The beatings will continue until morale improves and utopia is achieved.
That’s a little snippet from a New York Times story on the cancellation of the James Beard awards for chefs because the black nominees never made it to the finals.
The James Beard Foundation’s declaration last week that it would not announce the winners of this year’s major restaurant and chef awards startled Blake Spalding and Jen Castle, the two chefs who own Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm in Boulder, Utah.
The week before, Ms. Spalding and Ms. Castle had taped a short video at the foundation’s request in which they pretended to accepted the award they had been nominated for, Best Chef Southwest. Told to give a 30-second acceptance speech, they thanked their employees, then clapped and laughed for 90 seconds, as if they had just won.
“Pretended to accepted.”
This is the New York Times with no actual copy desk, just a lot of clickbait. Circa 2017.
But not the real point here. The real point is that the winners were the wrong color.
At an emergency meeting held on Zoom in late July, a foundation staff member who had seen the final voting results raised a second concern: No Black people had won in any of the 23 categories on the ballot.
This year, a number of Black chefs were named as semifinalists or nominees. But they had lost in the final round of voting, according to people who were briefed on the racial breakdown of the results.
“The message came through that they knew who the winners were, and the winners didn’t look like they want them to look,” said one committee member, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of concerns about violating the nondisclosure agreement everyone on the panel is required to sign.
This is the real racism.
But I’m sure, like the Oscars, the James Beard Foundation will overhaul everything until the equivalent of Jordan Peele is winning awards, laughable as that may be, for a torte titled, “White people are evil.”
Meanwhile the James Beard awards were pulling the usual Soviet enemies of the people stuff.
One nominated chef said that a representative of the foundation called two weeks ago to communicate a charge that was both anonymous and nebulous: “toxic kitchen culture.”
“I said, ‘Can you give me an example?’ She said, ‘That’s it. Toxic kitchen culture.’”
The chef said the Beard representative suggested withdrawing from the ballot. “She said, ‘I’m in P.R., so I can give you a bunch of examples of how to do this.’”
This chef, who spoke anonymously to avoid being tainted by the suspicion of misbehavior, refused to drop out, and remains on the list of nominees.
“You don’t know how lucky you are, boy/Back in the U.S.S.R. “
With the traditional Beard awards on pause until 2022, the foundation has said it is taking a year to work with all seven of its awards committees and “an outside social justice agency” to settle on new ground rules. The goal, the foundation said, is to “remove any systemic bias” and make the rosters of candidates even more diverse.
The beatings will continue until we’re rigged things so thoroughly that only the Jordan Peeles can win.