12 Racist Logos You Didn’t Know Were Used by Popular Brands
| Posted by A Moore
Negro – Magic Steel Wool
Arab website Kabobfest.com reports that this steel wool is manufactured by the German company Oscar Weil, which is owned by the German-Jewish Weil family. The Weils were disowned by the Nazis, but the company was returned to the family after WWII. The “Negro – Magic Steel Wool” logo is actually what a Lebanese importing company uses to market and sell the steel wool in the Middle East. This steel wool is apparently the Middle East’s No. 1 seller.
Aunt Jemima is arguably the most well-known and longest-lasting brand that used a racist caricature to market its product. When Charles Rutt and Charles G. Underwood created a self-rising flour in 1889, Rutt called it Aunt Jemima’s recipe after watching a minstrel show that featured a skit with a Southern mammy named Jemima. In 1989, Quaker Oats, which had purchased the Aunt Jemima Mill Co. in 1926, updated Jemima’s image to a modern African-American woman. But the name stayed.
Black Man Cookie
These weird cookies are made in Romania and are sold in Romania, Turkey and Albania. They are called “Black Man” cookies, obviously in reference to Black people. This edible but racist caricature wears a cape, the letter “B” on his chest, features wavy cornrow-looking hair and a large nose and lips. And, of course, the cookie is chocolate.
Uncle Ben’s Rice
The image of an elderly black man has appeared in ads for Uncle Ben’s Rice since 1946. Like Aunt Jemima, the caricature represented a racial stereotype that lingered after slavery. And, just like Aunt Jemima, the Uncle Ben logo has been updated to reflect a more modern Black person. Also in the same vein as the pancake brand, the name remains, carrying on the practice of whites addressing elderly African-Americans as “uncle” and “aunt” because the titles “Mr.” and “Mrs.” were deemed unsuitable for Blacks.
Generations of Americans have grown up eating Chiquita bananas. Some may remember Miss Chiquita, the sexually flamboyant Latin American caricature the banana company used to brand the fruit since 1944.
Miss Chiquita is widely thought to have been inspired byBrazilian actress and singer Carmen Miranda, who appeared in ads for Chiquita bananas. The actress has been accused of promoting the exotic Latina stereotype because she became famous for wearing pieces of fruit on her head and revealing, tropical clothing.
Some critics argue that this stereotype is even more offensive because the women, men and children who worked in banana farms toiled in grueling conditions, often falling gravely ill as a result of pesticide exposure.
Land O’ Lakes Butter
In 1928, officials from Land O’ Lakes welcomed the idea of using a Native-American woman’s image to sell its butter because the company is based in Minnesota — home of Hiawatha and Minnehaha.
H. Mathew Barkhausen III, a writer who is of Cherokee and Tuscarora descent, has criticized the image of the Land O’ Lakes maiden, calling it stereotypical. She wears two braids in her hair, a headdress and an animal skin frock with beaded embroidery. Also, for some, the maiden’s serene countenance erases the suffering indigenous people have experienced in the United States.
“Like the hoary fantasies of ‘Indians’ and ‘Pilgrims’ sharing with quiet reverence the first ‘Thanksgiving,’ the Land O’ Lakes butter maiden helps white Americans sidestep and repress the horrific realities of what white Americ
Cream of Wheat
Nadra Kareem Nittle of About.com writes that when Emery Mapes of the North Dakota Diamond Milling Co. set out in 1893 to find an image to market his breakfast porridge, now called Cream of Wheat, he decided the portrayal of a subservient and uneducated Black chef was the best fit.
In a 1921 advertisement, the grinning chef — who was given the name Rastus — holds up a chalkboard with these words: “Maybe Cream of Wheat aint got no vitamines. I dont know what them things is. If they’s bugs they aint none in Cream of Wheat…”
Rastus represented the black man as a childlike, nonthreatening slave. The purpose was to portray African-Americans as content with a separate but (un)equal existence while making white Southerners of the time feel nostalgic about the slavery era. Though there are petitionscalling for its removal the caricature still remains on the promotional packaging for Cream of Wheat today.
Conguitos are the Spanish version of M&Ms – a chocolate-covered peanut snack. Notice how the name bears a resemblance to the name Congo, which may hint at where the inspiration for the sweets came from. Even if this is not true, the character on the front of the packet speaks for itself.
Fazer Licorice Sticks
For 80 years, Fazer licorice sticks have been wrapped in paper adorned with a “blackface” caricature that many Finnish citizens deemed as ”familiar and positive mental images,” according to the company. Pressure from the EU, Finnish Consumer Agency and Ombudsman, media and others have forced Fazer to change its “racist” mascot. In 2007, Fazer announced that it will phase out the use of the caricature in an effort to have more international appeal.
Most people do not know that a slow-moving and largely unpublicized battle in North America’s northland has quietly raged on against the use of the word “Eskimo” to describe people with Inuit heritage. Therefore, the ice cream treat that uses the derogatory term for the North American tribe became the subject of controversy in 2009 when a Canadian Inuit woman said the product name insulted her heritage. However, the bad publicity has failed to persuade manufacturer Cadbury Pascall to consider a new name.
Many Black people refuse to eat watermelon in public because of the racist stereotype, with roots embedded in slavery, that suggests they have undying love for the fruit. However, this didn’t stop the Miami-based Cawy Bottling Co. from marketing its watermelon soda with a mascot that depicts an image of a Black girl with ponytails eating watermelon on one side and an image of a white boy on the other. In 2009, Target pulled the beverage from its shelves after coming under fire for selling the watermelon soda with the controversial images.
A toothpaste known as “Darkie,” featuring a smiling blackface performer as its logo, was sold for years in various parts of Asia. It was originally manufactured in Shanghai by the Hawley & Hazel Chemical Co. before being bought by the Colgate-Palmolive Co. After pressure from shareholders, religious groups and Black people, Colgate-Palmolive renamed Darkie and redesigned its logo.
Changing the name from Darkie to Darlie didn’t seem to be much of a drastic change; for, while the logo did change to a smiling man of ambiguous racial background in a top hat, in Chinese, the world “darlie” means “black person,” according to Wikipedia.
The product, despite its infamous history, is still sold widely across Asia today, expan