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After accidentally igniting a national debate with a simple photo posted to his Twitter account, ?uestlove has come to the defense of the chef responsible for the controversial Black History Month menu in the cafeteria at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in NYC.

On Saturday, The Roots drummer and musical director for NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” posted the following statement regarding what he calls “Soulfoodgate.”

in the past 3 days a twitpic went from being a funny observation to a national issue. every blogger and his mom weighed in on the issue. in the beginning it seemed harmless enough. but with nbc office employees weighing their two cents in without all the facts and the little bit of hate mail i been getting from uninformed individuals i decided to put this baby to bed with a final statement.

when i saw the sign i have to admit….i was DYING. like literally LMAO!!! maybe it was juxtaposition of the words: collard & history, jalapeno & honor, fried, black and nbc?? maybe it was the acculturative stress of having 28 days for this food that represents you but come march…pot roast for life kid!

whatever the case, I found this funny and when I find something funny I like to let the world in on the joke (twitpic anyone??). in NO way did i ever think that this was some cruel insensitive joke on behalf of jeff zucker and his comrades at nbc (the cafeteria isn’t even owned or operated by nbc).

I kinda get where leslie calhoun (our culinary rosa parks) was coming from; fried chicken as a fragrant, tasty, honorable metaphor for the struggles and accomplishments of america’s black masses.

The problem is..in the blogosphere, things can take on a life of their own. “online journalists”, site commenters, even comedians (see wanda sykes on leno) have now taken my snapshot of leslie’s missionary zeal and retooled it for their own racialized – “let’s bash nbc for their conan sins” – flogging mission. my twitpic was just me poking fun, a Questlove still life that was clearly intended as a joke. what’s even funnier: race issues in post racial america. potluck anyone?????

?uestlove, ever the nice guy, personally apologized to the chef for the unwanted attention and presented her with flowers, and a gift certificate to an upscale NYC spa.

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