Bo Bice is a name you may not have heard in a while, but the first runner up of Season 4 of American Idol is back with a short spiky ‘do and fresh white tears to baptize your 2017. Bice, it turns out, alleges he’s a recent recipient of racism.
Bice told Atlanta Fox 5 that at Popeye’s in the Hartsfield–Jackson airport on Friday, “One of the three young ladies behind the corner said, ‘He’s already got his, that white boy over there.’”
And...that’s the story. I’ll give you a moment to let that settle in.
Bice did not elaborate on his experience inside the store from there. He did not share more anecdotes about racism. “That white boy” is where it started and ended. It’s his white hill to die on (no offense to white hills). I think he got his chicken?
Bice, incensed at being referred to racially—Can you even imagine...? Oh, you’re a person of color and you can? Hmmmm, never mind—took to Facebook in a now-deleted post detailing the incident. He followed it up with screenshots of that post (with a reference to Popeye’s “RACIST EMPLOYEES”) and a rant decrying the “racist double standards” of the “communist media platform” that is Facebook. (Note: Since this post was published, Bice has since either removed or made private his Facebook post, so screen shots of it are below.)
He also tagged Fox 5, who picked up his story and broadcast him saying things like, “I don’t care if you’re Bo Bice, Bo Jackson, or Bo Diddley, when you’re walking through that airport, you should be treated the same, and when you’re giving your money to an establishment, you should be treated the same as anybody.” Imagine if Bo Bice had to actually endure the treatment black people do in public regularly. Next time Bo Bice enters a store, he should be watched like a hawk, followed, and openly suspected of theft...just for the sake of samesies!
“If the tables had been turned and I had used something...and been as insensitive as to say something like that, you’re talking about I would be boycotted, there would be people not buying my albums, there would be people coming and picketing at my shows, and everything else,” says the rare white man born in Alabama in the ‘70s who apparently has never referred to a “black boy” or “black girl” before.
At the end of the segment Bice cried for having to go on TV, “come down a notch, and look like a petty little brat by tweeting and Facebooking this just to open up dialogue so we can have an adult conversation.” Hmm, that’s one way to put it. Another is to stunt for the sake of principle and/or attention by cynically exploiting the liberal imperative of deferring to the most emotional person in the room.
After the broadcast, Bice took to Facebook again to respond to the social media backlash he received and to underline how his situation is a barometer for the “problem with race relation going on in our society folks.” He also explained his tears with an anecdote that begins, “I began to cry and got emotional because I told a story of buying a build-a-bear for a young girl for Christmas this year in Birmingham who was black.”
Popeye’s responded to Fox 5's inquiry with a statement:
Mack II Inc. is very sorry that the incident occurred and for any pain or embarrassment that Mr. Bice experienced. The company does not condone the behavior of one of our associates and we took corrective action as soon as we were made aware of the incident. Also, we will require re-training of our associates to ensure this isolated incident does not occur again. In addition, Mr. Bice has been issued an apology by the General Manager. We value all of our customers regardless of race, religion, age, disability, gender, etc.
Bice claims in his most recent Facebook post that the woman who called him white (Bice says her name is Shawana) “wasn’t fired, and the reason she wasn’t fired is because I asked Edith Hunter her manager not to do so.” Shawana, if you’re out there, please get in contact and let’s discuss. Love, this white boy.