The casino’s Metropolitan Restaurant served the “Martin Luther King Jr., Special” on Monday. (Photo Courtesy of Twitter)
An intended tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King went awry when an Atlantic City casino offered fried chicken, collard greens and macaroni and cheese on its menu.
Professional poker player Shaun Deeb was at the Borgata Casino on Jan. 19 when he saw one of its restaurants advertising an Martin Luther King Day menu that included fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, sweet potato casserole and a slice of pecan pie for $24, according to Philadelphia magazine. He took a picture of the oversized menu and posted it to his Twitter page with the hashtag #isitracist.
The image garnered thousands of comments. Some Twitter users felt it reflected racist stereotypes. Others felt critics were being overly sensitive and were taking political correctness too far.
The Borgata responded to Deeb’s tweet, saying: “We intended to honor the weekend by offering some of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s favorite foods as reported by many sources.”
Borgata senior vice-president Joe Lupo also issued an official statement amid the uproar.
“Our general manager of the restaurant is an African American female who wanted to come up with the menu to celebrate and honor Dr. King,” Lupo said, as quoted by the magazine. “We allow our managers to run their restaurants. She did research and came up with an authentic recipe. It’s very clear that these were his favorite foods.”
Lupo added that the menu followed the Borgata restaurants’ tradition of offering other holiday-specific menus, including Mexican food on Cinco de Mayo, Irish food for St. Patrick’s Day and Chinese food for Chinese New Year.