Smh these things are always SO easy to avoid, yet here we are.
White folks never cease to amaze us when it comes to culturally clueless corporate shenanigans. Every year, dozens of popular companies do incredibly dumb things relating to race and identity and end up being dragged by this website, thousands of social media users, and even their own employees. Such is the case with the IKEA at Atlantic Station in Atlanta, Georgia.
According to local news station CBS46, 33 employees called out of work after the company announced a special Juneteenth menu that featured a stereotypically offensive fare of fried chicken and watermelon.
“You cannot say serving watermelon on Juneteenth is a soul food menu when you don’t even know the history, they used to feed slaves watermelon during the slave time,” an anonymous employee said.
Another employee made the point that the leadership at IKEA should have simply ASKED a BLACK employee to help them put together a menu that was being created allegedly to honor Black people.
“it caused a lot of people to be upset. People actually wanted to quit, people weren’t coming back to work.”
Many employees had strong feelings about this whole fiasco but did not want to appear on camera out of fear of repercussions.
Following the backlash, IKEA released an official statement detailing its intent behind the seemingly racist menu option.
“The meal was intended to be served to co-workers as an internal celebration, not customers,” a representative from the company shared to CBS46.
According to the furniture giant, a few Black co-workers were involved with the creation of the Juneteenth menu.
“There were Black co-workers involved in the creation of the menu. Out of respect for their privacy, we cannot go into more detail, and we take this as an important learning and shared responsibility.”
You can be read IKEA’s full statement below:
“In addition to offering Juneteenth as one of our paid holidays nationally, our IKEA Atlanta store has recognized Juneteenth with our co-workers for the past four years. To honor the day, a lunch menu was created with the best of intentions, including recommendations from black co-workers. We value our co-workers’ voices and changed the menu after receiving feedback that the foods that were selected are not reflective of the deeply meaningful traditional foods historically served as part of Juneteenth celebrations. We got it wrong and we sincerely apologize. We are committed to educating ourselves and putting a process in place that will allow us to thoughtfully honor Juneteenth in the future.” – IKEA spokesperson.
Would you have been offended by fried chicken and watermelon on the Juneteenth menu?