coon

Australian cheese brand changes unfortunate name

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Since the murder of George Floyd, a 46 year old black man, in Minneapolis earlier this year, a number of brands, bands, and sports teams have decided to change their names and/or logos in response to allegations of racial insensitivity.

For example, the Dixie Chicks, an idiotic American pop group, are now known as the Chicks. The word Dixie is a reference to the American South, particularly the states that supported slavery and then later opposed civil rights legislation.

Another band, some crappy country rock group called Drive-by Truckers, apologised for their name, though I have to admit that I don’t understand why it’s offensive. Must be a sort of inside joke among yokels.

The National Football League team from the state of Washington has finally ditched the name “Redskins,” a derogatory term for American Indians. They are know called the “Football Team.” Pretty clever.

On the product side of things, food brands Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s have committed to making changes. (Both brands feature stereotypical depictions of black people on their labels.)

But such changes are not confined to the United States; they have arrived in Australia as well. A few days ago, Saputo Dairy, the company that produces Coon brand cheese, announced that it was changing the product’s name, which is named after founder Edward William Coon. “Coon” also happens to be a racial slur.

As Saputo explained in a statement:

“One of our basic principles as an organization is to treat people with respect and without discrimination and we will not condone behaviour that goes against this.

As such, we performed a careful and diligent review of a sensitive situation involving one of our brands. We wanted to ensure we listened to all the concerns surrounding the COON brand name, while also considering comments from consumers who cherish the brand and recognise the origin of its founder Edward William Coon, which they feel connected to.”

The company added that it is now trying to come up with a new name that better meshes with “current attitudes and perspectives.”

“We believe we all share in the responsibility to eliminate racism in all its forms and we feel this is an important step we must take to uphold this commitment,” the statement concludes.

All of which reminds me of this “Chappelle’s Show” skit.