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Offensive products ignored until holidays

Johny Garcia, Connection staff
October 19, 2011

In today’s society, we openly question many politically incorrect Halloween costumes.

This year it is the “Sexy Anna Rexia” costume, which makes light of a serious illness. Unfortunately, there are many items that continue to offend people on a year-round basis which are ignored or go unnoticed by the majority of society.

Many questionable products can be found that are not seasonal items while walking around a local Walmart.

First, is the use of African-Americans for product spokespeople, Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben being the two leading candidates.

Yes, the figures are smiling and representing a product which can be argued as something righteous, but there is more to these well-known characters.

When these product names were created, society was much more openly racist.

In fact, the words aunt and uncle were used in place of the words Mr. and Mrs. by racist people who denied African-Americans courtesy titles.

Today, the original product names continue to linger in our supermarkets, same spelling and all.

But African-Americans aren’t the only group targeted.

After having an entire country taken from them, Native-Americans now have stereotypical images of them used to sell products.

Images of Native Americans are slapped onto the front of many products, such as the Land-o-Lakes butter container, which portrays a Native-American woman on her knees giving the consumer what he or she desires—butter, of course.

And then there are the “Mexican-Train Dominoes” that are situated right next to household games such as Yahtzee and Scrabble.

Can you imagine if the product read “Jewish-Train Dominoes” instead? There would be a protest if that were the case.

There’s even a box of shoes at the local Goodwill labeled “Ethnic Shoes.”

It is easy to understand how each year at least one seasonal costume is questioned and then recalled for being politically incorrect. They truly are offensive.

What is hard to understand is how multiple offensive products are accepted with little-to-no disregard for who they may offend.

Every year millions of people continue to buy products that have offensive spokespeople and racist connotations printed on their boxes.

But when a new one comes along, then suddenly it is considered wrong and immoral. We should be able to recognize an offensive product regardless of whether it is new or old.

We should be able to recognize what is wrong and choose something else to buy instead. Our moral compasses shouldn’t be seasonal.

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