The real reason you should feel guilty for drinking one of these vile concoctions is that it’s terrible, and also full of calories—380 if made with 2% milk (that’s the equivalent of eight tablespoons of sugar). But to each their own.
But Gillian Brockell, staff writer for the Washington Post‘s history section, thinks that you need to be aware of the drink’s genocidal history. Why?
a.) because it contains nutmeg
b.) because nutmeg was originally grown in the Banda Islands (in what is now Indonesia), which were seized by the Portuguese and then the Dutch, who exploited the nutmeg and mace trade. The Dutch then fought the Bandanese, leading to a terrible attrition of the population and then enslavement of those who survived.
Yes, that’s right. You should avoid the Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) because of the history behind one of the spices in the drink. Read and weep at The Washington Post (click on the screenshot):
Now Brockell doesn’t explicitly say that you shouldn’t drink the concoction because of its history, but that’s the implicit message:
She then recounts the history of the Banda Islands, winding up with a helpful reminder of how many Starbucks in Manhattan peddle the white-supremacist drink:
Now at first I thought this was a big joke—a spoof of Callout Culture. But I doubt it, especially given the articles that Brockell has written previously for the Post, which are largely about racism, slavery, and history. One could also argue that Brockell is just giving us a history lesson, but I seriously doubt it. After all, nutmeg is in lots of stuff. No, she’s executing a huge stretch to tie PSLs to white supremacy culture and genocide. Could anything be more inane?
Of course, nutmeg now comes from many places; as Wikipedia notes,
World production of nutmeg is estimated to average between 10,000 and 12,000 tonnes per year, with annual world demand estimated at over 9,000 tonnes; production of mace is estimated at 1,500 to 2,000 tonnes. Indonesia, with world market share of 75%, and Grenada, with 20%, dominate production and exports of both products. Other producers include India, Malaysia (especially Penang, where the trees grow wild within untamed areas), Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, and Caribbean islands such as St. Vincent.
One could, I suppose make the case that all of these places suffered from colonialism, but that’s not relevant, because now they’re independent. Should one then avoid all foods that contain nutmet? Why doesn’t Brockell just come out and say that we shouldn’t drink this stuff rather than hint at it obliquely.
This article is trash, pure and simple, and it’s shameful that the Post published it. I used to think the Post was free from the encroaching Wokeness that’s ruining the New York Times, but no, they have to emit nonsense like this.
And if you want to say, “So what? It’s only one trivial article in a newspaper”, be aware that this is emblematic of what is happening to liberal journalism everywhere. Is there any Left-leaning venue that hasn’t succumbed to Wokeness?