Is Food Becoming Less Racist?

Is Food Becoming Less Racist?

Somewhere around 2020, there was a snowball effect among some well known food brands which were known to tout racist characters as part of their logos. In many a public tweet, these companies announced that they magically figured this all out out of nowhere, and decided to change their brands to "reflect their new found understanding of these sensitive cultural issues."

NEWS ALERT! Let's be clear. Companies don't care if their products are racist or not (and many of them were, let's be clear on that, you can look into their long sorted history and advertisements)...in actuality they care about one thing, and one thing only, MONEY! Yes, if the masses get a whiff of their not so secret racist mascots and logos and start, say connecting and organizing in Facebook groups and Twitter lounges to boycott said products and take their argument public, all of a sudden, 'they care, and care a lot'.

Is Food Becoming Less Racist?

They're donating to BLM and starting programs to help impoverished kids in South America because MONEY! In this pandemic era, companies cannot afford to keep ignoring the will of their customers (MONEY) unless they intend to join the long hard march to the bankruptcy office, so they acquiesce because PR nightmares hurt their pockets. They then masterfully paint themselves as the caring, thoughtful companies they want you to believe they always have been (although many have had these logos for decades plus long after the so called "we'll allow it" racist historical points in time cutoff).

HISTORY LESSON: Writer Michael Twitty says "Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben and “Rastus,” the Cream of Wheat man, were actually meant to be stand-ins for what white people viewed as a generation of formerly enslaved Black cooks now lost to them. As mascots, they were designed to be perceived by those white people as nothing more — and to have wanted to be nothing more — than loyal servants, in a frightening time of growing Black equality and empowerment." (You can research this information for yourselves and please do).

Is Food Becoming Less Racist?

The [2020] outcry against Aunt Jemima was not the first time it has come under fire. A 2015 New York Times op-ed titled “Can We Please, Finally, Get Rid of ‘Aunt Jemima’?” described the logo as an “outgrowth of Old South plantation nostalgia and romance grounded in an idea about the ‘mammy,’ a devoted and submissive servant.” In 2017, a Change.org petition launched by the husband of restaurateur B. Smith called on the company to change the Aunt Jemima branding to that of the lifestyle icon. Quaker attempted to update the breakfast brand over the years, including removing the kerchief from the Aunt Jemima figure in 1989. But [in 2020] the company acknowledged it had not done enough. Along with the renaming announcement in June, PepsiCo pledged a $5 million commitment to support the Black community. --Beth Kowitt

Is Food Becoming Less Racist?

After nearly 100 years, [in 2020] the Minnesota-based dairy company removed the Native American woman kneeling against a background of green pine trees and a blue lake from its products. New products feature the lake and trees with the words "Land O Lakes, 1921" in bold. In announcing the change, the company made no mention of the removal of the Native American woman...[however it came] as many businesses, universities and sports teams had begun to drop Native American images and symbols from logos.

Is Food Becoming Less Racist?

Eskimo Pie is rebranding after previously acknowledging its name and logo's insensitivity towards native arctic communities. Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream announced that the popular chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream bar will now be called Edy's Pie, a nod to one of the company's founders, Joseph Edy. According to the Alaska Native Language Center, while the word "Eskimo" is commonly used in Alaska to refer to Inuit and Yupik people, it's considered derogatory and was said to mean "eater of raw meat."

Is Food Becoming Less Racist?

Caitlin Elliott wrote that "‘The title “Uncle” was given to favored slaves, and later servants in the antebellum South. The iconography was deliberate and demeaning." The company wrote that "We will change our name to Ben’s Original™, as well as remove the image on our packaging to create more inclusive branding. This change signals our ambition to create a more inclusive future while maintaining our commitment to producing the world’s best rice."

Other brands changing their logos soon, are "Cream of Wheat," and Mrs. Butterworth.


Is Food Becoming Less Racist?
Post Opinion