The Indianapolis Children’s Museum, aka the ‘world’s largest children’s museum’ is being called out for being racially insensitive for serving ‘Juneteenth Watermelon Salad’ on their menu ahead of the national holiday.
Visitors were outraged when they noticed the $10 watermelon salad for Juneteenth – which many slammed as ‘racially insensitive.’
Jackson Moon, aka Jackson Adams, shared a picture of the salad on Twitter with the caption: ‘Racially insensitive salads. NOBODY BLACK ASKED FOR THIS!’
‘This is horrible and racist,’ another person tweeted.
Another said: ‘This is what happens when a holiday is made federal.’
The Indianapolis Children’s Museum, aka the ‘world’s largest children’s museum’ is being called out for being racially insensitive for serving ‘Juneteenth Watermelon Salad’
Jackson Moon didn’t hold back when she wrote on her social media on Friday exactly how she felt when she saw the museum cafeteria offering ‘Juneteenth Watermelon Salad’ on their menu
The racist trope of black people liking watermelons dates back to the emancipation period after the Civil War when Southern whites attempted to give the popular fruit negatives connotations because it was grown and sold by free black people.
The trope exploded in American culture and sadly pervades to this day.
Indianapolis Children’s Museum has since apologized and said it is pulling the product.
‘As a museum, we apologize and acknowledge the negative impact that stereotypes have on communities of color. The salad has been removed from the menu,’ a spokesman said.
They explained they had planned a Juneteenth menu ‘as a way for us to raise awareness of the holiday’s meaning, and commemorate their own family traditions’.
On Friday, the children’s museum responded to Jonelle Slaughter giving an explanation of the process that goes into menu selection and the research behind it. They also gave her an apology but did mention that the salad will be put back on the shelves at the food court once it is properly label with detailing the significance of the day
The massive museum, located in Northwest Indianapolis and encompasses 500,000 square-feet, and major tourist attraction with more than 1.3 million visitors annually, defended their decision for the menu offering and later apologized
‘Red foods have historically been served by some to remember the blood that was shed along the way to freedom,’ the spokesperson said.
The $10 salad listed in the museum’s cafeteria contains a medley of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, sprinkled feta cheese, and chunks of watermelon.
It is unclear whether the food service partner is a black-owned business.
‘Juneteenth’ on June 19, also called Emancipation day, commemorates the end of slavery for all Americans. It originated in 1865, when the last enslaved people in the US, in the rebel state of Texas, were informed about the Emancipation Proclamation.
Moon wrote on her social media posting: ‘It doesn’t have to be watermelon or kool aid. Our food history is radical. Our food history is rich. Our food history connects us to Africa.’
She continued: ‘As the holiday is now recognized and companies are quick to jump on the bandwagon with offensive ice creams and decorations we must learn to safeguard our history and culture before it becomes twisted and unrecognizable.’
On Friday, Moon posted that ‘the museum deleted my comment suggesting they remove the salad but our people wouldn’t relent and eventually this was their response.’
Moon referred to the response that was given to Jonelle Slaughter, another visitor to the museum who also posted a photo of the salad in a Facebook comment under a post from the museum advertising its Juneteenth Jamboree, FOX59 News reporte.d
‘So y’all decided ‘hey let’s celebrate by perpetuating offensive stereotypes’,’ Slaughter wrote. ‘Y’all really thought this was a good idea?’
On Friday, the museum gave an explanation to Jonelle Slaughter’s response.
‘Jonelle Slaughter Thank you for bringing this to our attention. There should have been a label explaining the history and meaning behind this menu item and it should have not have been on the shelf before that label was ready. We understand how this appears with no context and we apologize. We are pulling it from our food court immediately until the sign is ready to accompany it.’
‘There’s a lot of research that goes into the food choices we make for special events. Watermelon, along with other red foods, are a staple of Juneteenth Celebrations, including our food court manager’s family Juneteenth celebrations.’
The massive museum, located in Northwest Indianapolis and encompasses 500,000 square-feet, and major tourist attraction with more than 1.3 million visitors annually.
People marching commemoration of Freedom Day Juneteenth March 2020