Why Did They Wait?: More companies are removing racist symbols

A few weeks ago, a racist caricature was removed from the “land o lakes” butter brand.  Predictably, the only people bothered were white people complaining about “tradition” or falsely claiming “this is respectful representation!”

The Quaker Oats company is finally removing the Aunt Jemima caricature from their syrup bottles, admitting that it’s a racist “minstrel” stereotype.  On the same day, the Mars corporation and Conagra have announced they will end use of “Uncle Ben” and “Mrs. Butterworth” on their respective rice and syrup products.  But it shouldn’t have taken a hundred years and public pressure to stop doing it.

Now if only sports teams would get rid of their racist caricatures.  If billion dollar food companies can do it, why can’t billion dollar NFL and MLB teams?


  1. says

    I can see how a soulless MBA, whose only concern is next quarter’s bottom line, might be leery of messing with a century-old brand. Lots of consumer recognition, don’t you know. Given the prevalence of soulless MBAs among corporate management, what else is needed to explain why the brands in question n have hung around until now?

  2. Ridana says

    I’m surprised to have learned that so many people think Mrs. Butterworth is black. I always thought of her as a take on the grandmother who owned Tweety Bird. In old commercials she was even played by Cliff Arquette in drag. It’s not like I’m attached to her or sorry to see her go, but this has been a revelation about people’s perceptions. 😀