Are Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben racist advertising?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by thadjock, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. thadjock

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    so it's friday, and i was free ranging the market, impulse shopping the entire store, and my brain wandered into the social consciousness aisle.

    These two icons are proudly displayed full scale on the box, and i know they've been around longer than civil rights, but in today's context are they racist exploitation by corporations to sell product, or just familiar "friends" we know and love? There doesn't seem to be any attempt to minimize the trademark.

    And they aren't the only african american portraits on food products, (the cream of wheat dude?) that are more or less "southern" specialties either, i saw cornbread, bbq sauce, cat fish batter with an african american "chef" touting the product. (btw is martha white black?) and what about mrs butterworth?

    I think unless it's a famous amos situation ( a real dude selling his product) that corporations shouldn't use outdated stereotypical icons to market to perceived outdated demographics. or was i just shopping on an empty stomach?

    next week i'll launch an investigative probe into the sexism of betty crocker and sara lee.

    also: 1) is little debbie still a virgin? and 2)doesn't dolly madison deserve a higher tribute than a snack cake?
     
  2. B_Just Joe

    B_Just Joe New Member

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    no offense but seriously who cares. people need to get over it
     
  3. tripod

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    My grandfather's only toy as a child was a Rastus doll ordered with coupons from Cream of Wheat.
     
  4. Mr. Snakey

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    In the eye's of many black people yes it is racist advertising. It is very understandable.
     
  5. Principessa

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    Is that the same aisle with seasonal items such as Easter baskets, halloween candy and hibachi grills? :confused:


    Doesn't bother me in the least and I'm black. There are far bigger concerns in my life and the world at large. :cool:

    And they aren't the only african american portraits on food products, (the cream of wheat dude?) that are more or less "southern" specialties either, i saw cornbread, bbq sauce, cat fish batter with an african american "chef" touting the product. (btw is martha white black?) and what about mrs butterworth?

    Empty stomach and brain, IMO.:biggrin1:


    Please Don't!:cool:

    Honey, I think you might be hypogycemic. :sad: Clearly you need to eat regularly and not post nonsense when you aren't feeling well.:cool:


    FWIW: Anytime someone starts a sentence with, "no offense" they always offend. Honestly, everytime a white person tells me to "get over it" I feel the need to bitch slap him or her. You don't know, so don't tell me how to feel or act. :angryfire2: :irked:

     
  6. naughty

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    Workin' up a good pot of mad!
    I think when Aunt Jemima still was wearing her doo rag in public many did find it offensive. The very names AUNT Jemima and UNCLE Ben hark back to a time when even the most elderly black person was not given the respect that he or she due to their age. They were diminished in the eyes of the speaker with the familial term Aunt and Uncle instead of Mr. or Mrs. I actually do not take offense . IF only they had gotten the actual money generated by their smiling black faces perched on many a box of rice or pancake mix.
     
  7. Principessa

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    I agree, they wuz robbed!
     
  8. B_cigarbabe

    B_cigarbabe New Member

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    Of course it's offensive.
    They are using "stereotypical servants" for whites folks to make money while selling a product whithout any consideration for those black people who might've posed for the products. That shouldv'e changed decades ago. Especially if the product wasn't developed by those two "personas".
    They were definitely robbed!
    It does offend me as most "harmless" icons used by whites.
    C.B.:saevil:
     
  9. thadjock

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  10. B_spotted_duck

    B_spotted_duck New Member

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    You should look up a toothpaste called "Darlie" (used to be called "Darkie" but that was too awful)... there were a lot of these racist product mascots, and the ones that are still with us just need to go away.

    I don't think Mrs. Butterworth is in this category, though... i always thought she was white.
     
  11. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Hmmm...

    I'm not sure. As I see it, the images they portray could be considered positive because they portray people who make others happy. Maybe Aunt Jemima was a house servant and she evoked fond memories of her wonderful pancakes in the minds of people who ate her pancakes. I'd like to think that if Aunt Jemima was real, she would like to have been known for doing something exceptional and it's not wrong to honor her. Even household help likes to take pride in doing an exceptional job. I'm not sure a stereotypical image is necessarily a bad thing when it evokes good thoughts about object of the stereotype.
     
  12. kalipygian

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    There used to be different packaging for some items sold in grocery stores in mainly black areas, showing black people.
     
  13. houtx48

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    the easiest way to stop it is to stop buying. sambo's restaurants and the frito bandito now let talk about something totally unrelated to the subject of the post.
     
  14. conntom

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    Why not mention orville the popcorn guy or the guy and then his son who sell chicken. Oh wait, they are white and would not support your argument so ignore them....you must be a liberal.

    This post and the notion of related racisim is silly. Now.....back to the well endowed fun of this site.
     
  15. nudeyorker

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    Somebody else mentioned Sambos restaurants. I just remember the story as a child and did not find it offensive....others did...I just liked the pancakes!
    Tim Putz Presents Sambo's Photographs
     
  16. MarkLondon

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    Well we've got "Aunt Bessie's" yorkshire puddings and frozen roasted potatoes here in the UK, and she's white.
     
  17. tripod

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    No shit... and their hash browns were DIVINE! I never knew the story beyond the cartoon panels in the restaurant, but I thoroughly enjoyed the premise of running a tiger so fast around a tree that he became a pile of steaming, buttery flapjacks.
     
  18. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Aunt Jemima & Cream Of Wheat was created in 1893. Uncle Ben's? 1943.
    It was a completely different time in America when it came to race relations.

    Aunt Jemima was created by Chris L. Rutt and Charles G. Underwood. A former slave named Nancy Green, who made a name for herself by serving tons of pancakes to many satisfied customers, was hired to be the trademark. As for the name "Aunt Jemima", it was taken from a song performed at a vaudeville act.

    The History of Jim Crow
    Ad Age Advertising Century: Icons: Aunt Jemima

    The Cream Of Wheat icon has a somewhat similar history.
    The Uncle Ben's icon does stem from a real person.

    Neither case was drawn intentionally to be racist or degrading to black people. The only icon that came closest the symbolism of slavery & racism was Aunt Jemima being that they hired a former slave to be a spokeswoman and the name came from a song title performed by a vaudeville act featuring a person in blackface. But the icon no longer sports the bandana around her head and she's no longer called "Mammy" as of 1989. So I find this whole thing to be a stretch.
     
    #18 B_VinylBoy, Apr 25, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  19. D_CountdeGrandePinja

    D_CountdeGrandePinja Account Disabled

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    Just a thought: my nephew always spoke of a friend of his at school. One day his grandmother picked him up from school and saw him walking with Fred - the one he always spoke about - she mentioned to him that he never said Fred was black. The innocence of a child - his response was "He is?"

    Let's turn the page and move on as instruments of peace - opened eyes and hearts are our best medicine.

    Sorry to be preachy!!!
     
  20. thadjock

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    ya, i'm not saying they are racist,

    i guess it just struck me as odd in a day and age when corporate marketing usually flees from anything even apporaching politically incorrect, that for some reason these icons (which definitely straddle the civil rights timeline) endure.
     
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