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In Today's Crazy - Vote with your wallet

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Not "stereotyping" others isn't any guarantee they won't and don't racially stereotype you. And usually will. (A few times I've heard "white privilege" thrown my way). There's the difficulty of being individualist in a especially collectivist time. The decent and considerate folk, the individualists and, yes, any Objectivists (joke) might see a person and perceive "person" who -also- happens to be black, brown, white, female, short, tall, fat - whatever. Racists and anti-racists and racialists perceive: Black or White person. Racialism is what most stokes up the differences of race groups - tribes. Avidly looking for and making everything 'about' race - briefly. Something our media is expert at. This also can include individuals who are just overly sensitive of any racial aspects. I've had confided in me by a few individuals - black - that many a time they're in a social group, there will often be white individuals being over-solicitous of their opinions and jokes (listening very seriously and laughing uproariously). I was told by this guy and woman that they felt rather sad and patronized, while also being quite amused by the idiocy of their colleagues . To be not treated on your own merits is dishonesty and injustice by others. To be attributed qualities one may not have, on superficial appearances, isn't that dishonesty and injustice too?

Edited by whYNOT

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Red, brown, yellow, black and white . . .

But where do you draw the line? Suppose, magically, there were five races conjured on earth. Add to that 7000 years of intermingling. Are DNA records going to be used to categorize individuals according to genome? What was Chauvin's DNA breakdown? What was Floyd's DNA breakdown? If there are no magical "race" borders, then to borrow on Wendy's slogan of yesteryear, "Where's the beef?"

If Chauvin/Floyd spills over into Columbus/Green (Jemima, if you prefer), then credibility is lent to the magical five, or so, races conjured on earth. If intermingling prevails, then those who see a white cop murdering a black suspect are not willing to wait for the DNA results to confirm the Chauvin was a pale-skinned black, or that Floyd was a dark-skinned white. A is A. Both cannot prevail intellectually.

The fact that this issue is spilling over into areas outside of the legal enforcement that spawned it, bears testimony that unresolved, a.k.a. unclear issues, are encapsulated into the aftermath of this incident.

Without 'race', there are only individual human beings, judged by their own merit. With 'race', the conclusion "that there are only individual human beings, judged by their own merit" gets challenged in such a thread as this.

My wallet, for now, is residing in my hip pocket.

For some reason, I've acquired a hankering for some French Toast with a side of Sausage Links, Canadian Maple Syrup, a pat of Unsalted Butter and a glass of Orange Juice in the morning.

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"The famous image of Aunt Jemima was based on the real image of Nancy Green, who was known as a magnificent cook, an attractive woman of outgoing nature and friendly personality, an original painting of which sold for $9,030 at MastroNet. The painting was rendered by A. B. Frost, who is now well known as one of the great illustrators of the Golden Age of American Illustration.[13]"

This quote is from the Wikipedia article covering the life of Nancy Green, the original celebrity personality representing the soon to be discontinued brand, known as, Aunt Jemima. 

I hope there is common ground among the other contributors to this thread regarding the nature of the decision of the Quaker Oats company. Their decision is a meaningless gesture pandering to the Social Justice Warriors, who will, no doubt, glow with pride for their valiant campaign to retire poor Aunt Jemima. Quaker Oats can breathe easier now. But, I can't truly cooperate with any sort of boycott of Quaker Oats products, as I can't remember the last time I've purchased any. Pancakes and syrup are a little too rich for my breakfast diet.

This has all been somewhat educational; I was unfamiliar with the story of Nancy Green, until yesterday. I have been aware of the very controversial "mammy stereotype," or archetype, which every you prefer. According to the available resources, Nancy Green made a success from her personality, as well as her apparent abundance of other virtues. Whether or not one might approve of her persona, it served her well, as it served the needs of industry marketing of a fine product. She was born a slave, but she chose to be the person she became, with the help of free enterprise. She was not forced to cook pancakes; she was a free woman. I don't know how much money she made, but she didn't die in poverty, as far too many other African-Americans of her generation did. I think it would be reasonable to promote awareness of her life story, as well as other early-twentieth century African-American celebrities and entrepreneurs. Regardless of the means of her success, Nancy Green deserves some credit for not only achieving the American dream, but for her efforts in promoting the dream to others.

I stand by my position that it seems pathetic, silly, and wasteful to try to persuade others to believe in the heinous nature of a harmless logo. The heinous nature of racism will never be properly understood, when SJWs waste their 15 minutes of fame trying to harpoon red herrings such, "plausible" racism found in marketing logos. How will the conversation be taken seriously as this goes on? The mammy-image of Aunt Jemima had been revised for years, but some people will take offense at anything. You can remove the image of every human, anthropomorphic animal, vegetable and/or extraterrestrial alien from children's cereal boxes, and it won't make a damn bit of difference in progress toward changing the justice system. If you'll indulge me a slippery-slope argument, we may all be satisfied, if not thrilled, when the food products available arrive in plain beige containers, marked, Brands X, Y, and Z, after all mascots have been deemed unlawful. And the only place you'll find a representational image of slave-holder George Washington will be the statue on display in Trafalgar Square.

And that's about all I have to say about that. Eioul, go ahead and pick all of the nits from my statement you want until your heart's content.

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23 hours ago, Eiuol said:

To be sure, it's a positive stereotype, but positive stereotypes give false impressions and make people more inclined to misinterpret or misunderstand history. 

This might be the basic issue. If you're getting your interpretation of history from Quaker Oats branding, you should rethink your philosophy of knowledge. This isn't the food company's problem. It's yours. Advertising characters serve a purpose, and it's not to teach you history.

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1 hour ago, Repairman said:

This quote is from the Wikipedia article covering the life of Nancy Green, the original celebrity personality representing the soon to be discontinued brand, known as, Aunt Jemima. 

https://web.archive.org/web/20170829080232/http://www.aaregistry.org/historic_events/view/nancy-green-original-aunt-jemima

That's the article cited, and it still says that the aunt Jemima character was developed before Nancy Green was selected or picked out.

1 hour ago, Repairman said:

Nancy Green deserves some credit for not only achieving the American dream, but for her efforts in promoting the dream to others.

Sounds good to me, the name could even be changed to Aunt Green. This would be a great way to explicitly distance the logo away from the stereotype and focus on a real person with real characteristics with real virtues. 

1 hour ago, Repairman said:

The heinous nature of racism will never be properly understood, when SJWs waste their 15 minutes of fame trying to harpoon red herrings such, "plausible" racism found in marketing logos.

I don't think it is heinous, I just think it is in very bad taste because it attempts (independent of designer or company intent) to harness a stereotype. I don't imagine you disagree that rebranding it as Aunt Green would be a great improvement. 

 

Edited by Eiuol

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Might seem off topic, at first. I was reminded last night catching a glimpse of the film I'd seen before, The Pursuit of HappYness. I don't know how it slipped through the movie moguls' attention, but here's a rare movie that encapsulates America. I.e. A black man who is not a victim. In this fortuitous passage I watched, the character played by Will Smith, despondently muses to himself after a particularly trying day coping with his little boy  (heroic, too) and two jobs: WHY did Thomas Jefferson come up with "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness"? Did he know that it was only to be "a pursuit", never achieved? (Roughly). He by dint of energy, values and application eventually realizes his ambitions (based on true life story of a man who built up his own insurance company). I first considered, now here's a man who could never tolerate a Jefferson statue be torn down. And, "freedom"? that's what you make for yourself. Wherever there is no "systemic" restriction put upon you, in a free nation. Irrespective of past injustices. Very smart topic, this, and extremely incisive responses made; beginning from an innocuous product it touches all bases of present 'Social Metaphysics' experienced in every country. 

Edited by whYNOT

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10 hours ago, Repairman said:

This quote is from the Wikipedia article covering the life of Nancy Green, the original celebrity personality representing the soon to be discontinued brand, known as, Aunt Jemima. 

You... do know... "Personality representing" ≠ origin of the brand name, right? Nor does a "celebrity personality representing" = what's being represented. That's just... not how representations work. The character is, in fact, depicting a slave woman, as sung by minstrel comedy.

"Old Aunt Jemima" is an American song composed by African American comedian, songwriter and minstrel show performer Billy Kersands (c. 1842–1915). The song became the inspiration for the Aunt Jemima brand of pancakes, as well as several characters in film, television and on radio named "Aunt Jemima".

Often, "Old Aunt Jemima" would be sung while a man in drag, playing the part of Aunt Jemima, performed on stage. It was not uncommon for the Aunt Jemima character to be played by a white man in blackface.[2][3] Other minstrels incorporated Aunt Jemima into their acts, so Aunt Jemima became a common figure in minstrelsy. Other songs about Aunt Jemima were composed, such as "Aunt Jemima Song" and "Aunt Jemima's Picnic Day".[2]

The monkey dressed in soldier clothes,

Old Aunt Jemima, oh! oh! oh!

Went out in the woods for to drill some crows,

Old Aunt Jemima, oh! oh! oh!

The jay bird hung on the swinging limb,

Old Aunt Jemima, oh! oh! oh!

I up with a stone and hit him on the shin,

Old Aunt Jemima, oh! oh! oh!

Oh, Carline, oh, Carline,

Can't you dance the bee line,

Old Aunt Jemima, oh! oh! oh!

The bullfrog married the tadpole's sister,

Old Aunt Jemima, oh! oh! oh!

He smacked his lips and then he kissed her,

Old Aunt Jemima, oh! oh! oh!

She says if you love me as I love you,

Old Aunt Jemima, oh! oh! oh!

No knife can cut our love in two,

Old Aunt Jemima, oh! oh! oh!

Oh, Carline, oh, Carline,

Can't you dance the bee line,

Old Aunt Jemima, oh! oh! oh![2][3]

My old missus promise me,

Old Aunt Jemima, oh! oh! oh!

When she died she-d set me free,

Old Aunt Jemima, oh! oh! oh!

She lived so long her head got bald,

Old Aunt Jemima, oh! oh! oh!

She swore she would not die at all,

Old Aunt Jemima, oh! oh! oh! "Oh!oh!oh!"[2]

Sterling Stuckey maintains that Kersands did not write all of these lyrics, but adapted many of them from "slave songs" (such as field hollers and work songs).[2]

 

 

ab6ce01b30a888d4c40fac3f7af6e755.jpeg

Edited by 2046

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10 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Advertising characters serve a purpose, and it's not to teach you history.

But you know this is disingenuous interpretation of what I wrote. The part you quoted says why I think positive stereotypes are bad independent of why they are used. Because they are bad, they should not be on logos. What are you even trying to convey? I don't think you actually misunderstood what I wrote.

 

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5 hours ago, whYNOT said:

WHY did Thomas Jefferson come up with "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness"? Did he know that it was only to be "a pursuit", never achieved? (Roughly)

Lifted from IMDB:

Christopher Gardner : [narrating, at a payphone, raining, after learning Linda is taking Christopher away from him]  It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it. No matter what. How did he know that?

As long as I looked it up . . .

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11 hours ago, Eiuol said:

But you know this is disingenuous interpretation of what I wrote.

How so? Which part did I get wrong?

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Obviously the purpose of advertising isn't to teach you history. What does that have to do with positive stereotypes being bad? You shouldn't do bad things for advertising. And if you want to say that sometimes positive stereotypes are good, go ahead and explain that, but to say that the purpose of advertising is one thing doesn't address anything I said.

Edited by Eiuol

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4 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Obviously the purpose of advertising isn't to teach you history. What does that have to do with positive stereotypes being bad?

You argued that they're bad because they make people more inclined to misinterpret history. This isn't true. People don't look to Quaker Oats branding for a history lesson, nor for some inclination on how to interpret history.

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One variant on the theme . . .

The inspiration for the invention of Eskimo Pie was a boy's indecision in Nelson's confectionery store in 1920. A boy started to buy ice cream, then changed his mind and bought a chocolate bar. ... It was decided the name would change from Nelson's "I-Scream Bar" to "Eskimo Pie".

Who knew that indecisiveness was derogatory.

If nothing else, all this "rebranding" is generating some free advertising, providing it doesn't backfire. Remember when Coke decided to discontinue its flagship product? That could have been a novel approach to introducing a new line of merchandise.

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5 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

People don't look to Quaker Oats branding for a history lesson, nor for some inclination on how to interpret history.

How did you get to "Quaker Oats should give history lessons" from "positive stereotypes give false impressions and make people more inclined to misinterpret or misunderstand history"? The *next* step in reasoning is that brands should not do immoral things... 

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8 hours ago, Eiuol said:

How did you get to "Quaker Oats should give history lessons" from "positive stereotypes give false impressions and make people more inclined to misinterpret or misunderstand history"?

That's not where I got. From what you wrote I got to "people look to Quaker Oats branding for a history lesson." If this is what people do, then, yes, they will have a problem with any character that they consider a stereotype, because it's not a particular historical person. But if they don't do it, then they should recognize characters as fictional creations representing and embodying the ideas of the advertisers, which will be expressed through the pictures and words of the ad. I've watched a lot of the Aunt Jemima ads, and I see her portrayed as a respected black woman with a great recipe. She's referred to as "the first lady of pancakes." She is that family member (aunt) who makes some special food you enjoy. If she was once a mammy stereotype, well, that can be understood in its historical context. But the character hasn't been portrayed as a mammy for quite some time. She's a fictional creation that has evolved with the times through many decades of ads.

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1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

From "positive stereotypes give false impressions and make people more inclined to misinterpret or misunderstand history" I got to "people look to Quaker Oats branding for a history lesson."

So I filled in here what I wrote. So I still have no idea how you got from one to the other.

If you just want to say that Aunt Jemima is not a stereotype anyway, fine. That is the discussion I would want to have. But it's not productive to go on about something I didn't write without explaining how what I said even implies what you're going on about. 

Maybe I could get along with the logo not changing. But the name? That definitely should change, because Aunt Jemima explicitly refers to the stereotype.

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3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

So I filled in here what I wrote. So I still have no idea how you got from one to the other.

Why would a stereotype incline you toward misunderstanding history if you weren't looking for historical knowledge from that stereotype? If you classify it as a fictional character, then you shouldn't be using it to understand history. It is actually your knowledge of history that informs your grasp of the stereotype, not the other way around. You are aware of the history of literature, movies, TV, etc., in which the mammy stereotype appears, and you might then connect Aunt Jemima with that set of stereotypical characters.

3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

If you just want to say that Aunt Jemima is not a stereotype anyway, fine.

That's not what I'm saying. She probably is a stereotype. She's just an ad character. Such things are rarely complicated figures.

3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Maybe I could get along with the logo not changing. But the name? That definitely should change, because Aunt Jemima explicitly refers to the stereotype.

How does the name refer to the stereotype? Isn't the name playing on a family relation rather than a slave or servant one?

Edited by MisterSwig

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9 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

She probably is a stereotype. She's just an ad character.

Not probably, she is. You can argue that the iconography is no longer the stereotype, but the name is. 

9 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Isn't the name playing on a family relation rather than a slave or servant one?

It's a way to refer to a slave or servant so that you don't need to say Miss or Mrs.

9 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Why would a stereotype incline you toward misunderstanding history if you weren't looking for historical knowledge from that stereotype?

I mean, misunderstanding history isn't the only reason I gave, I also said they give false impressions. Imaginary impressions are fine, but it's different if those imaginary impressions are about race, that is, when the imaginary thing represents overgeneralizations of real people.

You don't need to be looking for historical knowledge for your historical knowledge to be influenced. Stereotypes themselves can corrupt your understanding of many things, especially if you learn about the stereotype before anything else about the connected history. Learning a stereotype outside the historical context for example, like in this case, makes it even easier to not notice if you've made a bad implicit association. Then when you start mixing it in with actual historical knowledge, it starts to become messy, having a false impression of what was actual or not. It doesn't matter if you are looking for knowledge; if you are interacting with the world, you are creating knowledge. 

Keep in mind that I'm saying this in the context of why positive stereotypes are bad. 

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On 6/21/2020 at 1:14 PM, dream_weaver said:

One variant on the theme . . .

The inspiration for the invention of Eskimo Pie was a boy's indecision in Nelson's confectionery store in 1920. A boy started to buy ice cream, then changed his mind and bought a chocolate bar. ... It was decided the name would change from Nelson's "I-Scream Bar" to "Eskimo Pie".

Who knew that indecisiveness was derogatory.

If nothing else, all this "rebranding" is generating some free advertising, providing it doesn't backfire. Remember when Coke decided to discontinue its flagship product? That could have been a novel approach to introducing a new line of merchandise.

Interesting, thanks. Show how fondly the brand name is remembered in SA, any ice-cream with choc was known as an "Eskimo Pie", back to my youth. There was a 60-s ballad about kids begging their Dad to take them out to places which outsold Elvis for a while. "Ag pleez daddy won't you take us down to Durban, it's only eight hours in the Chevrolet ... (chorus) popcorn, chewing gum, peanuts and bubblegum, ice cream, candy floss and Eskimo Pie..." Imagine a broad Afrikaans accent.

I don't think anyone regrets that some words and caricatures have been naturally retired from use. By choice, most considerate people stopped using them because they could be hurtful. And then from others less mannered, one knows whom to avoid in future - anyway, let's not get precious about names and artworks and toughen up. "No one has the right to not be offended" Rushdie. (sticks and stones ...)  But everyone knows too that obliterating the past can be the first stage in an ideology, to wiping out all that is good, and freedom of speech and expression is at risk, stifling honesty and eventually free thought. "At risk"? maybe I am too late, more like the reality. Where does it end, change the words here, how far to changing the wording of the Constitution? There's got to be something in there which might be deemed derogatory...

Edited by whYNOT

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How Aunt Jemima Changed U.S. Trademark Law

The "Aunt Jemima Doctrine' is apparently a well known legal precedent too.

What is maddening in all of this - why not against Original Sin and the ongoing evasions in play to keep man from discovering his actual nature as a moral being? 

Tearing down statues, removing trademarks, etc., amounts to if we don't see it, we won't be confronted with the fact that such things are. Then, no one can point to the thing that is not there and say: It is (i.e.; It exists.)

What is reality to do with the wiper that wants to wipe it out? Destroying destruction reads so poetically in a novel.

Edited by dream_weaver

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Like an anti-concept formed on the basis of non-essentials, the use of stereotypes seeks to classify groups within the realm of people on the basis of non-essentials. In the particulars of Aunt Jemima and Eskimo Pie, one appears to have institutionalized a derogatory referent into a benign trademark. The other took the original referent and applied a yet to be identified derogatory interpretation to chocolate-dipped ice-cream on a Popsicle stick.

The rich history of the Aunt Jemima brand could do more for those who seek to preserve reason than those who seek to abandon it.

Edited by dream_weaver

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