A restaurant and bar in Connecticut called 323 Main Street came under fired after naming a cocktail “The Tuskegee Experiment.”
The pineapple and rum-filled drink’s name refers to the one of the painful smudges on U.S. history. Back in the 1930s Tuskegee University, a historically Black college in Alabama, collaborated with government scientists to conduct a 40-year medical experiment which ultimately left hundreds of African-American men with untreated syphilis. This was all done so scientists could study the progression of the disease and discover a cure to help white people.
Now, the terrible experiment was used as inspiration for a drink at a tiny restaurant. On Aug. 11, New York City resident Leah Bornstein went to 323 with a friend when she noticed the incendiary cocktail, reported the Westport News.
“I was appalled when I saw it,” she told the local newspaper.
Bornstein said she later spoke with the bartender and called and emailed the owner to have the cocktail removed. A week later, he Tuskegee cocktail was removed from the menu.
Before the drink was removed, Bornstein’s friend Eric Armour posted a photo of 323’s cocktail menu and wrote, “Umm. This is ridiculously horrible.”
According to the photo, the Tuskegee cocktail was among others such as “The Red October,” “Cold War Margarita” and “Capetown Transfusion.”
Emily Clayton, 323’s bar manager, told the Westport News Friday she had never heard of a cocktail called “The Tuskegee Experiment” at the restaurant.
“I had heard someone come in and say something about it but I was confused because we’ve never had a cocktail by that name,” Clayton told Westport News.
Regardless of the manager’s apparent amnesia, Norwalk NAACP President Brenda Penn-Williams condemned the restaurant for making the drink.
“The Norwalk NAACP condemns 323 Main Restaurant for naming a drink after ‘The Tuskegee Experiment,’ based on facts the Tuskegee syphilis experiment was an infamous, unethical and malicious clinical study conducted between 1932 thru 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service which was mean and evil. To conduct such an experiment on rural, uneducated African-American men which was the leading cause of death is a travesty of injustice and a lack of human regard. It is a shame that 323 Main Restaurant continued with the same racist mind set in these times,” Penn-Williams said in a statement.
(Photo: Westport News via Facebook)