Saturday, October 17, 2020

Peter Kurti: Bye-bye, oh sweet Eskimo Pie

Stop right there and put down that chocolate-coated ice cream treat! It’s not just sugar that is dripping from those delicious rivulets of vanilla confection. Racism is apparently blended into the recipe too.

Just when you thought we’d seen off racist ‘Coon’ cheese, followed by the equally racist ‘Smarter White Milk’, it turns out there’s still more racism lurking on the diary shelf.

In another case of corporate virtue signalling run amok, venerable Aussie ice cream maker Peters has now dumped its allegedly racist ‘Eskimo Pie’ brand — a favourite of generations — to rename it ‘Polar Pie’.

The ice cream treat is just the latest in a long line of familiar consumer products targeted by activists determined to eradicate all ‘oppressive’ or ‘derogatory’ packaging.

Eskimo Pies have been with us since 1923 – long before the days of the domestic freezer – bringing chilled refreshment during the long afternoons of our sweltering summers.

And ice cream lovers in North America have been enjoying a similar treat – also named ‘Eskimo Pie’ – for just as long. But that brand has also been forced to rename itself.

‘Eskimo’ is used in Alaska to refer to indigenous Inuit and Yupik people. But the enforcers of political correctness insist it smacks of racism, colonialism, and non-native oppression.

At one level, it is easy to dismiss activist campaigns aimed at forcing out hidden racism from the aisles of our grocery stores as the comical antics of a few joyless anthropologists.

But as part of the ‘cancel culture’ phenomenon sweeping the English-speaking world, they should be taken them more seriously.

And it is no defence to claim that those things were said or done long ago by people who actually thought they were doing good at the time. Cultural sin is, well, cultural sin.

So we have seen the owners of dairy products, lollies, sports teams, household detergents, and lunch foods drop to their knees to repent and promise to mend their wicked ways.

Of course, any manufacturer is entitled to rebrand their products and update advertising images that have fallen out of fashion. It is equally important to fight racism and violence.

But cancel culture forces change upon businesses, threatening them with costly campaigns that can drive away customers and destroy profits — and jobs — if they fail to bow down.

Fear of being denounced, trolled on social media, and even forced to close down altogether, compels business owners to cave in to pressure from anti-racism activists.

Faced with such a campaign, it’s no wonder that the resolve of ice cream producer, Peters, has melted just as fast as an ice cream treat on a hot Aussie summer’s day.

We can smile about food packaging, and even enjoy tucking into a Polar Pie. But cancel culture threatens jobs, livelihoods, and reputations. We ignore those dangers at our peril.

Peter Kurti is the Director of Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society program for the Australian Centre for Independent Studies HERE.


Barend Vlaardingerbroek said...

The appropriate response to all this nonsense is to take pride in our heritage. As a Dutchman, I am proud of my imperial and colonial past. My ancestors were acting according to the ethics of the day. Forget all this fashionable absolutism. It is naive and ultimately self-defeating.
So take a swig of Dutch courage and tell the marxofascists to get knotted.
Gosh, I just noticed - 'Dutch courage' - aren't I supposed to be offended by that expression? Nah, can't be bothered. Anyway, my tipple is Scotch.

Unknown said...

I am in my eighties and have enjoyed Eskimo Pies since a child. Those days we were also taught about Eskimos and their Igloos at school, admiring these wonderful people who survived under the most critical of conditions. Eskimo Pies always take me back to thinking and remembering the stories and pictures of them. What ever is in a name changing it is not for t

he better it is what it is that is how life happens. Same as trying to erase the past won't help, it happened, get on with the future and learn from it. We were not brainwashed into always looking for the bad things in life nor were we racist a new word that everyone thinks applies to all and sundry. We mostly got on with people who ever they were, slinging off at each other then laughing about it. No-one seems happy in this world unless they are moaning about wanting this and that. If we want to get on in this world have the initiative to do things for yourselves, stop being dictated to, told what to do and say by Politicians and the PC Brigade, get back to basics. Realize that it is up to ones self to make the most of your life and what you can do for others, that is more rewarding than the continual bickering about things that no one really cares about. If we can't be one
Nation then there is little to live for. Here again I blame the Politicians for stirring up discord and approving some who thrive on causing trouble. This country is small enough to be run by a Board of Directors and doesn't need 121 people to be paid exorbitant amounts to act like unruly kids in a class room.