Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dangerous watermelon

At the National Book Awards last November, Daniel Handler, better known as the children’s author Lemony Snicket, bounded onstage after Jacqueline Woodson won a top prize for “Brown Girl Dreaming,” the chronicle of her family’s history from slavery to civil rights. As the applause for her award died down, Mr. Handler, the evening’s M.C., told the crowd that Ms. Woodson had once shared with him over lunch that she was allergic to watermelon.

“Just let that sink in,” he said.

It didn’t take long. The next day, authors and critics decried his remarks as insensitive and racist. Mr. Handler took to Twitter and apologized for overshadowing his friend’s achievement with what he called “my own ill-conceived attempts at humor.” Underscoring his regret, he offered to donate funds to the “We Need Diverse Books” campaign Ms. Woodson supports. Ms. Woodson responded with an opinion article on the Op-Ed page in The New York Times that said that Mr. Handler, in making light of the racist association of African-Americans and watermelon, “came from a place of ignorance.”



Anonymous said...

I like watermelon and I am a Caucasian conservative.

Anonymous said...

Plants and their fruiting bodies ain't racist, and don't confer 'racism' on their consumers.

Anonymous said...

Good thing he didn't mention southern fried chicken.

slinky said...

"I am a Caucasian conservative."

I am sorry for you. Medication may help.