NYC Racism: “Drunken Negro” Cookies for Sale at Greenwich Village Bakery

Racism is alive and for sale in pastry-form in New York’s Greenwich Village.  I’m working on a longer, more thoughtful post, but just had to quickly put this up because, well, the mind-boggles sometimes. Here’s the story (h/t: dumilewis via Twitter):  a New York City baker,  Ted Kefalinos, proprietor of Lafayette French Pastry, is selling a cookie he calls the “drunken negro cookie” (photo and details of the story from Gothamist).  A  customer told a local news outlet that Kefalinos, asked her:

“Would you like some drunken negro heads to go with your coffee? They’re in honor of our new president. He’s following in the same path of Abraham Lincoln; he will get his.”

A bit later, another customer reportedly came into Kefalinos’ shop, asked about the name of the cookies and said Kefalinos corrected her about the name of the cookies, saying they’re actually drunken “N-word” cookies. The second customer says that the baker then repeated the suggestion that, like Lincoln, President Obama “will get what’s coming to him.”

Despite several attempts by various reporters to let Kefalinos come up with a resonable explanation for his actions, he remains apparently clueless.

I have a few of thoughts about this, some of which I’ll explore in the longer post I’m working on, but briefly: 1) let’s retire those silly notions about racism residing exclusively below the Mason-Dixon line;  2) the mere presence of President Obama is, as a friend of my said the other day, “goes down hard” for some people; and, so, 3) let’s not kid ourselves that just because we’ve got a African American head of state that everyone’s ready to embrace racial harmony and sing kum-ba-ya.

Comments

  1. Joe

    The chilling part of this story is the killing part. At least 6000 black Americans have been lynched in this country by white mobs since the 1880s, and whites still like to reference killing black people–even joking about it. Did anyone protest this extreme racism? That lack of protest by whites shows just how racist this country is.

  2. Augustus

    Now I really hope that no one actually thought that with the election of Mr Obama that some how all these racist would somehow be miracously converted or disappear of the face of the earth.

    For us as people of African descent we have to stay strong and united to continously fight these types of ignorant behaviors in whatever form they take.

  3. Why am I in the South?

    wtf! damn i hate to see what his oatmeal cookies look like. i often ask myself why am i still in the most racist part of the country aparently i can move to the northeast and get the same fucking treatment. i mean come on america its 2009 why in the fuck are people still racist? i can help u with that because they are fucking lazy and wish they had fucking niggers in the field doing there work for them. People want the same slave ass shit they ancestors had thats who they should be mad at. besides blacks had to go through 43 white fucking presidents you racist mf can deal with history in the making so go fuck yourself and deal with it. come on NYC u racist people up there are just like the ones down here u keep that shit amongs yourself and when u see a black person u are the nicest human being in the world but news flash we see right through you just because we dont say anything that dont mean that we are stupid and incapable of smiling through your bullshit. and finally to this baker whatever your name is look if you have a problem with blacks keep it to yourself im sick and fucking tired of you grown ass men crying about another race of men its starting to feel like a nagging fly that just wont go away. wake up america its alot bigger problems in this world than the skin color of another human being the only thing i done seen so far that dont discriminate is death. i guess what im trying to say is that we all gone die one day so u are not better than me so u white racist people when you preach hate and be hateful u will be judge just like everyone else so keep thinking that god made you incapable of death and pain my guess bullshit you will parish from this earth just like i will ha ha and your white sheets.

  4. Anonymous

    This is quite disturbing. I agree with King Politics…definitely not a post-racial society. I love how you put point #3, lol. It’s sad that some people don’t realize it though.

  5. Bon

    It may be racist but not illegal. It’s protected speech and an important part of our constitution. People will boycott his store but he is just using his First Amend. rights. Secondly, let’s not get all overly sensitive. I hear folks us the word nigger all day long. Black people use it more than whites. If blacks want it retired they have to take the first step.

  6. GDAWG

    ASK THE PERSON IN ALEXANDER, LOUISIANA CONVICTED AND SENTENCED TO JAIL LAST YEAR DURING JENNER SIX FIASCO IF A HANGMAN’S NOOSE IS FREE SPEECH. NOT ALL SPEECH IS FREE.

  7. Seattle in Texas

    Augustus, so true…but! We can now say, President Obama 😀

    Why am I in the South? Very glad you’re here and appreciate your sharing. I hope you stick around and thank you, 😉

    And Bon, I’m not going to address the Freedom of Speech, but do want to say I don’t understand you how can tell everybody not be to “oversensitive’ about this. I just heard a person who read this a couple of days ago say, “That’s mean. That really hurts my feelings. That’s so mean. Why do people have to be like that?” And it is mean, very mean. On the “N-word”, I don’t like it and I don’t like hearing it from anybody. I grew up in a place and largely around people of all color who did not use the word or tolerate others who used it. So what happens? That whole two-faced racism where racist white people say it out of public spaces and in their own private backstage places…though refrain from saying it around “unsafe whites” for the most part (the deep-seated racism becomes dangerously covert in my opinion). I am in an area that is still pretty new to me and I have heard the term used in many different contexts from both black and white people and I can’t really say who says it more. But I can tell you there are very different meanings and contexts when it comes from the mouths of black folks vs. white folks. I personally don’t like it and I let whomever says it in front of me know that I don’t like that word. Sometimes it is used around me, but it is used in critical conversations about racism and whites. Justifiable? I don’t really know. But I did not grow up down here and with certain realities and experiences that are incredibly painful…and ongoing in various ways in this society. And sometimes I just hear people that I don’t know using it out in public. Now, is it up to only folks in the black community to “retire” that term? Considering afterall it was a term they didn’t invent and one that was forced upon them for centuries? It is my thinking that it is the responsibility of all people to “retire” the term, particularly whites first (including in their backstage private settings)…and I doubt people will boycott that bakery since it probably caters to a certain clientle anyway….

  8. Seattle in Texas

    (p.s. though Why am I in the South? Racism is everywhere…Mr. Grant in Cali for a good example, hate crimes to covert racism in Oregon, and in Washington…Idaho *gag*…Democratic West Coast and Pacific Northwest too… 🙁 )

  9. Why am I in the South?

    Dear Bon, I’m glad to see you think I’m a sensitive person. You couldn’t see how one sided America is with glasses on. Look at you, looking at this world through racist lenses and of course your going to think hate speeches are OK. To protect a constitutional right my ass! People always say “Why cant blacks get over the past and why do they use the N-word?” Well let me tell you if all slavery is forgiven? Will racist white people give up hate protesting and racial tension? Probably not, and blacks use the N-word to try and take the power that it has away. When racist white people use the N-word they will try to take everything out of another race and make blacks feel inferior and less of a human being, Why? Then again sometime I wonder why we say it and call each other such a word that defined us as shit on the ground? That’s a great question but just like young white kids that’s are growing up hearing the N-word. The word is being installed in youth like a word such as hello or goodbye. The first amendment protects racist people, why does America still allow hate speeches? and when you look around the police protect those racist people, but then when people protest peace they are getting sprayed down with water hoses. Hypocritical people like you make me sick and it starts with everybody not just blacks. Maybe you should stop using the word. Look what you said, you should have spelled the N-word instead of saying Nigger if you have such a big problem with it. What I’m trying to say is grow the fuck up and do on to others as others do on to you. Dude, you learned this in kindergarten, take responsibility in your own action and stop worrying about what everybody else thinks. Have a mind of your own, you don’t have to follow this world and how people view it, or you can follow it to destruction, hell or whatever you believe. For me being a young black man I will try and stop using the N-word the best I can.

  10. Stuck in Texas!

    “Would you like some drunken Negro heads to go with your coffee?” Hell yeeaah, like who wouldn’t? Come on people… Another racist joke, let me laugh. Hah hah hah! This country, The United Stated of America! Finally with a Black president! Yes I said it. “A Black President, Sir Obama” He made it to the “White” house :). Congratulations, Mr. President! Now we have some drunken negro cookies… it must be some kind of a fundraiser for the white supremacists? or not, maybe a racial act? Wait! I must be blind to see it not being a racial act or some kind of a joke. Like someone said “President Obama “will get what’s coming to him.” I wanna know what exactly is coming to him? Death or harm in his way? Humans are humans Dammit! People need to except people for who they are. I’m tired of this whole, he’s black, he’s yellow, he’s green or he’s white shit. Really America.. well to the ones that need to open your fucking eyes… people eat, sleep, work, and take shits just like you. A cookie.. are they being serious? I can’t find a drunken negro cookie to be funny.. You know some of the greatest historic people were black. Such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X who was strong believer in hate but, before he was assassinated even he seen the world differently and viewed everybody to be equal. There are some intelligent and great Black, African Americans in this world to this day. So defining someone as a drunken negro isn’t humorous or seen as a joke. Not to me, not in any cases. I except people for who they are and how they act towards others in positive ways. So should others, but wait.. who cares, everything is based off of opinions and America can’t see that or they just don’t want to listen and give up their so called ” Great American History” Look what your great American history brought you! A black commander and chief! I guess what goes around comes around America. Good luck to you Obama! Go 09

  11. Why am I in the South?

    Dear Bon, I’m glad to see you think I’m a sensitive person. You couldn’t see how one sided America is with glasses on. Look at you, looking at this world through racist lenses and of course your going to think hate speeches are OK. To protect a constitutional right my ass! People always say “Why cant blacks get over the past and why do they use the N-word?” Well let me tell you if all slavery is forgiven? Will racist white people give up hate protesting and racial tension? Probably not, and blacks use the N-word to try and take the power that it has away. When racist white people use the N-word they will try to take everything out of another race and make blacks feel inferior and less of a human being, Why? Then again sometime I wonder why we say it and call each other such a word that defined us as shit on the ground? That’s a great question but just like young white kids that’s are growing up hearing the N-word. The word is being installed in youth like a word such as hello or goodbye. The first amendment protects racist people, why does America still allow hate speeches? and when you look around the police protect those racist people, but then when people protest peace they are getting sprayed down with water hoses. Hypocritical people like you make me sick and it starts with everybody not just blacks. Maybe you should stop using the word. Look what you said, you should have spelled the N-word instead of saying Nigger if you have such a big problem with it. What I’m trying to say is grow the fuck up and do on to others as others do on to you. Dude, you learned this in kindergarten, take responsibility in your own action and stop worrying about what everybody else thinks. Have a mind of your own, you don’t have to follow this world and how people view it, or you can follow it to destruction, hell or whatever you believe. For me being a young black man I will try and stop using the N-word the best I can…

  12. Ready to Leave In Your Face Racist Texas

    The difference between the north and the south is that at least the racist white folks up north are not hateful enough to pure hateful words about our President from their mouths in a black person’s face. They have the common sense to say it to those who they think agree. Here in the dirty south they have the nerve to say what ever they feel freely and with no regard to our feelings. I know some Black people will say at least I know what I am dealing with down south. However, if you turn around and stand up for yourself and speak out against them you are looked upon as a rebel, you are threatened with your job or life.
    I am from the north and I will return because the racist white folks where I come from know I am waiting to take them to a judge if they disrespect my people in my face. It is a payday for me so they watch it. Here in the confederate flag flying lone star state you can’t find a Black attorney to take a discrimination case. He fears he will be disbarred by his superior white justice who wears his hateful white sheets at night.
    Here they have turned to saying Barack is not even Black. It makes them feel better. I argue not Black huh. Your racist laws state 1/8 of Black makes you Black in this stolen country we call ours. He is blacker than I am with a father straight from the Mother Land. I don’t know where my family originated from. Oh and maybe I should start putting white on my applications since my great grand mom was a white women. His skin is darker than mine too. Oh and let us not forget he is a Black man who has a Black wife that he obviously is in love with. With two Black children. Not black. whatever. If not Black, I wonder, why are you so angry then? Why is the media so excited then. Oh and he is an extraordinary Black Man, who loves his family. I just say be careful Barack. Just like those who loved all the wonderful things Jesus did at the beginning of His ministry, ordered Him to be crucified. And every other great Black Man since has been politically or murderously assasinated since. They are going to keep coming at you until they find something. So they can say see I told you this cookie represents them. So my family and I will take the behind your back ones any day.
    Oh and to the Black people who where born and live here in this racist state. One day you will see that Blacks up North have voices and they use them. The white folks are scared of our voices so they keep quite in front of us. Not like down here where you are the scared ones. Speak up for your selfs and exercise your voice or they will keep hanging their nooses and flying their hateful flags. It is a great day to see a Black Family in the White House. Oh I forgot, you are still celebrating getting out of slavery 2 years later than freed blacks in the country. Like it was a gift to be left in bondage longer. The shucking and jiving that you do makes it more difficult for educated Black folks from the north to help you make change.

  13. Ready to Leave In Your Face Racist Texas

    site your sources bob. Maybe you mean that women are raped 35000 a year by men white, black and yellow.

    I am a nurse so I see it all.

  14. Matari

    Um..Bob. Since you seem to be so up on stats, tell me this. How many women of African descent have been raped by white males since whites began labeling themselves and other people with various colors? Thank you.

  15. Ready to Leave In Your Face Racist Texas

    Our skin would have been alot darker if we weren’t raped during slavery. you need to watch some educational videos about how we got here. I know you will say go to Africa if you are not happy in your country. Remember this is not your country. It belongs to the Native American’s who I admit have it worse than we do. Also, I am praying that my Lord will let me know where we originate from so I can retire in the Mother Land. Bob is the type of white man that Barack needs to fear. You know the uneducated, trash that lives in trailor parks, that dropped out in 10th grade, currently smoking crystal meth and hates an educated Black American for no other reason than jealousy.

  16. Why am I in the South?

    Ready to Leave In Your Face Racist Texas; for some strange reason u think we are scared of white people in the south you have clearly lost your damn mind. The only time i have heard the N-word said to me by a white person i was about 15 when cops pulled up next to us we were walking and one of them called my friend a “Nigger” so cops hell yeah! cops might be the only kind of white person im scared of down here is one that has a badge that will plant drugs on you and kill you for no reason and make it look like self defence.You have to watch the black cops also cause they will treat their own kind wrong just to show the white cops there not biased. The only other times whites have said it around me is with permission or joking also with the permission if in fact it dont offend or disrepect one of us. Yall clearly have the same things go on up there in the north the “cookie” was in New York not the south. If u notice the racist people are always protected by law enforcment when they have something to say. Why do you make the north blacks seem like cry babies that run and wine to the white man about what another white man has said? Not only that why u make the north blacks seem smarter than ones down here? like we need yall to run and get an education to come and free us from slavery And i bet you any kind of money i can go anywhere in this nation north or south and get treated the same so dont give me that we dont ever see police harasment, job discrimination, and racial profiling bullshit just cause u from the north. Its actully good white people in the south as well as all over the U.S.A not everybody buys into this white power society. I have to go to work now and work for the “white” man i guess Oh yeah BOB im comming for you later BUDDY!

  17. EYES WIDE SHUT

    Racist Whites minds are weak, and therefore easily manipulated. The Racist Whites are nothing more than pawns in Spiritual Warfare. Satan is the only one who really hates Black People.

    “DRUNKEN NEGRO COOKIES”, LOL, THAT’S FUNNY. THAT’S A GOOD ONE TED. I LIKE WHITE FOLKS, BUT I DISLIKE KRACKA’S, AND TED KEFALINO, YOU’RE A KRACKA!

    “DEATH TO YOUR SALES, AND THE BLOOD OF JESUS AGAINST YOUR BUSINESS”!

  18. Ready to Leave In Your Face Racist Texas

    Why Are You In the South? See that is what I was talking about. All I was trying to do was give a little education to my southern born family. You never want to hear the truth. Yes there is racism everywhere on this planet to be exact. Not just America. However, all I am infering is that we take action. I work with Black folks down here who have told me not to talk loudly at our work place about my President and how happy we should be down here. I have heard white folks state “They are sick of hearing this Obama stuff.” The schools were choosing to show the inaugurations or not to the students. However up north they were dancing in streets and kids were attending mock balls. Yes we do face racism but we also fight and we fight hard. I don’t hold my tongue though and I let it be known. However, now I am considered a rebell at my job for informing my coworkers that they were crazy not to watch the inaugurations and scream with excitement. Without fearing that they are going to get in trouble or on someones bad side and loss their job.
    I wish my white friends up north would ask me if it is ok to say the N word. Thats all I will say on that.
    No I do not think we are coming to save you because you have to save yourself. I was just trying to show you a different side. However, you fell into the trap that white people love: Get them to fight themselves.

  19. Couldn'tCareLess

    When racism rears its head beyond the currently acceptable anti-white male bias, people get awfully jumpy. Can’t wait for the implications behind anti-Obama bumper stickers…

  20. SteveDenver

    I guess the lout “apologized,” saying that his work of art caused confusion and he’s sorry people got offended by the cookie. He isn’t sorry for making it.

    As for #22 ‘I Love The South’ — Are you newly stupid, or is it inbred?

  21. Sandy

    This guys is obviously racist but because the offensive language is used against black people he will still continue his business as if everything is normal. Imagine what would happen if he had called his cookies “Stoned Jew Cookies” or “Drunken Gringoes”. It would definitely be a different story. This is where this country becomes unfair.

  22. Seattle in Texas

    Heh “I Love the South”— I don’t know why some of the Southern whites take pride in this inbred stuff. I don’t want to bust your bubble, but you might want to not be so quick to be so proud of being inbred hehe (I know Mr. Denver above is not…and while you hope you are, you may in fact not be…*play the worlds smallest violin*). Below is an email from my home area that came to mind:

    A REDNECK LOVE POEM

    SUSIE LEE DONE FELL IN LOVE,
    SHE PLANNED TO MARRY JIM.
    SHE WAS SO HAPPY ‘BOUT IT ALL,
    SHE TOLD HER PAPPY SO.

    PAPPY TOLD HER, ‘SUSIE GAL,
    YOU’LL HAVE TO FIND ANOTHER.
    I’D JUST AS SOON YO’ MA DON’T KNOW,
    BUT JIM IS YO’ HALF BROTHER.’

    SO SUSIE PUT ASIDE HER JIM
    AND PLANNED TO MARRY WILL.
    BUT AFTER TELLING PAPPY THIS,
    HE SAID, ‘THERE’S TROUBLE STILL;

    YOU CAN’T MARRY WILL, MY GAL,
    AND PLEASE DON’T TELL YO’ MOTHER.
    BUT WILL AND JIM, AND SEVERAL MO’
    I KNOW IS YO’ HALF BROTHER.

    BUT MAMA KNEW AND SAID, MY CHILD,
    JUST DO WHAT MAKES YO’ HAPPY..
    MARRY WILL OR MARRY JIM;
    YOU AIN’T NO KIN TO PAPPY.

    Brings a tear to yer eye, don’t it?

  23. boneyard

    He is in the wrong but condemning to such a level makes you un american. Your law and policies grants freedom of speech and therefore it can be assumed that members of the populace may voice and express feelings of hate if they feel it is their right to do so.

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