Mrs. Butterworth

Quaker Oats just announced that Aunt Jemima brand of syrup and pancake mix will get a new name and image, in recognition that its origins are based on a racial stereotype promoting the idea of Black people in servitude.  The company will also donate at least $5 million over the next five years “to create meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the Black community.”  Uncle Ben’s just announced, “As we listen to the voices of consumers, especially in the Black community, and to the voices of our Associates worldwide, we recognize that one way we can do this is by evolving the Uncle Ben’s brand, including its visual brand identity.”

Has political correctness gone too far, as I just read that people consider Nestle’s Eskimo Pie and Chiquita Bananas to be racist symbols?  I don’t really mind, as long as they don’t change Mrs. Butterworth.  I can see getting rid of Confederate statues and banning lawn jockeys, but DNA evidence has proved that Mrs. Butterworth is white, and it was just the syrup that made her appear to look black.  Actually, she’s not even married, she just started using the “Mrs.” title when she got pregnant out of wedlock, to hide the fact that the child she was carrying was a bastard.  If only there were more joy in the world, as Joy is Mrs. Butterworth’s first name.

Written for June Monthly prompts – If only there were more.

12 thoughts on “Mrs. Butterworth

  1. Has political correctness gone too far? YES…Bill Maher made a comment that political correctness was a big part of trump getting elected. People were fed up with it…I sure wouldn’t vote for Trump but I do agree with Maher…it gets too extreme.

    HBO took Gone With The Wind off their movie list also…when they did… it was the best selling Bluray the following day. They are adding it back but only after adding commentary about it. Are we too stupid to think for ourselves?

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  2. I recognize this post is largely tongue-in-cheek but, do we really have to draw the line somewhere? If your syrup’s brand name (and let’s be real, there’s no actual syrup in there, it’s just brown colored high-fructose water.. tasty for certain, but syrup? Maybe not so much).. anyway, if the brand name is such a core part of your being, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate what’s truly important in life. Snag an old magazine ad or something and frame it on your wall if syrup nostalgia is so important. But, if losing a few iconic brands with borderline names and/or imagery is the biggest hardship White folks have to endure, then doesn’t crabbing about it really show off how privileged we are?

    Also, there’s always Log Cabin. Truth be told, we’re a Butterworth’s household too… So, whatever the name winds up being, I’m sure we’ll still be pouring that smooth, sweet, sticky goodness on our pancakes.

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  3. Yes this was meant to be sarcastic and I am privileged compared to many others. I like to write and I hope that what I say doesn’t offend others, but you can never tell what is going to set somebody off. I probably wouldn’t be able to tell what brand of syrup I am using if I don’t see the bottle that it is being poured out of, but I always buy sugar-free Mrs. Butterworth’s. I am sure that when the name changes I will find a new favorite, Thanks for sharing your intelligent opinions.

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    1. To be clear, I wasn’t offended by your post… I found the sarcasm funny. However, I did just have several similar conversations over this past holiday weekend with people who seemed genuinely defensive about giving up syrup names and “historical” statues as our country undergoes a racial course correction. So, I figured I’d throw out a little perspective.

      Also, I truly tried to find evidence that Joy Butterworth was married… nothin’… Couldn’t even find evidence that she dated. I feel lied to… Is Dr. Pepper even a real doctor?!?

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