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Bryan Eacret
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Posted: 18 June 2020 at 12:08pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I don't find any hard evidence on who Mrs. B was based on. McQueen is mentioned as "supposedly" and "allegedly" based on. The company claims Mrs. B is an ambiguous grandmotherly icon. 

I needed to buy syrup last weekend and took a good look at the products available. I figured Aunt J's time was well past done. The product looked badly out of place. I took a hard look at the Mrs. B bottle and decided she looked white. I bought the store brand. It's all liquid sugar anyway. 

Maybe it doesn't matter, though. Should a white stereotypical matron type  be a syrup dispenser? The company will likely change its branding if its perceived as offensive. 
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David Allen Perrin
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Posted: 18 June 2020 at 12:16pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

“Aunt” and “Uncle” in the context of racist stereotypes with connections to slavery and the antebellum south Was that slaves that were permitted to prepare the masters food or work inside the masters house to clean and/or care for the masters children were often given the title “Aunt” or “Uncle” as if to imply that the slave was so endeared they were part of the “family”.   But to be very clear.  They most certainly were NOT part of the family.  They were SLAVES.

Uncle Ben is dressed the way he is because he is in what amounts to a butler’s uniform.  Aunt Jemima has her own history.  She was fashioned around a real life black woman named Nancy Green.  

See the link for more on her...


And for the record...Mrs. Butterworth was always an old white lady to me because her voice in the old commercials felt that way to me.  And look how cute Kim Fields was when she was little.





Edited by David Allen Perrin on 18 June 2020 at 12:42pm
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 18 June 2020 at 1:38pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Both of them are terrible excuses for maple syrup.
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Ron Grant
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Posted: 18 June 2020 at 3:50pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

That Vaudeville show he went to was actually a
minstrel show
"The name “Aunt Jemima” comes from a 1875
minstrel show song called “Old Aunt Jemima.”
Minstrel shows, of course, often featured
white performers in blackface as racist
caricatures and, as activist, actor and writer
Sarah Doneghy wrote in a 2018 story entitled
“Aunt Jemima: It was Never About the Pancakes”
on BlackExcellence.com: “The song was based on
a song sung by slave hands. ‘Old Aunt Jemima’
was performed by men in blackface. One of the
men depicted Aunt Jemima — a Slave Mammy of
the Plantation South.”"

link
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 18 June 2020 at 5:04pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I thought Mrs. Butterworth's design was based on late 1800's-early 1900's maids? 

The `voice' of the character in the commercials have always sounded like an old white grandmother type to me.

 
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Jason Czeskleba
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Posted: 18 June 2020 at 7:16pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

It seems to be nothing more than internet lore that Mrs. Butterworth was based on Butterfly McQueen's character in GWTW.  It's repeated frequently on multiple websites with absolutely no source cited.  I do not see much of any resemblance between their facial features, and Mrs. Butterworth doesn't wear a handkerchief in her hair.  Also, Mrs. Butterworth was introduced in the early 60s, which would be kind of late in the game for a product evoking a "mammy" stereotype.  And if it was their intent to evoke that stereotype, why did they cast a white voice actress in the original commercials?  I suspect someone made up this story based solely on the similarity of the words "butterfly" and "butterworth."  The character seems to be a matronly white old lady.

It would not surprise me if the Mrs. Butterworth character winds up getting retired regardless of this, though, because public perception is more important than reality in the advertising business, and if there's a common misperception that the character is based on a stereotype that is something they do not need.


Edited by Jason Czeskleba on 18 June 2020 at 7:20pm
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Andy Mokler
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Posted: 19 June 2020 at 12:04am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

In 2016, 9 out of 10 Native Americans polled said they were not offended by the Redskins name.

In 2020, 50% found it offensive.

It's hard not to think that our easily offended society isn't playing a part in these changing numbers.

Similar claims of insensitivity and racism have been made against Florida State for their use of the Seminoles.  But the actual tribe sanctioned the use of their name.

Are white liberals making more noise than those who are supposedly being harmed?  It will be interesting to see if Snyder eventually caves in on the subject.  Mostly, what will the reaction be when the team erases all connection to Native Americans?

Much like the Aunt Jamima situation, the eventual outcome may be less representation.  IMO, Nancy Green should be remembered and honored as the first living corporate logo.  While the name and character came from an ignorant place, I have a hard time believing that those making pancake batter and syrup were promoting hatred.

Green portrayed a stereotype perhaps but she actually was a paid housekeeper and cook.  Seems like less of a stereotype and more of a reality.
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 19 June 2020 at 1:11am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

 Andy Mokler wrote:
Much like the Aunt Jamima situation, the eventual outcome may be less representation.

What. The Actual. Fuck? 

Finally ditching a racist stereotype of a happy house slave adorning boxes of breakfast packaging marketed to white people is somehow going to account for "less representation"?  I mean, seriously Andy, how low can your bar go if "representation" of Black people comes down to a brand of pancake mix created by a couple of white men in 1889.  
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 19 June 2020 at 1:24am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Great article in WaPo this week written by a woman whose grandmother was one of many who toured the states from the 30s-50s dressed up as the Aunt Jemima character serving pancakes at State Fairs and local gatherings to promote the brand.  It's an important read insomuch as she is able to state plainly why she is for dropping the name/brand altogether (and has been for a long time) while also being proud of her grandmother.  You can both accept that the character/mascot is a racist trope while also celebrating those who found a way to use it for a positive means.  

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Matt Reed
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Posted: 19 June 2020 at 1:45am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Aunt Jemima in the 40s:



Hmmm this next print ad...a white woman telling Jemima that "it's like having you there in person" the implication being having her back in the kitchen making breakfast for her white family.


This one is a strip about some white folks not being able to find any leftovers in the kitchen for dinner, but are sure glad Jemima is "there" to help them.  Note the box in the second panel:




But, you know, it's all about "white liberals making more noise than those who are supposedly being harmed" and "less representation".  

Sure, Andy. Whatever.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 19 June 2020 at 2:04am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

 Andy Mokler wrote:
In 2016, 9 out of 10 Native Americans polled said they were not offended by the Redskins name.

In 2020, 50% found it offensive.

It's hard not to think that our easily offended society isn't playing a part in these changing numbers.

Or, you could actually look at the methodology of the study and see how that 9 out of 10 poll was bullshit?

"As a Native American, do you find that name offensive, or doesn't it bother you?"

They asked an either-or question between two extremes for something that isn't binary. Can I acknowledge that something is racist, but I just shrug it off because I'm used to that kind of casual racism? Sure. How should I answer? If I think it's racist, but have no visceral reaction to it, am I offended? How should I answer?

Also, it was a phone poll. You might get a different response if someone calls you and asks, "Does this offend you?" from if you ask the same question online or a paper survey.

Also, the respondents were self-identified Native Americans, with 56% having no tribal affiliation. That's problematic. I mean how many of those respondents are white people with the "my parents told me that my great-great grandmother on my mother's side was Cherokee or something"?


A 2014 poll that asked "Is the Redskins name racist?" and "Is the Redskins name disrespectful to Native Americans?" yielded different results.


67% of Native Americans thought Redskins was racist. And the researcher surveyed people who could verify their race or ethnic group.

Here's discussion of the 2019 study you refer by one of the researchers explaining their methodology:


Randomized questions, getting responses on a 1-7 scale, twice the sample size, taking quantitative measures of Native identity. This was an actual scientific study, not a phone poll.

Also, whether or not Native Americans attitudes have shifted in the last 3 years (not), trying to blame white liberals for those shifting attitudes is so ridiculously problematic.

Edit ~ I only did so to clarify who made the initial statement Michael is referencing.  I think that's important.


Edited by Matt Reed on 19 June 2020 at 2:15am
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Andy Mokler
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Posted: 19 June 2020 at 2:44am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

So, is that how Aunt Jemima hotcakes and syrup have been portrayed since the '40's?  I never said that there weren't racist things in the past but that was almost a hundred years ago.

And don't try and tell me there isn't a LOT of white guilt by white liberals.  Or that our society hasn't made a habit of finding offense with practically everything.  

The freakin' Rice Krispies elves are supposedly racist.  Are companies really going to rush to have a minority on their labels when anything they do will be scrutinized regardless of intent?

The vilification of white people as sport is just as racist as the claims against them.  We're talking about a product started in the 1800's being held to a modern day standard and 3 corporations removed from those who invented it.  

So, what is it that's racist about the current marketing?  Aunt Jemima is a fictional character that has evolved with the times.  Shouldn't that be the point?  Not where you started but where you've grown?  It's the same type of misguided POV that focuses on the colonies having slaves but seemingly ignoring that they also abolished slavery.  That our country was founded on ideals that has allowed us to evolve beyond our early, ignorant ways.  

But the mantra is that racism is rampant, everywhere and irredeemable.  It's gotten ridiculous.  Just because there is a black person involved, doesn't mean that there is racism.  But don't try and convince anyone of that.  

Liberals and Democrats have found an outlet of power and they are exploiting it to the Nth degree.  They and the media are stoking the racist flames.  They are violent.  They are advocating virtual book burning.  Trying to silence their opponents.  "Cancelling" anyone who doesn't tow the line.

First it was statues of Lee and Jackson being toppled by mobs.  Then it was Thomas Jefferson's statue.  Schools named after George Washinton and Thomas Jefferson are being re-named.  Now it's Aunt Jemima syrup?!?  If Redskins is so offensive to Native Americans, it seems odd that there are still predominantly Native American high schools that use that as their mascot name.

And before anyone suggest that it's different because they can call themselves that, why aren't there any high schools with "niggas" as the mascot?
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