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Reckoning With Racist Brands

Boxes of Aunt Jemima pancake mix are seen on a store shelf on June 17, 2020 in Washington,DC.
Boxes of Aunt Jemima pancake mix are seen on a store shelf on June 17, 2020 in Washington,DC.

The recent protests over police brutality have started national conversations about what is and isn’t acceptable in society moving forward in America. One of the latest focuses? Racist branding and company mascots.

Symbols and names like Aunt Jemima, Washington’s NFL team, and Chicos. Companies are retiring some bigoted and antiquated mascots while others are standing firmly by their trademarks.

But critics are wondering just how much good changing racist brands and symbols will actually do, especially when companies perpetuate racist practices in promoting their goods and services.

What difference does getting rid of bigoted symbols make if companies themselves don’t commit to making additional changes to their business practices?

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5

Kaity Kline
Kaity Kline is an Assistant Producer at Morning Edition and Up First. She started at NPR in 2019 as a Here & Now intern and has worked at nearly every NPR news magazine show since.

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