TULSA — When a man began posting a series of comments complaining about the price of tamales on the Sooner Tamale Company’s Facebook page, the owners responded in a way that they now admit was unprofessional.
Kenny Calhoun tells KRMG he wrote that response, though it was posted through his wife’s profile.
The remark about dog hair and cockroaches, coupled with a reference to “liberal cancel culture b.s.,” touched off a response that Calhoun tells KRMG was ugly.
“We were attacked all day long,” Calhoun said Wednesday. “Phone calls, harrassing phone calls, messages, texts... it was horrible.”
Some even called attention to the Sooner Tamale Co. logo, claiming the cartoon figure of a mustachioed tamale wearing a sombrero is flashing a “white power” hand gesture.
Calhoun calls that ridiculous, saying the logo depicts the universal gesture for “okay.”
And as a result of the furor, Kitchen 66 made the decision to boot Sooner Tamale Co. from its facility at Mother Road Market in Tulsa.
In a statement on the Kitchen 66 Facebook page, Kitchen 66 wrote that the program was “made aware of one of our kitchen members making comments that do not align with our core values. As we have discussed (www.kitchen66tulsa.com/equity), our commitment to antiracism is unwavering. We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind in our workspaces or beyond, and we stand, and act, against racism. The Sooner Tamale Company will no longer be a part of the Kitchen 66 program.”
Calhoun says his company, started in 2017, had been flourishing at Kitchen 66, and was surviving the pandemic.
Now, he hopes to find another kitchen space to rent.