15 Racist Brand Mascots And Logos That Make The Redskins Look Progressive

On Wednesday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled six trademarks belonging to the Washington Redskins after finding the name disparaged Native Americans.

But while the Redskins ownership continues to defend the legitimacy of its name and logo, other major American brands have backed away from offensive mascots like the Frito Bandito, a stereotypically Mexican, armed robber who hawked Fritos in the 1960s.

We’ve taken a look at some of the more offensive logos and mascots in history.

Kim Bhasin and Karlee Weinmann contributed reporting to this story.

Aunt Jemima, 1889-Present

Company: Aunt Jemima/Quaker Oats

In the late 1800s, the Missouri newspaper editor Chris L. Rutt decided to name his brand of self-rising flour after 'Aunt Jemima,' a song performed by minstrel actors.

A former slave named Nancy Green was later hired to portray Aunt Jemima as a 'mammy,' a minstrel show caricature that female slaves as smiling, happy homemakers.

The Aunt Jemima name is still used today, but the face that currently graces the brand's merchandise has been re-imagined to be less offensive.

Source: The Jim Crow Museum Of Racist Memorabilia

Chief Blackjack (1928-1987)

Organisation: St. John's University

The Queens, New York-based college began calling its sports teams the Redmen in the early 1920s and adopted the Chief Blackjack mascot in 1928 when two students found a statue of him outside a cigar store.

The school used a variant of the wildly offensive logo you see here up until 1987, finally ditching the Redmen name in 1994 after pressure from Native American groups. The school's teams are now known as the Red Storm.

Source: St. John's University, Jay Rosenstein Productions, New York Times

Darkie, 1933-1989

Company: Darkie Toothpaste

The name and mascot of Darkie Toothpaste, founded in Hong Kong in 1933, were also 'inspired' by the minstrel show.

The brand quickly became popular in Asia, and in 1985, Colgate-Palmolive purchased a 50% stake for $US50 million. Four years later, the conglomerate heeded the call of shareholders and activists and changed the name to Darlie, swapping the minstrel logo for one of a racially ambiguous man.

Darlie remains popular in China, where its Chinese name still translates to 'Black People Toothpaste.'

Source: Newsweek

Rastus, 1901-1925

Company: Cream of Wheat

Since the 1880s, Rastus has been widely considered a pejorative term associated with black men. Through advertisements from the first part of the 20th Century, the smiling chef is depicted as childlike and uneducated.

Cream of Wheat took Rastus off the box in 1925 in favour of a portrait of Frank L. White, a Chicago chef who remains on the box to this day.

Source: The Jim Crow Museum Of Racist Memorabilia, Adweek

Miss Chiquita, 1944-Present

Company: Chiquita

Originally a sexy banana, the mascot is now a sexy banana seller. She wears a Carmen-Miranda-esque fruit hat that gives an exotic and idealised image of the tropics.

Source: Chiquita

Uncle Ben's, 1940s-Present

Company: Uncle Ben's

In 1946, America first met Uncle Ben, then a rice-slinging domestic servant. The dapper black cook was only recently 'promoted' after more than six decades of servitude.

Uncle Ben's Inc., owned by Mars, named Ben its fictional Chairman of the Board in 2007. Visitors to the brand's website can even take a tour of his virtual office.

While this move quelled some criticism, some still say the name 'Uncle,' which was pejorative, needs to be changed.

Source: The New York Times

Funny Face Drink Mix, 1964-1965

Company: Pillsbury

When Kool-Aid started dominating the refreshment market, Pillsbury decided to create its own, competing brand: Funny Face.

Injun Orange and Chinese Cherry are actual varieties of Funny Face, and the racist overtones didn't stop at the names; caricatures accompanied each of the flavours.

Pillsbury would soon swap out its original varieties for Jolly Olly Orange and Choo Choo Cherry on its own.

Source: Slate

Crazy Horse malt liquor, 1992-2001

Company: Stroh Brewery

Though the real Crazy Horse may have advocated abstinence, that didn't stop Stroh Brewery from capitalising on his recognisable name and image -- as well as the popular stereotype that Native Americans are heavy drinkers -- with this malt beverage.

The company had to backpedal hard after its product inspired serious outrage from Crazy Horse's estate and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. In 2001, Stroh apologized in a ceremony on the Rosebud Reservation.

Crazy Horse is still on the market, but under the name Crazy Stallion.

Source: Slate

Krispy Kernels (1959-1900, 2013)

Company: Krispy Kernels

Krispy Kernels' original logo for Yum Yum potato chips was introduced in 1959, when the Quebec-based potato chip company was founded. The mascot and logo depicted a young, Native American boy wearing stereotypical clothing: a headdress and a loincloth.

The company was recently scrutinized for reviving the offensive logo for a short period of time in 2013. The logo originally disappeared during the Oka Crisis, a land dispute between the town of Oka, Quebec, and a group of Mohawk people.

Source: Huffington Post Canada

Mascots and logos weren't the only offensive things companies did back in the day

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