America’s collective awareness of racism has apparently peaked to the point that it now extends to the supermarket aisle.
Kellogg’s should be applauded for moving so swiftly to suppress a budding race-based scandal by redesigning the cereal box for one of its most popular products. A writer called out the cereal company on Twitter this week, wondering why the only brown Corn Pop on the box was shown in a service role while the other Corn Pops were a lighter shade and not working. That imagery can subliminally reinforce racial stereotypes for the children who eat the cereal, Saladin Ahmed argued in a tweet.
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But what about the sea of other overt racist images that has flooded grocery store shelves across the country for decades?
Where is the uproar over the suite of Aunt Jemima products that showcase the fictional, subservient spokesperson’s brown skinned, smiling visage? One of the many incarnations of the “Aunt” — a relic of a term draped with racist overtones – appeared with a rag tied on her head. Another frequently used broken English that was many times associated with how slaves spoke: “I’s in town, honey!”
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The line of Uncle Ben’s rice-based products is equally as egregious, and not just with the “Uncle” name, either. The bow-tie wearing, older Black man is also shown smiling, though not revealing any of his teeth, unlike Aunt Jemima. Even though Uncle Ben was introduced to the masses well after the abolition of slavery, his image was that of a servant. Uncle Ben has been on shelves since 1946 with no foreseen threat to its existence.
Not to be outdone, the man depicted on Cream of Wheat products has since 1893 shown all of the teeth in his mouth through an ear-to-ear smile that exudes pride from the satisfaction of cooking and serving food.
Saladin Ahmed, the writer whose tweet compelled Kellogg’s to act so quickly, should test his newfound power by logging back on to Twitter and giving the same treatment to the companies that mass produce the above products that most of us will still consume this weekend.
Why Stop At Corn Pops? Racist Imagery Is On These Other Products, Too was originally published on newsone.com
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