I try not to betook much of a whore to advertising, or the media, but when I saw Uncle Ben’s on the pasta sauce counter of Angkor Mart, Siem Reap I had to buy it. In case you have not heard Uncle Ben is soon to become a former brand, outlawed by the political correctness of Black Lives Matter. This is our ode to you, goodbye Uncle Ben.
The history of Uncle Ben
Uncle Ben’s rice was introduced in 1943 and until the 1990’s was the top selling brand in the USA. Since then it has expanded into numerous products, including the chills sauce I purchased and was beloved the world over. Until Black Lives Matter.
Uncle Ben’s is most famous for its brand being represented by a smiling African-American gentleman in a bow tie. He was based either in a Chicago maître d’hôtel named Frank Brown, or another African-American guy that was famous for making really good rice.
Over the years the brand grew and no one minded that kind faced African-American was on the cover of the brand. Then the world got woke…
Uncle Ben’s decided to “evolve the brand”.
In June 2020 following the controversy around Black Lives Matter the parent company of Uncle Ben’s announced that they would be “evolving” the brand.
What evolve means is hard to gauge, but you can pretty much bet your bottom dollar it basically means chasing the brand in its entirety.
So is Uncle Ben’s actually racist?
Well, that is the big question as to some extent this question is subjective. It is though worth keeping in mind that Uncle Ben’s has never had the controversy that has following Aunt Jemima’s, or the the numerous sports teams with native based names.
What seems to have alienated the mostly white complainers about the brand is that any depiction of African Americans that falls short of the superheroes from Black Panther is racist.
It truly is a scary world…