Trader Joe’s Changes Course On Branding, Stands Up To Cancel Culture

By: Tammy Bruce in The Washington Times

There’s good news on the “flattening the curve” front. I’m not speaking of the infamous one for the coronavirus that was initially set for 15 days and has turned into months, with continually changing goal posts. I’m speaking of the woke gang’s mission to declare as many things as possible racist, then demanding cancellation (also known as complete destruction) of the offensive offender.

Whether it be Aunt Jemima pancake syrup, Uncle Ben’s rice, the Land O’ Lakes Native American woman logo, or even Eskimo Pie ice cream, we’ve watched brands respond to complaints, or pre-emptively deciding to blow up branding images, just in case someone might eventually claim offense.

Indicating the woke mob is now having to break a sweat finding things to be offended by, San Diego’s over 100-year-old “Museum of Man” announced it was changing its name to the “Museum of Us,” after the CEO received complaints from some women that the name made the museum a “monument to the patriarchy.” With this new nomenclature, one must ask how long will it be until manhole covers become ushole covers?

While we have crushed the coronavirus curve, courtesy of the supermarket chain Trader Joe’s, we also may be finally flattening the woke mob curve of declaring things racist with no pushback whatsoever. Last month, a high school student, likely urged along by her woke teachers, started a petition declaring Trader Joe’s branding “racist.”

SFGate reported, “The products in question are food items from various parts of the world that are re-branded under the Trader Joe’s umbrella. But rather than the typical Trader Joe’s name emblazoned on food items, oftentimes products are given offshoots of the name Joe. Instead, these items are dubbed ‘Trader Giotto’s‘ or ‘Trader Ming’s‘ or ‘Trader Jose’ to refer to Italian, Chinese or Mexican products, respectively, among other ethnic-sounding names for products.”

The petition, according to the website, outlined the extent of the grocery chain’s crimes: “The Trader Joe’s branding is racist because it exoticizes other cultures — it presents ‘Joe’, as the default ‘normal’ [well, that’s probably because a man named Joe is the market’s founder] and the other characters falling outside of it … The common thread between all of these transgressions is the perpetuation of exoticism, the goal of which is not to appreciate other cultures, but to further other and distance them from the perceived ‘normal.’”

Right out of the gate, a person identifying herself as the public relation’s director for Trader Joe’s immediately took a knee, apparently deciding a high school online petition should control their marketing: “While this approach to product naming may have been rooted in a lighthearted attempt at inclusiveness, we recognize that it may now have the opposite effect — one that is contrary to the welcoming, rewarding customer experience we strive to create every day …”

Yeah, no. There has been no organic build-up of anxiety and offense generated by Trader Joe’s packaging, any more than people were wandering around clutching their pearls because of the word “man” in a museum reflecting the activities of the species.

Only the woke mob imagines “Trader Giotto” pasta as an offensive racist insult, so much so that Trader Joe’s actual customers made themselves heard when the news broke that TJ’s was caving, finally flattening the bully curve, at least in this case of woke absurdity.

Trader’s Joe’s issued another statement saying more than “nevermind,” they defended their packaging and their vision: “A few weeks ago, an online petition was launched calling on us to ‘remove racist packaging from [our] products.’ Following were inaccurate reports that the petition prompted us to take action,” said the statement.

Moreover, they insisted, “We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist. We do not make decisions based on petitions. We have heard from many customers reaffirming that these name variations are largely viewed in exactly the way they were intended — as an attempt to have fun with our product marketing.”

This matters as it appears to be the first time a national corporation stood up against the woke mob and not only refused to do as ordered, but pushed back by announcing they were rejecting the obviously ridiculous accusations.

Considering their statement, it’s likely the support they received from their customer base is what empowered them to stay on their feet, and to reject the idiotic allegation of racism. It does remind us that the power of the mob exists only when they are the singular voice heard. There’s a reason the left has worked long and hard to intimidate people into silence — they know their agenda would collapse if ever confronted.

So congratulations to the Trader Joe’s customers who made sure their favorite store knew they had support and encouraged them to not be pushed around by the smug and ignorant. And let this be a lesson to all of us: Speak up against the destruction and obscene allegations issued by the woke mob. They only have power when you say nothing.

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