Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ethnic group to protest Cracker Barrel name

August, 2013–Crowds plan to gather outside a popular Texas restaurant next weekend, and it won’t be to line up for Grandpa's Country Fried Breakfast®.

No, this meal mashup is part of a nationwide protest against the Cracker Barrel Restaurant chain. Neil Daly, President of White Hispanics & Tan Europeans (W.H.I.T.E), is leading the effort.

Daly–noting the national hoopla over the racist and demeaning names of sports teams such as the Redskins, Braves, and Chiefs–is focused on removing “racist” names of the popular restaurants that line the national interstate highway system.

“They call it Cracker Barrel, for goodness sake!” said Daly, who claims English-Irish descent. “How can they name a restaurant ‘Cracker?’ We all know what that means. It is a demeaning putdown of the newest minority of Texans. Don’t tell me it’s a coincidence. Just step inside any Cracker Barrel anywhere and what do you see? A bunch of older white people eating grits, buying pecan logs, and listening to Boxcar Willie CDs. Don’t tell me that’s not stereotyping.”

A Cracker Barrel spokesman dismissed any racial undertones in the name of the restaurant.

“When our founder chose the name Cracker Barrel, he was referring to the old general store practice of selling crackers, pickles, and sewing needles in large barrels placed by the counter,” the spokesman said. “While we realize the meanings of words change, we didn’t expect there to be any problem with the word ‘cracker.’ Now, ‘crack’ we were worried about. We were afraid patrons might equate that with meth labs, which are often found within a few blocks of many of our restaurant locations. Or ‘Morning Sampler.’ But not ‘cracker.’”

Daly noted that protesters plan to slow down the already “measured” service, by taking longer to decide on whether to order home fries or hash browns with the pancakes on their The Cracker Barrel Country Boy Breakfast®. Protesters also plan to stand outside the front doors of the busy restaurants. Or, as Daly explained, “We might sit in those wooden rocking chairs. Our protestors are a bit older and those rockers are mighty comfortable.”

Even with the access to comfortable seating, Daly cautions this won’t be a quick fix.

“We realize we are facing a big challenge with these methods, as it will be hard to detect any difference from a typical customer experience at Cracker Barrel. But we are willing to make some sacrifices to finally get rid of the ‘C’ word.”

The group does not plan to stop at protesting Cracker Barrels. Daly listed possible future targets such as White Castle, Pale Ale, and any establishment that calls itself a “honkytonk.”

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