Students at a private Christian school in Concord were trying to think of ways to celebrate Black History Month, and instead came up with a way to celebrate African-American stereotypes: By serving fried chicken and watermelon in the school cafeteria, according to several news sources. To which the only real reply is: Seriously? In 2014 California? Woof.
Carondelet High School did realize the error of its ways before the menu was served on Friday, and held an assembly for its students as well as sent a letter home to parents apologizing for the misstep. "I'd like to apologize for this announcement and any hurt this caused students, parents or community members," principal Nancy Libby wrote. "Please know that at no time at Carondelet do we wish to perpetrate [sic] racial stereotypes and we intend to work diligently to do just the opposite."
But the damage was done; news outlets far and wide carried the story, and the country's outrage has been expressed on Twitter and the school's Facebook page. (Some expressed outrage at people being offended; to that, I would point them to The Atlantic Wire's breakdown of why the lunch could be construed as racist.)
Parents told NBC News that they hoped this would become a "teaching moment." And a learning moment for everyone else considering a menu of racial stereotypes meant to celebrate the very group it's accidentally denigrating.