How You Have a Thug Kitchen When You’re a White Boy from the Valley?

| 10/01/2014 | Comments (0)

In case you were on vacation to Mars and missed it, a few days ago Epicurious magazine revealed the true identities of the people behind the popular vegan foodie blog Thug Kitchen. Their schtick was basically healthy vegan food delivered in a manner that was an imitation of some hard core ghetto hoodrat. Full of expletives and streety observations “the fuck?” and things like that, most people who visited the site believed the creator to be one or more young urban males (aka black), pushing a health building agenda in a manner which reflected the way they might speak amongst themselves.

I looked at the Thug Kitchen site last year. Wasn’t impressed with the language or the recipes. I mean it was cute the first two or three recipes, then it got old. I hear enough cussing just driving through the streets of Oakland, I don’t need to read it online too!

Plus what struck me as odd was the type of food they cooked (asparagus risotto anyone?), and the delivery. It’s hard to explain, but if you’ve read their stuff you know what I mean. It’s just overdone…. like someone trying too much to be cool, street and hard core thug, but falling short.

Anyway, this week it all came out. Like a scab being ripped off a sore, the ugly truth about Thug Kitchen has been revealed. Both fans and haters of Thug Kitchen seem to be falling into one of three camps on the issue:

  1. Disgusted at the fact that two young whites think it cool to go around referring to themselves (and I mean two of the most un-cool, un-dangerous, un-scary people on earth) as “thug” anything. Eye rolling and throwing up in the mouth a little were the comments from this crew.
  2. Those who claim it’s no big deal and it’s not racist and that they were not trying to be black and that white people cuss too and they are going to buy the cookbook regardless. Of course missing the whole point of the THUG reference either intentionally or just because they are dense. But remember when Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was called a thug by a sports interviewer? Political commentator Jon Stewart and Richard Sherman broke that mess down to the nth degree. So we gave these clueless excuse making folks the flick finger and sent them on their way. They are delusional.
  3. Then there are those who recognize yet another example of whites attempting to appropriate black culture, black language, and well, just blackness period, for their own profit. These types of white folks use blackness for what they perceive to be of benefit — the cool factor. In Europe they are called “wiggers”. Not sure what they call them in the US. But after they get done playing with black culture, they go on back to where they came from — back to being white.  Without having to deal with the day to day bullshit of being black like police harassment, police brutality, racism on the job, security guards following you around in stores, getting arrested for “shopping while black,” or any of the other unpleasantness of being black in America. They don’t like that part of blackness, and their whiteness gives them an out.

All in all, I think those two should be ashamed of themselves, but I don’t believe they are. On the Thug Kitchen Facebook page when people have called them out on their behavior, the comments have been deleted and the posters blocked from the page. They are hiding like cowards instead of addressing the conflict and charges like adults do… straight up like a man… like a “G”…. like a REAL thug.

thug kitchen blackface racism cultural appropriation

Now this is a real thug. As explained here, Tupac in the early 1990s, has been attributed with associating gangsta rap with the word “thug” as his group THUG LIFE and album were the same name. Nothing about this man is represented by two clean cut white folks involved in cooking and photography. SMH. What a joke.


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Veteran social researcher, relationship advice columnist, author and radio host. Author of hundreds of articles on American and black culture, gender issues, singles, dating and relationships. Author of "Sucka Free Love!" , "The 24 Types of Suckas to Avoid," "The Black Church - Where Women Pray and Men Pray," and "Why Vegan is the New Black" all available on Amazon.Com. Her unique voice and insightful commentary have delighted fans and riled haters for 20 years. Read her stuff on SurvivingDating.Com and AskHeartBeat.Com.

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