A story in the LA Times this past week (“UC Irvine says fried chicken and waffle dinner on Martin Luther King Jr. Day was insensitive”) immediately caught my attention not just for the obvious reasons but also because it brought up memories of a similar incident that happened when I was a student at UC Berkeley.
As background, the LA Times story was about a last-minute decision by the dining hall staff at UC Irvine to serve chicken and waffles for a Martin Luther King Jr. symposium organized by the school’s Black Student Union, which sparked an uproar among the school’s minuscule black population (only 2 percent of the school’s entire undergrad makeup).
Without being there and being in those UC Irvine students’ shoes, it’s difficult to come to any definitive conclusions about what the correct reaction should be. But for the sake of this post, I’m going to do just that because I know exactly how they feel, having had a similar experience. Continue reading