Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Post of the Week Created with Sketch. RIP Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben

 

It is with great sadness that we come together today to mourn the deaths of Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben. Born in 1889, Aunt Jemima spent her life providing delicious breakfasts for everyone she came into contact with. Since his birth in the late 1940s, Uncle Ben did the same for lunch and dinner. Sadly, their lives have come to end this year in an effort to make amends for their racist pasts. Meals will never be the same.

In related news, Mrs. Butterworth is reported to be on life support. Only 59 years old, she may not be long for this world either. (Old commercials available for viewing under the “About Us” tab at the first link.)

On a more serious note, how in the world is removing well-known African American icons/logos from the public sphere supposed to make anything more equal for the African-American community? Doesn’t removing them just make the field that more unbalanced for them? It’s like the looting and rioting that’s been taking place recently. Things aren’t fair for African Americans! What can we do about it? Destroy the communities in which many of them live and do business! Yeah!

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  1. Hoyacon Member

    It’s not so bad.

    • #1
    • June 17, 2020, at 7:14 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. Unsk Member

    The thing is that people had a positive view of Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima at least back in the day. There were no negative racist overtones – just positive ones. Those names were used because people would buy Uncle Ben’s and Aunt Jemima’s stuff because it was good. That’s a good thing.

    But what do I know. Holy Mackerel Andy! I liked Amos and Andy – the male, black version of Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz. So I guess I am not only racist but sexist as well. 

     

    • #2
    • June 17, 2020, at 7:34 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  3. CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker Coolidge

    One of my earliest life memories is sitting in a high chair or booster chair in the tiny apartment where my family lived til I was six. The sun is streaming into the window, and the ceramic Aunt Jemima gracing the kitchen counter has her face tilted toward the lovely kitchen curtain. She has a big, warm smile on her face. My mother sees me grinning back at Auntie, and she says, “That was a wedding present to your daddy and me from Mrs Seidle.”

    Mrs Seidle went on a trip to Mexico and toured some pottery factory while there. She was not going to be in Chicago for the wedding, so she had the Aunt Jemima cookie jar shipped to my mom and dad. It probably cost about 5 dollars, a lot of money for someone living on retirement in the 1940’s.

    Of all my mother’s collected statues, that has always been my favorite. Auntie exuded happiness and pure joy. Plus she held cookies. The more elegant statues that held places of honor out in the living room were of snooty English and French nobility, who never smiled yet somehow could ride horses without their dresses or uniforms getting wrinkled. Plus of course, no cookies!

    About 15 years ago, when I was home after my dad died, I discovered Aunt Jemima on a utility room shelf, huddled only inches from the cold floor. I asked Mom if I could take her home with me, so she could once again sit in the sunlight on a kitchen counter. Of course, she said yes.

    I imagine if Jemima looked more like Beyonce and wore designer clothing, and didn’t wear that open hearted smile but favored a closed mouth model’s pout, that then she would be celebrated. Because that is what honors a culture right? The trappings of success and wealth, clothed in garments that never wrinkle, and too bad if you can’t remain human in the attempt to get those things.

    • #3
    • June 17, 2020, at 7:39 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  4. Dotorimuk Coolidge

    And Apu Nahasapeemaptelilon has also gone missing.

    Mrs. Butterworth is FINALLY getting that triple bypass. Thanks, Wuhan Virus™️!

    I expect these product characters will be replaced eventually with something more woke…maybe Uncle Ben becomes Uncle X and holds a black-gloved fist above the slogan “Make your own d*mn rice!” Aunt Jemima is revealed to be a trans person of color who does not “do” kitchen work. Sassy!

     

    • #4
    • June 17, 2020, at 7:40 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  5. James Lileks Contributor

    Given the history of the words Aunt and Uncle, I’m not surprised. If they’d been thinking ahead they would have rebranded them years ago – Mrs. Tucker and Mr. Hickel, or something – but they had too much invested in brand identity, and the change would have been a tacit admission they knew the terms were loaded. (Not that many people get the connotations today.) 

    Years ago the Uncle Ben’s company seemed to anticipate this, and made him the Chairman of the Board of the company. I remember the ad campaign – it was their way of saying “the dude owns it, he can call it what he like.” Quite a change from the previous incarnation, and right up there with Mr. Whipple admitting in his last commercial that he never really cared if anyone squeezed the damned Charmin; it was all an act.

    • #5
    • June 17, 2020, at 8:00 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  6. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk andJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Yet more products I don’t buy anyways so I can’t join a boycott.

    • #6
    • June 17, 2020, at 8:15 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Steven Seward Member

    Pretty soon all sports mascots and commercial product mascots will have to be only White People. No more Indians, Negros, Orientals, Asians, or Hispanics. No one will complain about the White mascots until the Left suddenly realizes that minorities are no longer represented in popular culture. Then the whole fuss starts all over again.

    • #7
    • June 17, 2020, at 9:18 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  8. Dotorimuk Coolidge

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Pretty soon all sports mascots and commercial product mascots will have to be only White People. No more Indians, Negros, Orientals, Asians, or Hispanics. No one will complain about the White mascots until the Left suddenly realizes that minorities are no longer represented in popular culture. Then the whole fuss starts all over again.

    Exactly. Until I was in high school, Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben were the only black folks in my hometown, and you know what? My feelings toward them were warm and appreciative. Never considered any of it a stereotype. And the Land of Lakes squaw? Everyone likes butter.

    • #8
    • June 17, 2020, at 9:37 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  9. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    The Aunt Jemima trademark character was a series of real women, beginning with Nancy Green. Born into slavery in Kentucky in 1834, she was the first Aunt Jemima.

    In 1893, the Davis Milling Company aggressively began an all-out promotion of “Aunt Jemima” at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Green, as “Aunt Jemima,” demonstrated the pancake mix and served thousands of pancakes. Green was a hit, friendly, a good storyteller, and a good cook. Her warm and appealing personality made her the ideal “Aunt Jemima,” a living trademark. Her exhibition booth drew so many people that special policemen were assigned to keep the crowds moving. The Davis Milling Company received over 50,000 orders, and Fair officials awarded Nancy Green a medal and certificate for her showmanship.

    Green was hit by a car in her adopted hometown of Chicago and died in 1923. She is buried at Oak Woods cemetery in Chicago near Jesse Owens, Harold Washington and Ida B. Wells. As a character, the “Aunt Jemima doctrine” changed US trademark law,

    Recently the business world has come to realize that such an act as that of that syrup company was an attempt to appropriate the goodwill, the popularity, the celebrity of the Aunt Jemima Mills Co. and pay nothing for it, the business world has come to see that the owner of the goodwill in Aunt Jemima pancake flour may be most seriously damaged by the sale of an inferior “Aunt Jemima syrup.”

     

    • #9
    • June 17, 2020, at 9:39 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    All names need to be replaced with random number letter combinations.

    packaging will have to be random colors with proof that no one color is used more or less than the rest.

    • #10
    • June 17, 2020, at 10:53 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. CACrabtree Coolidge

    I suspect that Eddie Murphy’s rendition of “Buckwheat’s Greatest Hits”, wouldn’t get much traction either.

    • #11
    • June 17, 2020, at 10:53 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy CarterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Steven Seward (View Comment):
    Pretty soon all sports mascots and commercial product mascots will have to be only White People.

    Not necessarily. I see inanimate objects:

    Dallas Chairs vs. new york lampposts.

    • #12
    • June 18, 2020, at 3:05 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  13. Kozak Member
    KozakJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Elderly Black man and Woman unemployed under Trump!

    • #13
    • June 18, 2020, at 3:36 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  14. Kozak Member
    KozakJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Given the history of the words Aunt and Uncle, I’m not surprised. If they’d been thinking ahead they would have rebranded them years ago – Mrs. Tucker and Mr. Hickel, or something – but they had too much invested in brand identity, and the change would have been a tacit admission they knew the terms were loaded. (Not that many people get the connotations today.)

    Years ago the Uncle Ben’s company seemed to anticipate this, and made him the Chairman of the Board of the company. I remember the ad campaign – it was their way of saying “the dude owns it, he can call it what he like.” Quite a change from the previous incarnation, and right up there with Mr. Whipple admitting in his last commercial that he never really cared if anyone squeezed the damned Charmin; it was all an act.

    How about “Uncle Tom’s Rice”.

    • #14
    • June 18, 2020, at 3:37 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Kozak Member
    KozakJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Pretty soon all sports mascots and commercial product mascots will have to be only White People. No more Indians, Negros, Orientals, Asians, or Hispanics. No one will complain about the White mascots until the Left suddenly realizes that minorities are no longer represented in popular culture. Then the whole fuss starts all over again.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    No stereotypes here. No sir.

    • #15
    • June 18, 2020, at 3:41 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. Steven Seward Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Pretty soon all sports mascots and commercial product mascots will have to be only White People. No more Indians, Negros, Orientals, Asians, or Hispanics. No one will complain about the White mascots until the Left suddenly realizes that minorities are no longer represented in popular culture. Then the whole fuss starts all over again.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    No stereotypes here. No sir.

    Nobody ever complains about those! White people don’t find them offensive, and “people of color” aren’t stupid enough to be offended for Whitey, the way White Lefties feel offended for people of color.

    W

    • #16
    • June 18, 2020, at 4:13 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  17. Vance Richards Member
    Vance RichardsJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    It’s not so bad.

    Parody or prophecy?

    • #17
    • June 18, 2020, at 4:46 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Kozak Member
    KozakJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Pretty soon all sports mascots and commercial product mascots will have to be only White People. No more Indians, Negros, Orientals, Asians, or Hispanics. No one will complain about the White mascots until the Left suddenly realizes that minorities are no longer represented in popular culture. Then the whole fuss starts all over again.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    No stereotypes here. No sir.

    Nobody ever complains about those! White people don’t find them offensive, and “people of color” aren’t stupid enough to be offended for Whitey, the way White Lefties feel offended for people of color.

    W

    A pugnacious dwarf, a pair of savage looters , murderers and rapists. (Although the Viking has never been able to steal a championship).

    • #18
    • June 18, 2020, at 5:20 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. Stad Thatcher

    Don’t forget Mrs. Butterworth:

    https://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/mrs-butterworth-brand-packaging-review-aunt-jemima-uncle-bens-redesigns

    I wasn’t aware Mrs. Butterworth was a racist, but here’s the pull quote:

    “We stand in solidarity with our Black and Brown communities and we can see that our packaging may be interpreted in a way that is wholly inconsistent with our values,” the company said.

    • #19
    • June 18, 2020, at 5:26 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Elderly Black man and Woman unemployed under Trump!

    Now they’re coming for the gentleman chef on the Cream of Wheat box. Because we shouldn’t have advertising spokespeople representing attainable positions like a cook or chef selling foodstuffs grown in the USA. No, we must only have those who are multi-millionaire sports players who sell products made by Uighur forced labor in the land of the Wuhan Flu.

    • #20
    • June 18, 2020, at 5:27 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  21. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Pretty soon all sports mascots and commercial product mascots will have to be only White People. No more Indians, Negros, Orientals, Asians, or Hispanics. No one will complain about the White mascots until the Left suddenly realizes that minorities are no longer represented in popular culture. Then the whole fuss starts all over again.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    No stereotypes here. No sir.

    Nobody ever complains about those! White people don’t find them offensive, and “people of color” aren’t stupid enough to be offended for Whitey, the way White Lefties feel offended for people of color.

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_Whites

    An intramural team some years ago was trying to make a statement about Indian mascots being “offensive”, so they named their teams the fighting whites.

    The problem was, all the white people that heard about it weren’t offended. They thought it was great and bought t-shirts.

     

    • #21
    • June 18, 2020, at 5:59 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  22. Dotorimuk Coolidge

    The Babylon Bee weighs in. Caucasian Jacks!

    https://babylonbee.com/news/cracker-jacks-changes-name-to-more-politically-correct-caucasian-jacks

    • #22
    • June 18, 2020, at 6:03 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  23. Vance Richards Member
    Vance RichardsJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Don’t forget Mrs. Butterworth:

    https://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/mrs-butterworth-brand-packaging-review-aunt-jemima-uncle-bens-redesigns

    I wasn’t aware Mrs. Butterworth was a racist, but here’s the pull quote:

    “We stand in solidarity with our Black and Brown communities and we can see that our packaging may be interpreted in a way that is wholly inconsistent with our values,” the company said.

    Well, she starts out brown but her complexion gets lighter over time (kinda like Michael Jackson).

    • #23
    • June 18, 2020, at 6:08 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  24. Instugator Thatcher
    InstugatorJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Pretty soon all sports mascots and commercial product mascots will have to be only White People. No more Indians, Negros, Orientals, Asians, or Hispanics. No one will complain about the White mascots until the Left suddenly realizes that minorities are no longer represented in popular culture. Then the whole fuss starts all over again.

    Cancel culture has come for successful people of color.

    The real Aunt Jemima was born in slavery and died a millionaire.

    The Land o Lakes lady was illustrated by a Native American artist and updated to contain real elements of Native American Culture.

    The fascists are demanding the erasure of our history.

    • #24
    • June 18, 2020, at 7:23 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. Kozak Member
    KozakJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member