Culture

A Fight Turned Fatal After Two Men Got Into An Argument Over A Popeyes Chicken Sandwich

The craze for Popeyes Chicken sandwich just got ridiculous

Fans of chicken went mad earlier this summer when fast-food restaurant chain Popeyes Chicken launched its first-ever Chicken Sandwich. It didn’t take long for the greasy fried goodness to launch a wild haze of long lines, feuds about whether Chick-Fil-A did it better and a slew of shortages. The hype over the restaurant’s newly beloved chicken sandwich got real, real fast. But the restaurant’s recent re-release of the Chicken sandwich has many wondering if it’s really worth it? Particularly considering because recent news coverage of the new food item has been about life and death.

On Monday, a man at a  Maryland Popeyes was stabbed to death in what appears to have been an argument over the newly re-released Chicken Sandwich.

Police say that the 28-year-old-man who was stabbed to death outside of the restaurant around 7 p.m. on Monday evening had gotten into an encounter with another man over the sandwich. According to Prince George’s County Police spokeswoman Jennifer Donelan the stabbing occurred in Oxon Hill, Maryland — nearly 12 miles south of Washington D.C.– and occurred when one of the two men began to use the other of cutting in from of him in the line while waiting for the chicken sandwich.  

It didn’t take long for the argument to make a turn for the worse when it spilled outside of the packed restaurant and into its parking lot.

According to police, authorities were contacted to come to the scene around 7 p.m. local time. Soon after, the 28-year-old victim was taken to a local hospital and was pronounced dead a little around an hour later.

According to ABC News Donelan told reporters at a press conference Monday night that  “homicide detectives are hard at work on this one, but we have been able to determine preliminary that this is related to the release of the sandwich here at this restaurant.” The spokesperson went onto remark that “to get that angry over anything and to develop into this type of violence, again, is a very sad and tragic day.”  

In response to the stabbing, Popeyes released a statement to ABC News saying that it was “very sad to hear about the tragedy.” 

“We do not yet know whether this was the result of a dispute over one of our products or something unrelated, but there is no reason for someone to lose their life on a Monday night in a parking lot,” the spokesperson told ABC. “Our thoughts are with the victim’s family and friends and we are fully cooperating with local authorities.”

Sadly, it’s not the first time the simple food item on the Popeye’s menu has caused problems.

During the sandwich’s original release in August and September, a group of people stormed a Popeyes in Houston Texan with a gun over sold-out chicken sandwiches. At the time, police reported that a group of people rushed a Popeyes with a gun after they had been told at the drive-thru window the restaurant was out of the popular sandwich. 

According to a statement released by the Houston Chronicle, Houston police Lt. Larry Crowson told the outlet at the time that “When the manager told [the customers that the restaurant was] out, one of the males became upset and pulled a pistol and demanded a chicken sandwich. The manager again informed them they were out of sandwiches.” 

At the time, employees at the restaurant were able to lock the doors of the store before the attackers were able to get inside. 

In a separate incident, a man from Tennessee sued Popeyes for “false advertising” of the chicken sandwich because they had failed to restock the sandwich.

Reports that Popeyes has increased employee demand has also been born from the frenzy around the sandwich. Debate about the treatment of workers has also arisen as an issue. 

While there has been plenty of comedic content around the Chicken Sandwich Wars, an image of a tired Popeyes worker pointed out the very human aspect of this capitalistic push when the sandwich first came out. While Popeye’s makes bank off of the mania surrounding their new sandwiches, their employees are facing an increase in labor without increased financial compensation. 

The hourly pay rate at Popeye’s ranges, on average, from $7.29 to $12.33 an hour depending on state minimum wage. With all the free online hype that Black Twitter has given this sandwich, Popeye’s has received about $23 Million in free press. Obviously, the chicken chain has benefitted financially from this exchange but has made no move to compensate the workers who are making it possible. The unfair division of work and profit is very obvious and is nothing to joke about. 

Twitter wasn’t feeling this call to meme-ify the exhausted employee pic.   

TWITTER / @DANAVIVIANWHITE

Twitter user @DanaVivianWhite summed up exactly why this attempt to meme this situation is in such poor taste. As her tweet suggests, this worker likely spends a whole 8-hour shift on her feet without the benefits of vacation time or even a livable wage. The instinct to dehumanize her pain and turn it into a mock-able Internet moment is a grossly inappropriate one and it shows the lack of sensitivity that people have towards service workers and the suffering of Black women in particular.  

Other users pointed out the irony of this image circulating on the Internet during Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. 

TWITTER / @PORTIA_BARTLEY

The exhausted female worker meme came into being around the same time as Black Women’s Equal Pay Day — a day when we reflect on the wide wage gap that Black women face. Other than Latinas, Black women are the most unequally paid group. It takes an additional 8 months for the pay that Black women receive to equal what their male counterparts make in a year. For this meme to be introduced to the Internet on the same day as Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is not only shameful, it’s completely insensitive to the struggles of these women.  Instead of making this woman into a meme, energy should be put into helping her and treating her like a human being.

TWITTER / @DANAVIVIANWHITE

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the people we see on the Internet are real and are experiencing real pain. They are entitled to compassion and respect — especially this woman. Instead of making her exhaustion and labor into a joke, we should use it as a motivator to fight for greater wages and benefits for overworked employees. This picture is not meme material but it should be shared as a reminder that these employees deserve much more than they are getting.

This woman isn’t the only one to feel the exhaustion of the demands being put on Popeye’s workers.  

TWITTER / @WHYSLEXMAD

Service workers are some of the most disrespected employees and Popeye’s employees are getting an extra serving of abuse from frustrated customers. Abusing overworked, underpaid food workers is disgraceful. It is not their job to take the disrespect of their customers. No one is paid enough to deal with this. 

These employees don’t have options. Often, they aren’t able to look for another job if they are unhappy with their current one. Workers like the exhausted woman are stuck in their situation but it is one that they don’t deserve. We don’t have to make it worse by denying their pain and turning their suffering into entertainment.  The new Popeye’s sandwich might be delicious but it’s not worth the human struggles. If the chicken chain doesn’t soon find a way to compensate their workers for their labor, they will see a backlash from employees and concerned customers and they will lose the Chicken Sandwich Wars. 

Geesh Louise guys, I never thought I had to say this but stop the violence. It’s just a sandwich.

A Geographer Just Created A Digital Map Of Mexico Highlighting Taco Shops And It’s A Thing Of Beauty

Culture

A Geographer Just Created A Digital Map Of Mexico Highlighting Taco Shops And It’s A Thing Of Beauty

featured image credit goes here

One of the biggest changes that the so called digital revolution has brought to our lives is the capacity that today’s computer systems have to process huge amounts of data. Processors today are able to run algorithms that bring together millions of data entries to find trends, cluster groups of similar objects and generate visualizations that can help us understand even the most complex aspects of science and culture. This is known popularly as “big data” and has changed the ways in which governments and companies understand reality and make decisions. For example, before high speed processing mathematicians took literally years to make sense of census data and find correlations between factors such as socioeconomic status, ethnicity, age and literacy levels.

Guess what? This can be done today with a few clicks as computers bring together millions upon millions of data entries and make sense of it all. It all sounds very geeky, but big data is defining how we live our lives, from how traffic lights coordinate to how much tax you gotta pay each year.

So all this geeky, nerdy stuff should be put to good use, o no?

Enter Mexican geographer Baruch Sangines, a true wizard when it comes to generating great data visualizations.

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Credit: @datavizero / Twitter

This young scientist is the Chief Data Scientist at a company called Jetty, and he does some pretty groundbreaking research on pressing social issues such as housing and poverty.

His LinkedIn profile is pretty impressive: “Experience in public and private sector with skills to analyze and visualize data related to: commuting, transit, housing, tourism, migration, security, and urban environment. Expert in territorial analysis and passionate about the cartography and the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to visualize small and big data”. Wow. hold your horses, Einstein! He is a proud graduate of Mexico’s National University and has Master’s Degree on Demographics and Statistics. 

So why did he go viral on Mexican social media in the past few days? We mean, science is sexy but not viral sexy (sadly!). All because of this map:

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Credit: @datavizero / Twitter

No, it is not a visualization of WiFi points in Mexico. No, it is not a rendition of cartel activity. No, it is not a highlight of the areas in which development runs at a faster pace. It is about something much, much more relevant to everyday life in Mexico lindo y querido. Any guesses?

Nothing is more important than a delicious taco when you most need it! 

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Credit: The Splendid Table

Just look at that tortilla, a bit crispy, a bit soft… and that perfectly marinated meat… 

Well, Baruch created a visualization of taco stands in Mexico and nos ponemos de pie ante tal maravilla! 

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Baruch called this visualization Taco Universe, and it showcases all the registered taco stands and shops in the country. We can clearly see that there is a high concentration of taco shrines in the capital Mexico City, and that hotspots like Cancun and Cabo are also highlighted, perhaps thanks to gringo tourism craving fish tacos. The scientists used the database Directorio Estadístico Nacional de Unidades Económicas (Denue) (Statistical National Directory of Economic Units) from the federal census agency INEGI. The map highlights how taco culture is primarily based in the center of the country, with local varieties such as Puebla’s tacos arabes (a shawarma like type) increasing the traffic in that area. 

But it is important to note that many taco stands are not accounted for (and that is not this scientist’s fault).

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Thousands of Mexicans subsist in an informal economy with businesses that are not registered and pay no taxes. Among these businesses, mobile taco stands reign supreme. There are hundreds of taco stands all around the country that are set up informally. Sometimes you can find the most delicious tacos there! You can also find informal vendors selling tacos de canasta, a variety that is literally carried in a basket. This map does not take these informal enterprises into account, even though they are key to Mexico’s taco culinary tradition. 

So you are curious about tacos de canasta now, aren’t you? 

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Well, just look at these crispy, sweaty, fat-rich babes. Tacos de canasta are filled with guisados or stews, or with refried beans. We are almost sure that Baruch did not include them in his map, but we can forgive him for making us crave unos taquitos (we bet you are calling your comadres or compas right now to hit the taco stand) and showing us how Mexico is a country that despite its many challenges still finds time to live up to the old adage: barriga llena, corazon contento. 

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