Ikea is Swedish, so how could they understand how completely illogical American culture is?
Someone should’ve told the corporate bigwigs at IKEA that fried chicken, watermelon and collard greens may not have been the best food items to add to a menu to celebrate Juneteenth.
Employees at an Atlanta IKEA store were outraged after management arranged a Juneteenth menu that they deemed racially insensitive.
CBS affiliate WGCL-TV spoke to employees who said that the store’s management sent out an email last week, featuring the menu for customers and employees which was supposed to “honor and persevere Black Americans.”
The initial menu also featured mac and cheese and collard greens.
Employees said the move “caused a lot of people to be upset,” and added that “people actually wanted to quit, people weren’t coming back to work.”
“You cannot say serving watermelon on Juneteenth is a soul food menu when you don’t even know the history, they used to feed slaves watermelon during the slave time,” one employee explained.
After the menu started circulating, 33 people reportedly called out from work, prompting the unidentified store manager to send an internal email shortly after, apologizing for the menu.
“I truly apologize if the menu came off as subjective,” the apology read. “It was created with the best of intentions by a few of our coworkers who believed they were representing their culture and tradition with these foods of celebration.”
The manager, who reportedly didn’t work with Black employees to set up the menu, said she changed the menu later, adding collard greens, corn bread, mashed potatoes and meatloaf.
“None of the coworkers who sat down to create the menu — nobody was Black,” one employee told WGCL-TV. “It’s not a good look when you don’t include Black people in your effort to celebrate Black culture.”
Employees countered the claim, noting that she only pushed it off by a day, as it still featured “fried chicken, mac and cheese and collard greens.”
Customers also felt the menu was insulting, with one telling the outlet that they were “frankly disappointed in the learning process,” adding that “you shouldn’t learn after you have insulted all of your black employees.”
The 1866 day that slaves in Galveston, Texas, learned that slavery ended in the U.S. two years prior has taken on a sharper focus, with President Biden signing into law a bill making June 19 Juneteenth National Independence Day.
In New York state – which officially signed the Juneteenth into law last fall – many company employees observed the holiday on June 18.
Historically known as Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, and Black Independence Day, Juneteenth has always been celebrated with picnics, parades, cooking, baseball games — and in Galveston, barbecuing and rodeos are also part of the mix, according to Juneteenth.com.