Dr. Darden’s Ice Cream Flavors

ice-creams

It wasn’t Sunday afternoon if you didn’t stroll down to Dr. Darden’s drug store for a little social life and a scoop or two of his wonderful ice cream. He made it himself, chopping bits off of the ice block, mixing it with salt and tossing it into the wooden tub, then churning patiently, whistling while he worked, until the luscious confection was ready to serve. Vanilla and chocolate were the weekly staples, but every week a new special flavor was adopted or invented. It might be “spice,” fragrant with cinnamon and nutmeg, or fig, strawberry, banana, pineapple, rum raisin, tutti frutti, caramel, peanut butter . . . even fruit cake for Christmas.

ice cream churn

Hand-churned ice cream is hard work, but no doubt Dr. Darden enjoyed the break from his weekday routine. In the early years of the twentieth century he was the only black doctor within a thirty-mile radius and he often worked eighteen-hour days. Continue reading

Playing the Race Card and the New Western Imperialism

Dunkin Donuts

Thailand is the only southeast-Asian nation that was never colonized by western powers, and the Thai pride themselves on being a “land of the free.” But now it seems that some in the West want to impose a bit of cultural imperialism on the Thai.

Recently American media have criticized racist advertising in Thailand. Time complained about a Dunkin’ Donuts ad that featured a woman whose face was painted black, and then The New Yorker rehashed that story when complaining that Naomi Campbell appeared too white on the cover of Vogue Thailand.

According to these media outlets, Thailand has a problem with racism. The Thai consider light skin beautiful; therefore, they must be racists. The manipulating of skin color in advertisements offends some Americans; therefore, the Thai must be racist. The companies involved have issued non-apologies for these transgressions against American sensibilities; therefore, the Thai must be racist. All this hand wringing is nonsense, and if anyone has a right to be offended it’s the Thai.

Continue reading