Quaker’s “Aunt Jemima” has been replaced by the Pearl Milling Company. “Mrs. Butterworth” and “Uncle Ben” have followed her into the dustbin of history, all because these venerable product images ran afoul of current ideological purity tests. Woke ideology is rolling like an avalanche through corporate America, and removing these objectionable products is one of the chief ways these companies show their awakening.
Many CEOs have acquired the woke virus and are supported by their younger employees who have gone through the ideological reeducation camps that double as contemporary institutions of higher education. This latter camp wholeheartedly accepts the Woke credo—“I believe that systemic racism, patriarchy, and homophobia are everywhere, and that they explain all past problems, all current problems, and all possible future problems”—without question.
Alas, corporations such as Quaker missed a golden opportunity to exhibit wokeness when they ignored The Onion’s advice as to where they might want to go with the old “Aunt Jemima” products. Because of this, I suggest a fuller response these corporations can implement to advance this revolutionary moment. Why waste the momentum of our exciting, radical times by simply removing the old, hateful images? Why not replace them with images more fully ideologically in line with the principles and beliefs of the Woke Revolution?
In that spirit, here are a few rebranding ideas I’d like to see companies consider:
The Squad Ready Rice: Images of Representatives Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Cori Bush, and Jamaal Bowman can replace “Uncle Ben” on the box front. This image will show them cheerfully awaiting rice being prepared for them by their white male heterosexual staff while they energetically boogie—at the direction of expert dancer Ocasio-Cortez—on the prostrate bodies of irredeemable white supremacists such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
On the back of the box, consumers will find a link to Ocasio-Cortez’s narration of “A Message from the Future,” in which they will learn that “we can be whatever we have the courage to see” (which is of course why every young boy who dreams of going to the NFL winds up doing just that).
The side panel on the box will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with a short poem by Congresswoman Omar titled, “Some People Did Something.” It will point out how the worst consequence of the 9/11 attacks was not 3,000 dead, but rather the fact that a few Muslim Americans were called mean names by somebody afterward. The other side panel will contain addresses to which consumers can send a nice big check for the reelection campaigns of the courageous representatives.
Angela Davis Black Panther Revolution Maple Syrup: Forget Pearl Milling Company. The syrup bottle image of “Aunt Jemima” should be replaced with faces of celebrated social justice activists and advocates of violent revolution. Angela Davis and Huey P. Newton would fit the bill, along with Stalin, Mao, and Fidel Castro. This group could be depicted at a charming breakfast table with a bust of Karl Marx at its center, licking syrup off their fingers. Visible in the background will be long lines of people gratefully trudging into the utopian work camps and to the liberatory firing squads with a smile, eating scrumptious, syrup-dripping pancakes as they go.
A short summary of The Communist Manifesto will be printed on the back of the bottle, along with a blueprint for how to organize a Black Panthers School for Kids that can serve as an effective cover for criminal operations, including the embezzlement of contributions and paramilitary training for assaults on police.
Black Lives Matter Peaceful Protest Pancake Mix: An image of a peaceful protester wearing a George Floyd T-shirt graces the front of this box, eating a pancake with one hand and de-arresting a comrade by punching a cop in the face with the other. Mostly peacefully burning buildings and friendly looters loom in the background.
On the back of the box will be an image of BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors’ new $1.4 million Los Angeles home, complete with security fence and armed guards to keep the riff raff out. Meanwhile, the box’s side panels will contain instructions for making love-inciting Molotov cocktails and a list of the characteristics of white supremacist culture. Pancake eaters will be called to struggle against white supremacy by refusing to read the box, or anything else, immediately destroying it after their delicious breakfast to show their opposition to the monstrous and oppressive white supremacist worship of the written word.
Woke Corporations of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your customers!
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Flickr-Mike Mozart, CC BY 2.0
Alexander Riley is a professor of sociology at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.