On Wednesday, Quaker Oats announced that the Aunt Jemima brand of pancake mix and syrup will be getting a new name and image due to the racist origins of the current branding, with Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, noting in a press release:
“We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype. 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.”
One look at a bottle of Aunt Jemima syrup immediately calls to mind blatant racism, Riché Richardson, an associate professor at Cornell University told NBC News:
“It’s an image that harkens back to the antebellum plantation … Aunt Jemima is that kind of stereotype that is premised on this idea of Black inferiority and otherness.
“It is urgent to expunge our public spaces of a lot of these symbols that for some people are triggering and represent terror and abuse.”
But on social media, you’d have thought the world was ending, with conservatives complaining about political correctness and demanding that the change not be made. Take a look:
People love Aunt Jemima.. probably the most popular brand of syrup out there. People buy it bc they TRUST Aunt Jemima & feel happy having this product in their home. Her beautiful bright smile makes other people begin their day with a smile too. It’s good but: Must Ban Smiles!
— basically (@NatureRules101) June 17, 2020
Starting to go down a big rabbit hole where it stops nobody knows
— tsa (@tomarch66) June 17, 2020
RIDICULOUS! What is going on!
— Kevin Boulandier (@kevinboulandier) June 17, 2020
And how is her face being on the box racist? Media is the one that it’s making it an issue. She was an amazing woman and everyone knows and trusts the brand because of her
— Priscilla P (@Priscydickson) June 17, 2020
Featured Image Via NBC News