That Barack Obama enjoys vast popularity worldwide is not in dispute. So, what better way to cash in on—er, pay homage to—American's first black president than by ... naming and marketing a fried-chicken product after him? That's what Sprehe, a German frozen-food company, apparently figured, considering its new fried-chicken item known as "Obama-Fingers."
Judith Witting, a Sprehe sales manager, says it never occured to her that this might be offensive. "It was supposed to be a homage to the American lifestyle and the new U.S. president," she tells German media outlet Spiegel Online. But some African Americans are crying foul. The New York Daily News reports that a local councilman is calling for a boycott of the product, which is no closer to Brooklyn than Berlin is. "This sends a shiver down the spines of Germans and Americans, given our interesting histories of race and racism," adds a professor at the University of South Carolina.
Still, Witting claims that any offense was, well, unwitting. And to prove it, she's willing to unflatteringly compare her fellow countryfolk to ours: "We noticed that American products and the American way of eating are trendy at the moment. Americans are more relaxed. Not like us stiff Germans, like [chancellor Angela] Merkel." Keep digging that grave, Judith.
—Posted by Laura Shanahan