Shoehorning in the social justice stuff may have been what caused the article to get bounced by the publication you submitted it to. Some people don’t want the Culture War waged in their food articles, or video games, or other hobbies.
The article probably would have been better without the social justice jargon. In fact, the choice to squeeze it in misses the greatest feature of Waffle House. WH is a place where southern people of all classes, races, and creeds, come together in a welcoming environment to get their Scattered Smothered and Covered at 3am after their drunken benders. Your class, race, etc, dissolves when you walk in the door, and everyone is friendly to everyone. Black folks, white folks, bankers, strippers, truck drivers, stoners, folks on their way to church. WH brings the south together. It is a safe space where the social justice frame of the world, that people must adopt a group and war with each other, melts away. It is holy ground, and the subtext of this article defiles that holy ground.
Maybe “defiles” is too strong a word, because it’s a great piece about WH short order cooking.
The social dynamics of Waffle House are worthy of writing about, and I encourage you to consider it. You’re clearly a talented writer. If you want to understand them, a trip to one is not enough. Come to Atlanta. Go to twelve. Pick different times of the day, different days of the week, and watch how the people and the employees interact. You might learn something about how healthy multicultural societies can behave. Our country would be a lot healthier if we all acted in every moment like people act in Waffle House.
Ping me if you write it. I’d love to read it.