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'Racist' cheese, cream and sauce: how US protests are changing the way Americans live

Florida high school banned the soccer team police flag after critics deemed it "blatantly racist." Writes about it Fox News.

Photo: Shutterstock

A flag with a thin blue line was banned at a local high school in Neptune Beach, Florida after a series of complaints circulated on social media.

The Fletcher High School football team last year changed the flag in support of law enforcement to allow one of its players, Calan Lavender, to honor his late father, Andy Lavender. Lavender was a Jacksonville Beach Police Officer who passed away unexpectedly in August 2019 after 29 years in law enforcement and was heavily involved in sports programs.

“He was one of a kind,” said his wife, Laurie Lavender. "We miss him very much and love him."

The team's use of the symbol generated rapid online backlash, with some calling the move "blatantly racist."

Debates over the meaning of the flag have come into question amid massive protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd in May. The flag is known as a symbol of law and order defenders.

Following the backlash, Fletcher High School principal Dean Ledford reportedly issued a statement announcing the flag would be banned.

“The flag, known as the Thin Blue Line, has different meanings to different people, and instead of representing a young person’s personal feelings, it was interpreted as a political statement by the team and the school,” Ledford said. - After consulting with the coaches, I determined that the use of this flag for personal purposes, in the context of the opening ceremony of a football match, can be easily interpreted as a reflection of the political position of our school, and not just the personal feelings of the student and his teammates. So I decided that I shouldn't continue to use it anymore. "

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Ledford noted that he "discusses with the student and his teammates how they can appropriately express their personal views."

“As a school principal, I appreciate our police, Jacksonville Beach Police, Atlantic Beach Police, Neptune Beach Police and Jacksonville Sheriff's Office for their work in protecting our school and our community,” Ledford added. “As a school, we must be very careful in maintaining an objective position on various political issues. Our actions to guide the student and his teammates towards the proper way of expressing their personal views should be interpreted only as actions to support school policy and not from the position of a supporter of any particular point of view. ”

Lavender expressed her disappointment at the school's decision, saying the flag was neither political nor racist in the eyes of her family.

“We can handle this,” she added. "We'll continue to pay tribute to Andy."

Lavender said she just wants her son to listen to his heart and honor his father's memory.

Steve Zona, President of the Brotherhood Order of the 5-30 Jacksonville Police Lodge and associate of Lavender, opposed the school's decision, saying the move was never politically motivated.

“Don't let people make it political or racist. It's about Andy and his son, ”Zona wrote.

The zone encourages the community to buy tickets for the team's football matches and wear a “I know Andy” sign to support the family.

Costco stops selling popular cheese after controversy over Black Lives Matter

Costco has stopped importing products from the South Carolina mayor's pimento cheese brand, who has labeled Black Lives Matter a "terrorist organization," writes Fox News.

Brian Henry, Mayor of Pauls Island and owner of Palmetto Cheese, said the company's products are shipped "as usual."

“We remain optimistic that Palmetto will return to the shelves in the not too distant future,” Henry said.

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The Georgetown Times posted a photo of the Myrtle Beach Costco store sign saying the products were “discontinued and will not be reordered by Costco,” adding that the items were shipped from more than 120 Costco locations.

Palmetto has faced calls for a boycott from some consumers following Henry's controversial Facebook post in which he linked protest movements to the unrelated fatal shots of a father and daughter following a car accident. The victims were white, and the accused of the murder was black.

Henry's post was called "racist" and urged him to step down. Henry has since deleted it and has publicly apologized.

“My comments were offensive and emotionless,” he told reporters.

Henry also asked to reconsider the decision of people calling for a boycott of his products.

“Please think of the hundreds of jobs in South Carolina that depend on the company's success,” he said.

Palmetto Cheese is still sold in more than 9 stores in 100 states and Washington, DC, according to the company's website.

Skin lightening cream has also been criticized

Ads are driving demand for skin-lightening products like White Perfect, White Glow and White Beauty, writes CBS News.

Creams contain chemicals that reduce melanin. Some, if used improperly, can damage the skin.

Large corporations such as L'Oreal, Unilever, and Johnson & Johnson are part of an industry that is reportedly worth more than $ 8 billion a year.

“My grandmother used it before. And when my mom saw the ad, she decided she needed it too, ”said Stephanie Yeboah, a UK writer.

Yeboa started using skin whitening creams at the age of 14.

“I started to lighten my skin because I thought that this would make my life easier. I thought that by changing my skin color, I could be more successful in life, ”she said.

The beauty industry is experiencing racial strife following the Black Lives Matter protests. The giants of the cosmetics industry have been accused of hypocrisy for opposing racism and promoting whiteness at the same time.

Johnson & Johnson said in a statement that the company will no longer sell two skin lightening lotions. L'Oreal said it is removing the words "white" and "light" from the names of its skin products.

Parent company Nivea followed suit by removing "whitening" and "light" from product names. Unilever renames its hugely popular Fair & Lovely cream Glow & Lovely.

But is renaming the products enough?

“They need to ban these products,” Yeboah said. - They don't need to rename it. I mean, I don't understand what the renaming will do when the expected effect of the product remains the same. "

Yeboah said she has come a long way from hating her skin to loving her, which has led her to become body-positive as a social media influencer.

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When asked what she wants to say to the girls today, she replied: “I would say, first of all, you are beautiful. You have beautiful skin. Your skin tells such a beautiful deep story from your African ancestors to the present day. You should be proud of that. "

Activists say corporations need to move away from skin-lightening products altogether, and that people of different races must also give up these deep-rooted beliefs about beauty so that everyone can love their skin, regardless of shade.

The Washington Redskins football team

The Washington Redskins were founded in 1932 as the Boston Braves. In 1933, the team changed their name to Redskins. Business Insider.

Team owners and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have previously advocated the use of the word and logo depicting the Indian.

However, recently FedEx, one of the team's main sponsors and owner of the stadium name, issued a statement requesting a name change. He later also threatened not to pay $ 45 million on the contract if the name was not changed. Additional sponsors including PepsiCo, Nike and Bank of America have made similar demands.

A new name has yet to be announced, but a team statement said team owner Daniel Snyder and head coach Ron Rivera “are working closely to develop a new name and design approach that will solidify our proud, tradition-rich team's reputation and inspire our sponsors, fans. and the whole community for the next 100 years. "

Pancake mix Aunt Jemima

Quaker Oats, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, announced on June 17 that it would discontinue its Aunt Jemima syrup and pancake mix, saying the company recognizes that "Aunt Jemima's origins are based on racial stereotypes."

In the late 1800s, Missouri newspaper editor Chris L. Rutt decided to name his brand after the song Aunt Jemima. An ex-slave named Nancy Green was later hired to portray Aunt Jemima as "mommy." The picture came out in the form of a racist cartoon depicting a slave woman smiling and happy when she works for a non-white family.

“We recognize that the origins of Aunt Jemima are based on racial stereotypes,” Christine Croapfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, said in a press release. “As we work to make progress towards racial equality through multiple initiatives, we must also take a close look at our portfolio of brands to ensure they reflect our values ​​and meet our consumers' expectations.”

Kroepfl claims the company has worked to "update" the brand over the years to be "appropriate and respectful," but these changes are not enough.

Uncle Ben's

The rice company Uncle Ben's adopted its name and logo in 1946. According to the company's website, the name Uncle Ben's belongs to a Texas farmer and the image is from Chicago-based chef and waiter Frank Brown.

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Uncle Ben's has a “controversial history,” wrote Stuart Elliott in a 2007 New York Times article recently quoted by Delish. “Southerner whites once used the words 'uncle' and 'aunt'” as an honorable address to older blacks because they refused to say 'mister' and 'mrs', ”he said.

Eskimo Pie

The ice cream, named after a North American tribe, became the subject of controversy in 2009 when a Canadian Inuit woman said the product's name was an insult to her heritage. A slow-paced and largely unreported battle in northern North America has quietly raged against the use of the word "Eskimo" to describe people with Inuit and Yupik heritage.

The word "Eskimo" has a derogatory connotation associated with non-local settlers who colonized the Arctic.

It was recently announced that Eskimo Pie will change its name and marketing after recognizing the name's problematic origins.

Mrs. Butterworth

Syrup and Pancake Company Mrs. Butterworth's took its final form in 1961.

For years, the shape of Mrs Butterworth's syrup bottles has been the subject of controversy. “Critics have long associated Mrs Butterworth's bottle shape with a caricature of black women submitting to white people,” wrote Maria Kramer.

Conagra Brands, the parent company of Mrs. Butterworth, released a statement that they have begun a brand and packaging review.

“Brand Mrs. Butterworth, including the syrup packaging, aims to evoke the image of a loving grandmother. We stand in solidarity with our communities and see that our packaging can be interpreted completely differently from the way it was laid down, ”they said.

There are several examples that have been controversial even before the protests began.

Chief Blackjack, 1928-1987

College in Queens, New York, began calling its sports teams the Redmen in the early 1920s and adopted the Chief Blackjack mascot in 1928.

The school used a version of the logo until 1987, finally dropping the Redmen name in 1994 after pressure from Native American groups. The school's teams are now known as Red Storm.

Rastus, 1901-1925

Since the 1880s, Rastus has been considered a derogatory term associated with black men. In advertisements from the first half of the 20th century, a smiling chef is depicted as an uneducated child.

Cream of Wheat removed Rastus from the box in 1925 in favor of a portrait of Frank L. White, a Chicago-based chef that remains on the box to this day.

Chief mascot of Syracuse University Bill Orange, 1931-1978

Formerly, the mascot of Syracuse University was Big Chief Bill Orange.

The warrior statue was erected on campus in 1951 and still stands today. In 1978, students from the Syracuse community and members of the Native American organization protested the use of this talisman.

In the end, the mascot was retired along with the costume.

Frito Bandito, 1967-1971

Speaking broken English and robbing unsuspecting passers-by, Frito Bandito was an armed, disheveled Mexican swindler with a gold tooth.

In response to pressure from the Mexican American Anti-Defamation Committee, the snack giant changed the look of Frito Bandito. But the slicked hair and friendlier expression on his face didn't quite catch on to the audience.

Fritos scrapped the cartoon and was replaced by a less prominent cowboy group, Muncha Bunch.

Oil Land O'Lakes, 1928-2020

Land O'Lakes recently changed the packaging of its consumer products, removing the image of a Native American woman with a feather in her hair.

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The change was implemented on the eve of the company's 100th anniversary. The new packaging is very similar to the original except for the removal of the Indian woman.

Chief Wahoo, 1947-2018

The Indians have announced plans to remove the logo from their uniform in 2018. The move came after decades of protests and complaints that the grinning red-faced cartoon used in one version or another since 1947 was racist. However, the controversial talisman is still rarely seen in stores.

Sambo, 1957-1981

When restaurateurs Sam Battiston and Newell Bonett founded Sambo's, they insisted that the name had nothing to do with the children's book of the time, The Story of Little Black Sambo.

But businessmen have capitalized on associations with decor inspired by Little Black Sambo.

In the late 1970s, the network had 1200 locations in 47 states. After some backlash, a name change, and an attempt to change its identity, the company went bankrupt in 1981.

Funny Face drink mix, 1964-1965

When Kool-Aid began to dominate the soft drink market, Pillsbury decided to create its own rival brand: Funny Face.

The Indian orange and the Chinese cherry are true varieties of Funny Face, and the racist overtones weren't limited to the names: cartoons accompanied each of the species.

Eventually, Pillsbury independently replaced its original varieties with Jolly Olly Orange and Choo Choo Cherry.

Crazy Horse malt liqueur, 1992-2001

While the real Crazy Horse may have advocated abstinence from alcohol, that hasn't stopped the Stroh brewery from using its recognizable name and image, as well as the popular stereotype that Native Americans drink a lot.

The company was forced to back down after its product caused major outrage in Crazy Horse and the Sioux. In 2001, the company apologized.

Crazy Horse is still sold under the Crazy Stallion name.

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