Gothamist has a story about Ted Kefalinos, the owner of Lafayette French Pastry in Greenwich Village, NYC who created these cookies that he openly called “Drunken Negro Faces.” The story was also covered by “Shame on You,” a feature on the news of the NYC FOX affiliate (the video can be found at the link).
According to multiple people on “Shame On You”, Kefalinos had used “the N-word” and made references to the same thing happening to Obama that happened to Lincoln. When questioned about the Lincoln statements, he first confirms that both Obama and Lincoln are from Illinois and then says that’s his point, that they point were from Illinois and both became president. And just to be a nice guy, Kefalinos changed the name to “Obama Heads.” How flattering.
This isn’t the first tasteless cookie name that he came up with. In honor of the recent US Airways crash, he also had some goodies called “Dead Geese Bread”, which he claims were popular.
To explain that he’s not a racist, the owner says:
My brother-in-law, he’s Cuban, so you know, I, I mean, you know, I like everybody, you know, as long as they buy. (chuckle)
Gothamist followed up with the owner:
When asked whether he understands that most African-Americans find the word “negro” offensive, Kefalinos explains, “It’s a French word. It comes from the French.”
Community Board 2 was quick to call for a boycott of Lafayette French Pastry, to which Kefalinos responds, “I’m sorry they feel that way because I was trying to do a nice thing.”
I kept laughing while watching the video. This is just so blatantly wrong that it’s hard for me to see it as damaging. And it’s stunning to see someone with such a disconnect from reality. If exposed to him often, I’m sure I’d grind my teeth constantly, but in small doses and at a distance, it’s quite funny. They didn’t show one person on the newscast that agreed with him. That being said, if you think about it, the guy obviously has to have people that support or, at the very least, tolerate him, since he’s still in business. Perhaps the world has gotten too politically correct, but this certainly is not a reasonable way to counteract it.