Dear racists, here’s what a REAL “Compton Cookout” looks like.

UC San Diego officials are looking into a party that was held earlier this week off-campus. As the LA Times reported, the party was dubbed a “Compton Cookout” and organizers encouraged people to come dressed as ho’s and served fried chicken and watermelon.

“In Sacramento, Assemblyman Isadore Hall III (D-Compton) said leaders of the Legislature's black, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, gay and women's caucuses would gather outside the Capitol on Thursday to condemn the party.”

I’ll let the above groups take on the racist attitudes. But meantime, what was described is not what any party I’ve been to The Comptons is like. It so happens my husband’s family lives in The Comptons and so I have not only discovered a Compton donut shop that makes the finest apple fritters in the world, and shopped at Compton’s surprisingly well-stocked Food4Less (lots of vegetarian options and good produce), but I’ve attended more “Compton Cookouts” than 99% of San Diegans.

Here are some shots from one of Grandma’s barbecues … a diverse crowd (Anglo, Latino, Cambodian, African-American, etc.), tons of good food (yes, including fried chicken, but then we had Dinah’s fried chicken at my wedding and I’m as white as Andy Griffith); beer (no malt liquor), rum, and tequila; and for music? KCRW, KKJZ, and CD’s with “ghetto” favorites like … Steely Dan.

Just a little of the food:


Brian Thuok:


Our now famous Grandma, Delfina Bermudez:



Julian, Randy and Jack:


My sister Clare, indicating exactly how much hot sauce to use … and my brother in law Larry agreeing, of course:


The racists also said something about fights breaking out at a typical party. First, I don't think this is confined to the ghetto (watch any reality tv show); and second, all I know is you couldn't hear a fight breaking out at Grandma's because everyone's laughing too loud.

(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp.)

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