As soon as Juneteenth became a federal holiday, businesses couldn’t wait to cash in on harmful Black stereotypes. Last month, it was Walmart that tried their hand at making a quick profit with their now infamous Juneteenth ice cream.
Not only did the company receive intense online backlash for its cultural insensitivity, Walmart publicly apologized and immediately pulled it from its shelves. Now, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has come under fire for a different culinary product that attempts to pay homage to Juneteenth.
What is it about this holiday that encourages white folks to run to the kitchen and whip up something racist?
On Friday, the Museum posted a public invite to its “Juneteenth Jamboree.” When a screenshot of the institution’s Juneteenth watermelon salad started to circulate, controversy quickly ensued.
Like Walmart, the Children’s museum issued an apology and pulled the salad from shelves:
“As a museum, we apologize and acknowledge the negative impact that stereotypes have on Black communities. The salad has been removed from the menu. We are currently reviewing how we may best convey these stories and traditions during this year’s Juneteenth celebration as well as making changes around how future food selections are made by our food service provider.
As we work to create a culture of empowerment and inclusivity, we know there will be stumbles along the way. As a museum, we have put a significant effort behind sharing the critical and diverse stories of a wide range of individuals. We also have placed a strong emphasis on expanding DEAI initiatives throughout the museum. We resolve to do better, and continue bringing all voices forward in our work.”
Even more ironically, Indianapolis’ population is 29 percent Black. From plates to ice cream, t-shirts to salads, the hold capitalism has on the economy is strong—and will only lead to even more corporations trying to make a quick buck over the painful history of Black folks.