Granted this is a really extreme example of the limits of "Is this racist?", but it pissed me off, and then made me really sad. I'm sure ?uestlove was half-joking. The accompanying brouhaha isn't very funny. I was debating with Kenyatta about this last night. For me, as an African-American, the key question isn't, "Do I believe some hypothetical black person might take this the wrong way?" but, "Do I seriously believe NBC was attempting to demean me?"
Maybe I'm the wrong person to ask about this. That menu sounds delicious to me. I get the point that the food is actually Southern and not "black." But I also think two things: 1.) There are assholes in the world who delight in being offensive. 2.) The presence of said assholes should not be license to presume offense, until otherwise disproven.
In a world where we presume offense, where we exclaim, "You're trying to insult me," as opposed to asking, "Do I have all the contextual facts?" this sort of thing is going to keep happening. And we will continue to be confronted with the absurdity of corporations apologizing to no one in particular, for the crime of listening to their black employees.
It's a fucking parlor game.