In the world of 2020, every other word uttered is offensive to someone or some group, and companies are more than willing to change any product name that crosses the politically correct line drawn in the sand. Networks are removing programming that radical groups find appalling, words are being removed from the lexicon, even Honest Abe Lincoln has found himself a posthumous target of the crazies.
Our time is one of the manufactured crises, where very few possess the courage to say “NO” to the demented demands of diabolical, demonic dunderheads. Ok, excuse the alliterative flourish – Consider it practice for a time when the mob begins removing letters from the alphabet for being “culturally inappropriate” and we are left with fewer ways to form words. Maybe I should’ve chosen something other than “D” because it will most likely be the first letter to go since the odious name Donald Trump can be spelled from it. Then again, the Left likes to scream “Deplorables” for Donald Trump supporters, so the “D” might be saved!
The idea of letters of the alphabet being excised for some sort of imagined bias is a ridiculous notion, but some of the branding changes companies are making to appease the radical, progressive social engineers approach absurdity. In a landscape littered with companies complying with the loonies, there is one that deserves praise for not kneeling under pressure, and that is the grocery chain Trader Joe’s.
A San Francisco high school student, Briones Bidell, began a change.org petition accusing Trader Joe’s of racism. The Petition, which now has over 5000 signatures, declares the product names “Trader Jose” for Mexican food, “Trader Mings” for Chinese food, and “Trader Giotto’s” for Italian food are racist and demands the names be eliminated or changed. The justification for the claim is something that one would regard as spoof or joke, or maybe the product of hallucinogenic indulgence, but alas, it’s not.
We demand that Trader Joe’s remove racist branding and packaging from its stores. The grocery chain labels some of its ethnic foods with modifications of “Joe” that belies a narrative of exoticism that perpetuates harmful stereotypes. For example, “Trader Ming’s” is used to brand the chain’s Chinese food, “Arabian Joe” brands Middle Eastern foods, “Trader José” brands Mexican foods, “Trader Giotto’s” is for Italian food, and “Trader Joe San” brands their Japanese cuisine.
In the current environment, companies are folding like cheap suits when they’re assailed with such demands, whether it’s warranted or not. For instance, PepsiCo scrapped Aunt Jemimah pancake syrup from its product line after social justice warriors demanded it to be expelled. Parent companies for Uncle Ben’s rice, Mrs. Butterworth’s pancake syrup and Cream of Wheat cereal, announced that they would revisit their packaging, which was accused of being rooted in racist stereotypes or imagery. Dreyer’s Ice Cream announced it would change the marketing and name of its Eskimo Pie brand after nearly 100 years. The oldest brewery in New Orleans, Dixie Beer, announced that it would change its name too. Many more are jumping on the bandwagon to do the same, but not Trader Joe’s.
Trader Joe’s responded to the Change.org petition in no uncertain terms that its product names would not be changing.
“Decades ago, our Buying Team started using product names, like Trader Giotto’s, Trader José’s, Trader Ming’s, etc. We thought then — and still do — that this naming of products could be fun and show appreciation for other cultures.” A few weeks ago, an online petition was launched, calling on us to ‘remove racist packaging from [our] products. We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist. We do not make decisions based on petitions.”
Once upon a time in America, observance and highlighting the different customs and cultures of our collective heritage was welcomed and a positive thing. Naming products after other cultures is a recognition, honoring if it were, that other cultures exist. Right Wire Report rejects the concept of cultural appropriation on its face but using their language- those who suffer from “woke-itis” confuse appreciation with appropriation, and ethnicity with race. There is a distinct difference between ridicule and respect.
Typically, the weekly title is “WOKE Award of the Week.” However, in light of Trader Joe’s courageous actions against the madness of a Marxist mob making demands, it’s time to have an “UN-WOKE Award of the Week.” Congratulations to Trader Joe’s for exhibiting a spine.