O-Funk, A Whole New Era

By Jesse Taylor
Monday, January 26, 2009 3:39 EDT
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imageWhere the rhythm is the bass and the bakers are the racists.


A shocked customer tells My Fox NY that Ted Kefalinos, proprietor of Lafayette French Pastry, asked her, “Would you like some drunken negro heads to go with your coffee? They’re in honor of our new president. He’s following in the same path of Abraham Lincoln; he will get his.”


Later, her friend stopped by the bakery and said Kefalinos corrected her about the name of the cookies—they’re actually drunken “N-word” cookies. She says the backwards baker then repeated the dark suggestion that, like Lincoln, President Obama “will get what’s coming to him.”

We brings:

“I called them Drunken Negro Heads. What’s the problem with that?” Kefalinos asks the newscaster with a smirk. “On Inauguration Day I thought it would be cool to change the name to Obama Heads. I just changed it for the day.”


Kefalinos denies intimating that Obama would be assassinated, and insists that the cookie is “not unflattering. I think it’s a fun face… And anyone who says anything else should be ashamed of themselves.” Besides, nobody got upset about the “Dead Geese Bread” he sold after the recent Hudson River plane crash. (We’re NOT making that up.) Also, Kefalinos insists he can’t be racist because, for one thing, “my brother-in-law, he’s Cuban.”

What I’m most impressed about, reading over the entire thing and watching the video interview of Kefalinos, is that this isn’t just racist. Modern racism, you expect a thin veil of semi-plausible deniability, like someone calling the new black guy at work a “dark messenger” – obviously because he was grumpy one day, and not at all because he’s dark-skinned – not someone making freakish-looking lumps of crap, calling them “Drunken Negro Cookies” and then darkly intimating about the impending murder of a black President. That’s some 1918 ten thousand-person Klan rally in the streets of Memphis racism right there.

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
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