Woody Henderson, a resident in the Upper East Side took pictures of the racist sign of President Obama eating chicken in an aesthetically unpleasant manner at the Whole Foods store at Columbus Avenue and 97th Street in New York.
Henderson said he was very offended by the caricature of the President and the message it conveyed. The sign was for a one-day sale of chicken.
Henderson did not just leave the store in disgust after taking the picture of the sign. He did his civic duty and contacted the NBC TV affiliate who preceded to do a story on it.
Whole Foods said it was not their intention to caricature the President. The sign was subsequently removed. After the store responded:
There are certain things that have been used to put down black people; watermelon, fried chicken. … If that same employee had of drawn a picture of a naked woman sitting with her legs wide open and put it in front of the store, what they are basically saying is they would’ve known nothing about it or it had nothing to do with them. They are responsible.
While no one can be sure if the sign was an intentional caricature of the President, or simply the work of a naïve artist, given that the founder of Whole Foods, John Mackey’s recent attacks on the President, calling Obamacare “more like fascism” than socialism, it is rather hard to believe it was not intentional. It will be problematic to many that a store built-in the Liberal city of Austin, Texas by once Liberal John Mackey, who is mostly supported by a Liberal clientele is smearing its reputation by its now plutocratic founder.