Aunt Jemima Has a New Name and Surprise, Surprise, Conservatives are Unhappy About It
Last June the company that produces Aunt Jemima began the gradual process of changing the iconic brand’s name after people realized the name had become a racist stereotype. They knew it was time to remove that name and change it to Pearl Milling Company, per NBCNews.
In a statement Tuesday, PepsiCo, owner of the Quaker Oats brand discussed the history behind the new name.
“Though new to store shelves Pearl Milling Company was founded in 1888 in St. Joseph, Missouri and was the originator of the iconic self-rising pancake mix that would later become Aunt Jemima,” the company said.
People will start seeing the new logo on store shelves sometime this summer. While Aunt Jemima’s smiling image may seem innocent enough, let me tell you this: Its’ beginning was shockingly racist, at least by today’s standards. In an op-ed for the Lexington Herald-Reader, Alicestyne Turley writes that Aunt Jemima was originally a character from an 1850s minstrel show. The character was portrayed by a white man in blackface (something that too many white idiots still do today.)
“An extremely popular art form, white minstrelsy performed in blackface became the major way by which white audiences were introduced to a perceived notion of ‘black’ life and culture. The ‘Aunt Jemima’ minstrel character was meant to reflect the archetypical southern ‘Mammy’ every white American household needed and desired and as such has remained one of the most enduring 19th century caricatures embraced by modern society as an authentic black representation.”
So yeah, it’s time for Aunt Jemima to go.
While the image was updated over time to make it less racially charged and Quaker removed the “Mammy” bandana after criticism emerged that it perpetuated a racist stereotype attached to the days of slavery (because yes, it actually did) the company said it was time “to make progress toward racial equality.”
What Aunt Jemima and “Uncle Ben” (another racist stereotype) really show us is that something which seems harmless can actually be the opposite. I have grown up with these images and rarely gave them a great deal of thought, but what they really do is minimize the struggle, pain, and bloodshed of others who were tormented because one uncomfortable part of human nature is that we like to “own” other humans. We’ve done it all throughout history, all the way back to the ancient Egyptians and even further back than that. It’s an ugly part of human history that continues even today.
So it’s good that Quaker is doing this, and Uncle Ben will soon be “Ben’s Original” and the iconic image will also be dropped. Progress can be snail slow, but it is indeed a positive change.
“We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype,” said Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, in a statement. “As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we must also take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers’ expectations.”
The rebranded Pearl Milling Company also noted in a statement that it workshopped the new name with “consumers, employees, external cultural and subject matter experts, and diverse agency partners” and the rebranding was “developed with inclusivity in mind.” The company also plans to make a $1 million “commitment to empower and uplift Black girls and women.”
But it seems that every happy ending includes a little rain, and as expected, conservatives are whining about this on Twitter. Apparently, they’re comfortable with demeaning and racist stereotypes.
They’re removing great brands with this woke nonsense.
American Indian from Land O Lakes too. Like they haven’t been erased enough.
Are they aiming for the pure white blonde, with blue eyes?
Should celebrate, not destroy our diversity.
— Max Black 🇺🇸 (@themaxxblack) February 11, 2021
What in the name of Aunt Jemima is wrong with this country?
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) February 10, 2021
Aunt Jemima Maple Syrup new logo & name!
RACISM JUST ENDED! pic.twitter.com/KhGtYOPTJu
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) February 10, 2021
Aunt Jemima now looks like a generic knockoff that you see at the store of Aunt Jemima. https://t.co/pHVophvBLu
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) February 10, 2021
It's a small thing perhaps, but its another way cancel culture is delegitimizing our history and cuture.
As Mao said, you can write the most beutiful poem on a blank sheet of paper.
Just before the Great Leap Forward – which killed 100 million.
— Canadian Cincinnatius, globalist (@Can_Cincinnatus) February 10, 2021
I won’t buy it. It’s not a brand I recognize.
— Other Brother Darrell (@d_pitz) February 10, 2021
— 🕹️ Dwight Powder ⌨️🖱️ (@DwightPowderGG) February 10, 2021
My grandma used to make Aunt Jemima pancakes whenever I came to visit. Thanks for ruining a treasured childhood memory “woke” people. 😔
— Russell Todd 🦊 (@russell_todd17) February 10, 2021
Aunt Jemima cancellation is an incredible example of how racist & destructive woke politics are.
I feel bad for anyone who’s been brainwashed into believing Trump is to blame for racism in America. You’re legitimately playing right into the actual racists’ hands. #AuntJemima
— Joke Enjoyer (@rektfree) February 10, 2021