Here is something for your “You Must Be Joking!” file.

From Portland comes this bizarre story.

Portland school sees racism in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches [You can’t make this … stuff up.]

In an effort to combat perceived discrimination, one Portland school seems to have gone off the deep end by suggesting peanut butter and jelly sandwiches carry racist connotations, Twitchy reported Monday.

According to the Portland Tribune, Verenice Gutierrez, principal of Harvey Scott K-8 School, “picks up on the subtle language of racism” on a daily basis.

“Take the peanut butter sandwich, a seemingly innocent example a teacher used in a lesson last school year,” the Tribune said.

What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” Gutierrez asked. [?!?] “Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?’ Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.”

“Insert flabbergasted face,” the Twitchy staff wrote.

One person asked on Twitter: “[W]hat’s the verdict on grilled cheese? Racist? Sexist?” [YES!  Clearly, that’s racist.  Any food that does not include all possible ethnic connotations is RACIST. Otherwise, perhaps we should start serving the kiddies Soylent Green.]

The food at my kids’ schools hates everyone,” tweeted Melissa Clouthier.

With the suggestion that a sandwich is racist, Twitchy said the discussion on race “has moved beyond slack-jawed incredulity into total self-parody territory.”

“What is racist about a child’s lunch, one might ask? Peanut butter and jelly, of course! You racists probably even use black currant jelly sometimes. On white bread,” Twitchy added.

The Tribune noted that the school started the new year with “intensive staff trainings, frequent staff meetings, classroom observations and other initiatives,” to help educators understand their own “white privilege,” in order to “change their teaching practices to boost minority students’ performance.” [I wonder what the student test scores are in that school.]


“Guess what? When everything is racist, then nothing actually is,” Twitchy said.

This is crazy stuff.

To think that my old friend Archbp. Sample has to try to function in that town.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Magpie says:

    This is nothing new. Only last week, I opened the biscuit tin and was shocked to hear a custard cream use racist language against a chocolate digestive. Of course I put the custard cream in isolation and ate the chocolate digestive. And don’t you accuse me of racism!

  2. Muv says:

    Those people must have a fit reading washing instructions. 90 degrees, whites only etc etc. I have seen washing machine dials that read like apartheid.

  3. Then it’s perhaps Ms. Gutierez who is the racist and sees everything American as coming from “evil WHITE people” – including PBJ. I noticed that she didn’t mention the ethnic cultures of Dutch, German, Irish, English, French, or German – don’t know about their taste for PBJ, but they don’t seem to get any recognition here.

  4. Kathleen10 says:

    “Racism” is a booming industry. If you took all the people who make a living from “racism”, you’d have alot of people. Take this fool. Ms. Gutierrez is making probably a very nice living from promoting the concept of “racism under every rock”. Ms. Gutierrez has probably earned an advanced degree, quite possibly with the help of student loans and grants, and somehow found herself at the relative top of the heap, training educators in how racist they are even though they didn’t know it. I remember sitting in grad school being told how they really wanted people of color in our field and wondering why we were made to feel bad for being Caucasians. I mean, what were WE supposed to do about it? It was like it was a big disappointment that we were there instead of a person of color. How absurd.
    These old canards are gold to the intellectual elites. They claim “heterosexism” is the bias of our culture against homosexuality, and “racism” underpins American society, with stupid examples such as the one mentioned. What they are attacking is just American culture. The fact that we have a culture is an insult to these true racists, who see everything in terms of color. White Americans tend to accept guilt very readily, we’ve been raised on racial guilt, or there would be more pushback on this, which is what needs to happen in order to make it go away or at least stem it. But it’s hard, when these people pay you and are like Nazi’s about what you do and think.
    Imagine going to Mexico and telling them they are biased and prejudiced because their teacher used the taco as an example in class. Or Germany and the teacher used “struedel”. Too many Americans sit still for this stuff. We’ve got to learn to speak up and complain, organize and be bolder.
    What needs to happen is each state has to address it’s own. There are too many cultural attacks going on. It’s a full court press. Each state’s residents has to take responsibility for it’s own stuff.
    When things like this happen, people have got to speak up! These people are literally trying to take away our own culture. I don’t mean so much the people who work for the school, sad to say. You do that if you have tenure perhaps. But I have to say, teachers generally follow the herd, which is heavily, heavily Democrat. So there will be alot of teachers who will just nod and agree. (ugh) They certainly aren’t going to jeopardize their situation.
    Citizens could be more involved with their public schools than they realize. Schools are paid for by taxes of course, and the educational elites do realize that this is so. Citizens, whether or not they have a child in the system, can ask questions, get involved, and participate in any number of discussions. If twenty people made an appointment with some state administrators over this, or superintendents, it would get attention. I know it’s hard. It’s not like we are all sitting around with energy to spare for another cause. But even an email or phone call is something. Push back a little.
    Oy. What a world.

  5. JohnE says:

    Real life is going to put The Onion out of business.

  6. iPadre says:

    The whole world is going down the drain. From day to day we think it wouldn’t / couldn’t get crazier, it does.

    I wonder what a bacon and cheese burger medium well symbolizes!

  7. Tantum Ergo says:

    It really saddens me to see how racist I’ve been all these 66 years of my life. I admit it… I have eaten WHITE bread, and with racially insensitive peanut butter and jelly too! Mea maxima culpa!

  8. sejoga says:

    One person asked on Twitter: “[W]hat’s the verdict on grilled cheese? Racist? Sexist?”

    Grilled cheese *is* sexist! When I was about 7 years old and my sister was about 4, I ordered grilled cheese at a diner one evening and she turned to me and said, “You can’t have girl cheese. You have to eat boy cheese!”

    Flash forward to a year or so ago, and I was eating out with my sister and her daughter. And I order grilled cheese… and my 4 or 5 year old niece smirks sheepishly and says, “Um… I think you have to eat boy cheese.”

    So…. clearly there’s something to that. :)

  9. Lin says:

    Soylent Green may already be a reality under this administration!

  10. persyn says:

    Reason 3,823 to homeschool.

  11. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    And George Washington Carver…?

    Thank God someone has the sense to be keeping people alive and well-nourished with specially adapted peanut butter in… part of Africa, for example!

  12. Liz says:

    I do wonder how these poor bishops do it. I do sometimes pray for Archbishop Sample when I think about what he is up against, and actually Archbishop Cordileone and Bishop Paprocki too and so on. God bless them all. It’s nuts out there.

  13. inexcels says:

    I tried to think of something witty to say, but no matter what I come up with, it’s not nearly as ridiculous as PBJ being racist.

    I think satire is officially obsolete.

  14. Evovae says:

    The most obnoxious thing about this story is that if you read the woman’s comments, she does have a sliver of an important point to make about the importance of using unrecognizable objects for children in schools if they happen to come from other cultures. But that doesn’t make it “racist” to continue to use those objects.

    Someone somewhere had a great web post about how the Left, because it can only see victims and oppressors, doesn’t understand that assimilation is a two-way street.

  15. Ellen says:

    There’s a man named Tim Wise who rakes in the bucks giving speeches and workshops about White Privilege. There’s a woman named Jane Elliot who does a brown eyes, blue eyes workshop which purports to show how racist we all are (exception people of color of course). I am sick to death of it.
    I treat everyone with kindness and respect and I resent the well paid professional bigots accusing me of what they themselves are.

  16. Mike says:

    One imagines somewhere in Portland a budding candidate for city office who will run on a “PBJ For All!” platform on the ticket of the McGillicuddy Serious Party.

  17. Mariana2 says:

    And what about milk! And cream – rich AND white!

  18. CatholicMD says:

    Which is why my wife and I are planning on homeschooling our 9 month and all of her future siblings.

    “Push back against the age as hard as it pushes against you. What people don’t realize is how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when of course it is the cross.”
    -Flannery O’Connor

  19. wmeyer says:

    We are surrounded by the modernist version of functional illiterates: Those whose belief system is shaped only by government school propaganda and that of the liberal media. Never having studied rhetoric, being incapable of logical reasoning, and having barely passed their “creative spelling” and “creative grammar”, they nonetheless get more than their 15 minutes of fame, spewing the sort of nonsense we find from Ms. Gutierrez. Another excellent example was “we have to pass it so you can find out what’s in it.” Yet another: “This will be the most transparent administration in history.”

    All nonsense, and all delivered to those same functional illiterates. And they vote and breed. Not pretty.

  20. sunbreak says:

    I am not surprised. Here in Portlandia, there was the 24 Hour Church of Elvis (now closed again), Voodoo Donuts and miscellaneous other things to earn the informal motto of Portland, “Keep Portland Weird.”
    Out of curiousity, I did look up the academic status of the school and found this: In the 2011-2012 Oregon Statewide Assessments, 49% of the students did not meet the state standards in English, 70% did not meet standards in Math and almost 60% did not meet standards in Science.

  21. ajf1984 says:

    How bizarre that the same day I heard about the racism inherent in the humble PJ&J, I also read through Zagat’s “50 States, 50 Sandwiches” feature. Guess what Oregon’s is? A gussied-up PB&J, from ironically-named PBJs Grilled food truck in Northwest Portland! (http://www.zagat.com/b/50-states-50-sandwiches#37). Oh sure, it’s made with marionberry jam and Oregon’s own hazelnut butter, along with some delicious looking bleu cheese on Challah bread, but underneath all those diverse trappings, it’s still a racist PB&J!

  22. Sonshine135 says:

    The only thing that keeps the non-issue of a PBJ being racist is that there are so many people who will contemplate that idiotic idea and find value in it.

  23. acricketchirps says:

    Soylent Green is racist… IT’S WHITE PEOPLE!

  24. John Nolan says:

    Grilled cheese is known as Welsh rarebit, a corruption of Welsh rabbit, a racist dig at those beyond Offa’s Dyke who (unlike the English) couldn’t afford to eat meat. Peanut butter is the most disgusting thing ever spread on bread, and who on earth puts jelly in a sandwich? It’s far too wobbly. I’d settle for jam, but NOT with peanut butter (ugh)! [I guess that’s a “no” vote.]

  25. Mr. Green says:

    Gutierrez: “What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches? Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly […]’”

    Apart from the possible implication that Somali and Hispanic kids might be too dumb to figure out what sandwiches are (whether they eat them or not), this champion of racial sensitivity just excluded Somali and Hispanic students from “Americans”. ’Cuz you couldn’t be Hispanic and American at the same time, could you? Everybody knows that Hispanic children comes from places like Mexico, which is clearly not a place in the Americas… or else they’d speak American there, right?!?

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