NBC NEWS – The Aunt Jemima brand of syrup and pancake mix will get a new name and image, Quaker Oats announced Wednesday, saying the company recognizes that “Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype.”
The 130-year-old brand features a Black woman named Aunt Jemima, who was originally dressed as a minstrel character.
The picture has changed over time, and in recent years Quaker removed the “mammy” kerchief from the character to blunt growing criticism that the brand perpetuated a racist stereotype that dated to the days of slavery. But Quaker, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, said removing the image and name is part of an effort by the company “to make progress toward racial equality.”
“We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype,” Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, said in a press release. “As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we also must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers’ expectations.”
Kroepfl said the company has worked to “update” the brand to be “appropriate and respectful” but it realized the changes were insufficient.
I’m not going to pretend to feign outrage over this one, as it appears the brand does have racial issues. But there are plenty of people who are making interesting points about this on Twitter:
We can all live more free once we remove all the ethnic branding and can only buy products with the faces of our white systemic oppressors. https://t.co/FEeOls8Jo0
— Mulder’s Lying Dog-faced Coping Pony Soldier (@proteinwisdom) June 17, 2020
Every day there are more examples of people walking on their tiptoes. I see that Aunt Jemima is canceled. And now AP is apologizing for running a quote of Jefferson Davis in newspapers. Why have people just now become offended by some of these things? Or have they always been?
— David Limbaugh (@DavidLimbaugh) June 17, 2020