken, that fulsome, ubiquitous goliath of fast-food chains, took considerable heat when its Chinese subsidiary aired a television commercial in Hong Kong featuring an Obama look-alike. The ad showed the Obama doppelgänger campaigning that “change is good” for the KFC menu. (He then gets inexplicably flattened on the podium by a gigantic fish sandwich.) In the face of racism allegations, the company yanked the ad and said that it wasn’t meant to offend anyone.
… In any event, all this suggests that informed citizens of our own country may be the only ones who understand that mentioning “fried chicken” in the same sentence as “black people” is a major no-no.