Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Kain » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:32 am UTC

Diadem wrote:It's obviously a racial comparison.

But why is it a bad one? It doesn't negatively stereotype people. It's not malignent. It's not a slur. What's the problem?

Creole is unacceptable when used to describe a person in the same way that Oriental is

Interesting. I've never considered 'Oriental' to be offensive. It's simply a descripting of where someone is from. I checked wikipedia and it turns out it's only considered offensive in American (and Canadian) English. Not in Britisch English. And certainly not in Dutch. Americans and their silly political correct language :)


The thing is, its considered politically incorrect to use 'Oriental' to describe a person of Asian origin in the US, not on some random whim, but becuase there is a history of racism against (mostly East) Asians from the late 1800s and early 1900s (maybe earlier, I am not quite sure) that may be lacking in other countries. While I am sure that there were problems with racism directed at Asians in West Europe, to the best of my knowledge they didn't have nearly as many such immigrants to discriminate against.

Lets just clarify for a second: calling someone Oriental is considered offensive in the US, just like calling someone Colored. I am sure there are countries out there that use those terms without intended offence, but here, that just doesn't fly..
Anyways, on the Creole thing, I have heard the term used to refer to a person, only to the Cuisine and the language (Haitian Creole/Kreole [sp]). However, if someone told me that they were offended by it, I would certainly believe them: there is a history to support such an idea. None of you would call someone decended from runaway slaves a Maroon, right? Creole in the sense of refering to people is just as bad: it has a connotation of the person being of a lower worth than a "regular" person (read one of European descent).

Of course, one could say that whoever named the cookie was unaware of the full history of the word, but as the cookie has absolutely nothing to do with Creole cuisine, one should be able to admit that it is better that they have changed the name.

Oh, and G.v.K, there are certainly some things that are inherantly racist. Pointing out that someone is black/white/whatever probably doesn't qualify (though the context is important, of course, and in any case some people would wonder why you would feel the need to).
Lets put it this way: I am of mixed european and middle eastern descent. If someone said to me "Hey, your family is from Lebanon, right? Have you ever visited there?," I wouldn't assume they were a racist, far from it. I would assume they were trying to get to know me a little better, in a perfectly acceptable way.
If, on the other had, they said "Hey, your family is from Lebanon, right? Go back to that s*-hole you terrorist sand-n*!" it would be pretty clear they were being racist. Inherantly so.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby G.v.K » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:39 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Well, Jesus. Has anyone here actually called you a racist? It seems to me that you're imagining things.


it's unfortunate that it's somehow been construed as a personal issue about me.

but this relates to one of our philosophical differences. i say there is no racism without intent. you say that there is. funnily enough, what I am arguing for is the ability to call somebody a racist. you seem to deny that.

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:51 am UTC

G.v.K wrote:it's unfortunate that it's somehow been construed as a personal issue about me.

By you. Because nowhere else does anyone talk about calling you a racist, and the terrible affront to your honor that it would be. If you're the one arguing for "the ability to call somebody a racist," then you ought to realize that nobody else is calling you one.

And I suppose I might as well quote myself to show that I do indeed think that it is possible to call somebody a racist:

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:As you say, it's possible to judge a person for persistently supporting racism. But it's not even necessary to do that to judge whether an action itself is racist.

Got that? People can be racist, and I imagine there aren't many cases where you would call somebody a racist but I wouldn't. But I have more than one problem with yelling "AHAHAHA YOU ARE A RACIST!!" as a means of confronting racism. I find it much more productive to confront things that pile up racism without having to determine intent.

To consider the case at hand: I can't really prove that any racist intent was involved in creating the name "Creole Creams." Hell, it was only in this thread that I became aware that "Creole" was a slur in and of itself; I probably could have (I'm pretty sure I have) used the word "Creole" without realizing its full meaning. Does this mean that I am "a racist"? Not really. But does it mean that my usage of the word would have been racist? You bet it would be. It causes harm to a racial group, and even if I were doing so unintentionally, continuing to use the word even now that I know it's a slur would be a capitalized Dick Move. Continuing to use it, knowing that it hurts people, but regarding that hurt as "accidental" would be just plain idiotic. And of course, whether harm is intended or not doesn't change the fact that it's harm.

So, for the Creole Creams people? I don't know if they were doing it on purpose, and I don't care. The point is that, upon creating that name, they met opposition and decided to change the name because of it. It might be nice to know if they're Scary Evil Racists, but solving the problem of the name itself doesn't require me to judge them.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Kain » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:58 am UTC

G.v.K wrote: I say there is no racism without intent. you say that there is. funnily enough, what I am arguing for is the ability to call somebody a racist. you seem to deny that.


The thing is, there are racist people, and racist actions. Calling someone a racist name is a racist action, but doesnt necessarily imply that the person is racist (it nearly always does, but there are sometimes extraneous circumstances). Conversely, a racist person may never once in their life use a racist term, and may be able to control their racism to the point that no one ever suspects it of them.

Of the two, the non-racist using a racist term does a lot more damage than the racist censoring themselves. (Exceptions include but are not limited to: an actor using a racist term in a film, play, etc, and then only if vital to the plot {Master Herald and the Boys, for instance}; ... I can't think of any other cases, actually).
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby G.v.K » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:17 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
So, for the Creole Creams people? I don't know if they were doing it on purpose, and I don't care. The point is that, upon creating that name, they met opposition and decided to change the name because of it. It might be nice to know if they're Scary Evil Racists, but solving the problem of the name itself doesn't require me to judge them.


do you think it makes any difference who the 'opposition' were in this case?

i mean, does somebody need to prove that the name offended somebody before we call the name racist?

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:21 am UTC

No? I mean, for one thing, I don't know a lot of Black people (because there aren't very many where I live), but it wouldn't necessarily be very hard to figure out that a person yelling about "niggers" was making racist comments, even in the absence of people to be offended. And the important thing isn't always offense; the fact that a person is promoting racism for every listener, including the White ones, would augment the racism of the message.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby G.v.K » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:31 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:No? I mean, for one thing, I don't know a lot of Black people (because there aren't very many where I live), but it wouldn't necessarily be very hard to figure out that a person yelling about "niggers" was making racist comments, even in the absence of people to be offended. And the important thing isn't always offense; the fact that a person is promoting racism for every listener, including the White ones, would augment the racism of the message.


The Creole Creams case is a borderline case. It is not an obvious case like shouting 'nigger'. You yourself admitted that you weren't aware of the full meaning of the word.

What burden of proof do you think there is in this case? Are you happy to accept the word as racist just because somebody says 'I think that is or might be racist'?

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:37 am UTC

I would expect a claim of racism to have evidence in the same way that I would expect an essay on a work literature to have evidence. It's not a matter of meeting an objective standard of proof — you can't do test drills for racism and determine the odds of whether it's there or how big the deposit is — but a matter of individual arguments that might or might not persuade me on a case-by-case basis.

In this case, and especially at this point, it's pretty clear that a) "Creole" is a racial slur and b) it is being used pretty inappropriately even if it were not, because:
gmalivuk wrote:Reducing a person's racial and ethnic identity down to nothing more than a color is dehumanizing, and *that* is the problem here.

And that's enough to convince me that "Creole Creams," whether intended as such or not, is a pretty racist name for a cookie.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby G.v.K » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:44 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:I would expect a claim of racism to have evidence in the same way that I would expect an essay on a work literature to have evidence. It's not a matter of meeting an objective standard of proof — you can't do test drills for racism and determine the odds of whether it's there or how big the deposit is — but a matter of individual arguments that might or might not persuade me on a case-by-case basis.

In this case, and especially at this point, it's pretty clear that a) "Creole" is a racial slur and b) it is being used pretty inappropriately even if it were not, because:
gmalivuk wrote:Reducing a person's racial and ethnic identity down to nothing more than a color is dehumanizing, and *that* is the problem here.

And that's enough to convince me that "Creole Creams," whether intended as such or not, is a pretty racist name for a cookie.


correct me if i'm wrong, but i thought you weren't aware of a) before you read this story. on what basis did you accept that as true?

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:50 am UTC

Well, because Azrael and Sam Watson said so. But not just because somebody said so, but rather because I trust either of them to not be pulling things out of their respective asses, and because I already suspected that "Creole" might be considered a slur (I looked it up before saying that it was inoffensive, but it appears that my sources weren't very complete). And, as Kain said:

Kain wrote:However, if someone told me that they were offended by it, I would certainly believe them: there is a history to support such an idea.

Now, looking at it some more, I'm not quite sure whether "Creole" is widely considered a slur. But, language being a social construction, I don't know how you would figure it out other than by finding other people's opinions.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:55 am UTC

G.v.K wrote:i say there is no racism without intent.

And I say the sky is bright green. Funnily enough, saying it doesn't make it so, and not every "your word against mine" situation deserves a balance between the opposing views.

It's not a "difference in philosophy", it's a difference in being wrong: you are, TGB isn't.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby G.v.K » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:02 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Well, because Azrael and Sam Watson said so. But not just because somebody said so, but rather because I trust either of them to not be pulling things out of their respective asses, and because I already suspected that "Creole" might be considered a slur (I looked it up before saying that it was inoffensive, but it appears that my sources weren't very complete). And, as Kain said:

Kain wrote:However, if someone told me that they were offended by it, I would certainly believe them: there is a history to support such an idea.

Now, looking at it some more, I'm not quite sure whether "Creole" is widely considered a slur. But, language being a social construction, I don't know how you would figure it out other than by finding other people's opinions.


I'm not sure anybody has actually proved that 'Creole' is or was ever a racial slur. Some people seem to have guessed eg. Azrael.

Can anybody prove it?

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Prefanity » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:08 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Well, because Azrael and Sam Watson said so. But not just because somebody said so, but rather because I trust either of them to not be pulling things out of their respective asses, and because I already suspected that "Creole" might be considered a slur (I looked it up before saying that it was inoffensive, but it appears that my sources weren't very complete). And, as Kain said:

Kain wrote:However, if someone told me that they were offended by it, I would certainly believe them: there is a history to support such an idea.

Now, looking at it some more, I'm not quite sure whether "Creole" is widely considered a slur. But, language being a social construction, I don't know how you would figure it out other than by finding other people's opinions.


In Jane Eyre, wasn't part of the rationale behind Mr. Rochester locking up his first wife, Bertha Mason, her Creole heritage? Maybe the use of "Creole" as a slur is now just an anachronism for everyone except those who still remember the etymology of the word and how it was used against them.

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:12 am UTC

Yeah, that's one thing I have to disagree with the article on (another being the immediate Godwinning): I'm not aware of it being a slur.

Hell, there's a Louisiana Creole Heritage Center, which unabashedly uses the word on its website. (Unlike, for example, the NAACP, which I strongly doubt ever talks about "colored people" on its website despite that still being a part of its name.)

That said, I still stand by my claim from earlier that it's a shitty move to attach the name to a kind of cookie that bears no relationship to the people or their culture, simply because it's got colors like some of the ancestors of Creole people.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:15 am UTC

I think "Creole" may be one of those words that wasn't really intended or used as a slur originally, but which has been deprecated as it aged and became associated with an age when overt racism was rampant and accepted. Cf. "Moslem" and "Oriental"

But, yeah, what gmal said.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Maurog » Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:57 am UTC

I seriously hope there is nobody here who thinks racism is objective or something.

Because you can argue it requires intent, you can argue it requires interpretation, heck you can even argue it requires either or both. But there is no bloody way you can have it when neither are present.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Diadem » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:11 am UTC

I find it interesting that those arguiing that creole is an offensive slur, seem ok with applying it to a cuisine or language. Where's the consistency?

Kain wrote:The thing is, its considered politically incorrect to use 'Oriental' to describe a person of Asian origin in the US, not on some random whim, but becuase there is a history of racism against (mostly East) Asians from the late 1800s and early 1900s (maybe earlier, I am not quite sure) that may be lacking in other countries. While I am sure that there were problems with racism directed at Asians in West Europe, to the best of my knowledge they didn't have nearly as many such immigrants to discriminate against.

I'm not disputing that there has been a lot of racism in the past. There still is.

But changing words does not change this. Americans really seem to have a fondness for euphemistic, Basically Decent language. Terms for sensitive subjects seem to change every 10 years. It doesn't do anything to change society.

Mindful language is important. Not using slurs like 'nigger' or 'kike' is a good idea. But those words have always been offensive, and have no meaning outside their offensive one. A word like 'oriental' simply refers to the location where people are from. It's not racist. I don't doubt that it's been used by racists, but so have many other words. Branding such a word as racist does more harm than good. You just bury issues under a layer of jargon, pretending they don't exist if you put your fingers in your ears and go 'lalalala' hard enough. It has never worked that way.

Europe has a lot less problems with racism than America does. But we use such euphemistic language a lot less.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Kain » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:27 am UTC

You are mistaking the cause and the effect, imho (unless I misread you).
You say that you have less problems with racism, and use less Basically Decent language. Okay... first, I have to wonder about Europe having less racism than America: did you know that Russia apparently has the largest number of neo-nazis in the world? Don't get me started on the whole immigration issues with people from central asia and the middle east/africa facing racism in Germany, France and etc (sorry to single out those two, but they are the only ones I have actually followed, due to family and friends in them).

For the sake of the argument, however, lets assume you are 100 percent correct, and America has much more racism than Europe. You seem to suggest that this is due to your more open attitude towards vaguely 'racist' statements, etc. I, however, am inclined to believe that we are less open to those statements, comments, etc, as we have seen them used more often in truly racist ways. Europeans, meanwhile, wouldnt have the same negative connotations associated with the words, and would thus see attempts to censor the words as amusingly prudish.
Note that that is meerly what makes sense to me. I could have it completely backwords, meaning that you are correct, or, more probably, the actual correlation between Basically Decent language use and prevalence of racism could be negligable.

(If you meant to say Europe has a lot less problems with racism than America does, so we use such euphemistic language a lot less, I appologize for misinterpreting. If not, well, the above says it all.)

Just to clarify by the way, in the US, Oriental is like Colored: it doesn't explicitly stand out as racist, but the history of racism in our country (colored-only fountains, Oriental immigration quotas explicitly limiting the number of "chinamen") mar the terms. Hence why we tend to avoid the terms if at all possible. That the use of oriental as a reference to cuisine and culture is considered acceptable (when used to refer to the correct things) probably indicates that there is less of an aversion to the term than their is to colored, but that does not in any way mean that the term has lost its other meanings.

Sorry if this post is a little jumbled: I haven't been getting enough sleep lately, and its well past 3 am here.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby G.v.K » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:33 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Yeah, that's one thing I have to disagree with the article on (another being the immediate Godwinning): I'm not aware of it being a slur.

Hell, there's a Louisiana Creole Heritage Center, which unabashedly uses the word on its website. (Unlike, for example, the NAACP, which I strongly doubt ever talks about "colored people" on its website despite that still being a part of its name.)

That said, I still stand by my claim from earlier that it's a shitty move to attach the name to a kind of cookie that bears no relationship to the people or their culture, simply because it's got colors like some of the ancestors of Creole people.


does this mean that the charge is no longer that the name is racist?

is the charge now simply that using that name was a 'shitty' choice?

why do you assume that the name was chosen because of the colour of the biscuit? where did you get that information from?

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:40 am UTC

Diadem wrote:I checked wikipedia and it turns out it's only considered offensive in American (and Canadian) English. Not in Britisch English. And certainly not in Dutch. Americans and their silly political correct language :)

It's not really about PC-ness. When I was overseas, an English friend saw I'd been shopping and asked what I'd got. I told her I'd bought pants, and offered to show her. She looked aghast, then knitted her eyebrow and said darkly, "You mean trousers." She was offended because I was using a word that meant something different to me than it did to her.

Regarding the word "Oriental": in Britain, "Asia" means the Middle East and India, and "Oriental" refers to East Asia. In the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, "Asia" commonly refers to East Asia, but can also (commonly) refer to Asia as a continent. "Oriental", while technically correct, implies a derogatory tone in the latter countries.
Diadem wrote:I find it interesting that those arguiing that creole is an offensive slur, seem ok with applying it to a cuisine or language. Where's the consistency?

Guess it has something to do with that "context" thing someone was talking about earlier. For example, there was a time when calling someone an "Uncle Tom nigger" could be considered a compliment.
Diadem wrote: Americans really seem to have a fondness for euphemistic, Basically Decent language. Terms for sensitive subjects seem to change every 10 years. It doesn't do anything to change society.

I always thought it was the British who tended to go further than the Americans in this regard.
Diadem wrote:Mindful language is important. Not using slurs like 'nigger' or 'kike' is a good idea. But those words have always been offensive, and have no meaning outside their offensive one. A word like 'oriental' simply refers to the location where people are from. It's not racist. I don't doubt that it's been used by racists, but so have many other words. Branding such a word as racist does more harm than good. You just bury issues under a layer of jargon, pretending they don't exist if you put your fingers in your ears and go 'lalalala' hard enough. It has never worked that way.

Europe has a lot less problems with racism than America does. But we use such euphemistic language a lot less.

Firstly, Europe has massive problems with racism. Just look at North Africans in France; Pakistanis in Britain. And I've heard African Americans complain about their treatment when visiting Sweden. Plus, there was that whole colonialism episode. The one Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Italy participated in, where they subjugated entire populations convinced of their cultural and racial superiority.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Kain » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:42 am UTC

G.v.K wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Yeah, that's one thing I have to disagree with the article on (another being the immediate Godwinning): I'm not aware of it being a slur.

Hell, there's a Louisiana Creole Heritage Center, which unabashedly uses the word on its website. (Unlike, for example, the NAACP, which I strongly doubt ever talks about "colored people" on its website despite that still being a part of its name.)

That said, I still stand by my claim from earlier that it's a shitty move to attach the name to a kind of cookie that bears no relationship to the people or their culture, simply because it's got colors like some of the ancestors of Creole people.


does this mean that the charge is no longer that the name is racist?

is the charge now simply that using that name was a 'shitty' choice?

why do you assume that the name was chosen because of the colour of the biscuit? where did you get that information from?


A) The Louisiana Creole Heritage Center deals with Creole culture, language, etc. It is not limited to people of creole background, even if they are more likely to be interested in it. I think we have already mentioned quite a few times that the use of Creole to refer to a culture isn't racist, nor is it racist to call a langauge Creole.

B) The assumption that the name was chosen because of the color of the cookie comes from the original article, and a bit of common sense. If the cookie has absolutely nothing to do with Creole cooking, there is probably another reason for the name. I have yet to see another reason posted by the company, nor their supporters, so the only logical conclusion is that they made a misguided attempt at naming a cookie by its physical appearance, and ended up changing it after they realized it sounded racist. That doesn't make the company racist, it just shows lack of judgement on the part of whoever thought of the name.

edit: mistyped cuisine when I meant language... curses having food on my mind right now...
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Azrael » Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:45 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Terms for sensitive subjects seem to change every 10 years. It doesn't do anything to change society.

I'm not going to argue that terms cause change, but society *is* changing, and the differences are noticeable on a 10 year time line.

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby fjafjan » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:44 pm UTC

Derr, English breakfast doesn't contain any Englishmen you idiots, did you think Chicken McNuggets contained any chicken?
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Freakish » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:52 pm UTC

Is an "Irish coffee" racist?
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:53 pm UTC

Is "reading the goddammed thread, or any other thread that you post in" racist?
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Belial » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:54 pm UTC

If it were "irish" because it was pasty-white and covered in red fur, maybe.

As it is, it's irish because it has irish whiskey in it and was invented in bloody ireland.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby 0xDEADBEEF » Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:44 pm UTC

Interesting that the Original Post mentioned Oreo's. Where I come from (Texas/Oklahoma), calling a person an "Oreo" meant that they were "Black on the outside, and White on the inside." People like my Grandfather used to use it as a compliment for Black people that they liked, with the implicit assumption that being "White" on the inside made them a better person. Currently, I hear it now and then as an insult given by Black people, for a "sellout," with the implicit assumption that being White on the inside makes them a worse person.

I don't like it either way, but it's not the cookie's fault.

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Belial » Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:45 pm UTC

0xDEADBEEF wrote:I don't like it either way, but it's not the cookie's fault.


Yes, but the concept was named for the cookie, not the other way around.

Things that are pretty relevant: that.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:49 pm UTC

Yeah, I think it was gmal who mentioned Oreos upthread. One consequence of living in a racist culture is that any innocent thing you say has the potential to take on racist meanings if people keep repeating it; context affects meaning, and you can only imperfectly control and account for even the original context of a statement. Postmodernism: can't live with it, can't live without it.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby natraj » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:47 pm UTC

0xDEADBEEF wrote:Currently, I hear it now and then as an insult given by Black people, for a "sellout," with the implicit assumption that being White on the inside makes them a worse person.


I do not think the implicit assumption is so much that being white on the inside makes them a worse person because of being white makes anyone worse, so much as it is seen as a bad thing to internalize racism so much that you reject your culture and try to adopt one that isn't yours.

It's still dumb most of the time, because I don't know who gets to be the arbiter of what makes someone's actions linked to any particular race, and most of the time when I see the term thrown about in either direction it is just playing into stereotypes of how black people "should" dress/speak/act/etc; but regardless of the problematicness either way, I don't think that a white person "complimenting" a black person by saying they act white is in any way at all equivalent to a black person upset that another black person is seemingly trying to act white.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby G.v.K » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:00 am UTC

Kain wrote:
B) The assumption that the name was chosen because of the color of the cookie comes from the original article, and a bit of common sense. If the cookie has absolutely nothing to do with Creole cooking, there is probably another reason for the name. I have yet to see another reason posted by the company, nor their supporters, so the only logical conclusion is that they made a misguided attempt at naming a cookie by its physical appearance, and ended up changing it after they realized it sounded racist. That doesn't make the company racist, it just shows lack of judgement on the part of whoever thought of the name.

edit: mistyped cuisine when I meant language... curses having food on my mind right now...


the original article contained the 'objection' made by a professor at an Australian university. it did not mention any person of Creole origin who was offended and said the biscuit had been on the shelves for 3 years with no complaint. the university professor is clearly pushing a socio-political agenda local to Australia.

what do you mean by 'common sense'? let me give you my 'ignorant' Australian understanding of the name. Creole has vague reference to a foreign cuisine and perhaps even to a people from far away that I know nothing about. foreign cuisine is often tasty. at least it is somethign different than the usual. so the biscuit name has the connotation that the biscuit will be somethign a little exotic and unusual.

the company concerned almost certainly changed the name because it just wanted to kill the story quickly. unfortunately, they have given a victory to the university professor mentioned in the story. thus, from my point of view, with seemingly no evidence of anybody being legitimately offended by teh name, it is now henceforth a racist name.

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:04 am UTC

G.v.K wrote:no evidence of anybody being legitimately offended

What, in your exalted opinion, makes offense "legitimate"?
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:08 am UTC

G.v.K wrote:blah blah blah offense something something offense blah blah blah

When we've had these discussions before (and we've had these discussions a lot, it's been consistently argued that offense isn't what matters. The "offense" argument is a strawman.

If I encourage my male friends to be misogynistic, it doesn't matter that there are no women present to be offended. It matters that my friends are going to walk away from their conversations with me feeling more entitled, encouraged, and protected in sexist behavior. In this case, the company's usage of the term "Creole" falsely depersonalizes Creole identity. In either case, the issue is not the offense that is caused, but the harm.

But then, I've said this at least twice by now. If you didn't listen to me then, why would I expect you to now?
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby G.v.K » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:09 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
G.v.K wrote:no evidence of anybody being legitimately offended

What, in your exalted opinion, makes offense "legitimate"?


i'll answer your question when you answer mine from before:

G.v.K wrote:
why do you assume that the name was chosen because of the colour of the biscuit? where did you get that information from?

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby G.v.K » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:14 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
G.v.K wrote:blah blah blah offense something something offense blah blah blah

When we've had these discussions before (and we've had these discussions a lot, it's been consistently argued that offense isn't what matters. The "offense" argument is a strawman.

If I encourage my male friends to be misogynistic, it doesn't matter that there are no women present to be offended. It matters that my friends are going to walk away from their conversations with me feeling more entitled, encouraged, and protected in sexist behavior. In this case, the company's usage of the term "Creole" falsely depersonalizes Creole identity. In either case, the issue is not the offense that is caused, but the harm.

But then, I've said this at least twice by now. If you didn't listen to me then, why would I expect you to now?


so for the three years that the biscuits were on the shelf before any university professor caught sight of them, you think the levels of racism in Australia against Creole people increased?

i am arguing for evidence BEFORE we call a thing racist. I want to know that some offense has been caused. You need to show that some harm has been caused. In this case, neither has been demonstrated. Everybody has rushed in and pronounced judgement. Doesn't that worry you?

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:19 am UTC

The other thing we've mentioned more times than you have teeth in your mouth is that we don't know or care why the name was chosen. But we do know that the cookies have nothing to do with Creole cuisine, and obviously nothing to do with Creole language, which means that the only reasonable interpretation of the word "Creole" is that it has to do with race/ethnicity. And, even if we accept your alternate interpretation (and keep in mind that more than one interpretation of a text can coexist), painting a race as "exotic" isn't much better, if at all, in the "not-racism" department.

tl;dr: Nobody knows why it was given that name, but it's not hard to figure out what the name means. And that meaning is flagrantly racist.

G.v.K wrote:Doesn't that worry you?

Oh, yes. I'll be locking my doors tonight against the threat of spurious accusations of racism.

I don't like you as much as our older trolls.

Edit: 1000th post! [/immaturity]
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:25 am UTC

G.v.K wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
G.v.K wrote:no evidence of anybody being legitimately offended

What, in your exalted opinion, makes offense "legitimate"?

i'll answer your question when you answer mine from before:why do you assume that the name was chosen because of the colour of the biscuit? where did you get that information from?

I got that information from the phrase "Oreo-like", and the damn picture in the damn article linked in the damn OP. Why the hell else would they use a word for a person of mixed brown and white ancestry for a cookie with mixed brown and white colors?

Now answer my question instead of feigning ignorance (or being truly unable to click on a link) in order to sidestep it.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:32 am UTC

And now, having gotten that off my chest, a bit more Serious Consideration and Response:

G.v.K wrote:so for the three years that the biscuits were on the shelf before any university professor caught sight of them, you think the levels of racism in Australia against Creole people increased?

Yes, no, sortof. There are a lot of factors — "lurking variables," I think, is the term I'm looking for — that affect racism, and they're all affected by the underlying fact that "racism" isn't something that you can measure, whether in theory or in practice, in order to determine whether there's more or less of it at any given time. But, yes, I do think that promoting a demotion* of a race to mere synonym for color causes racism to increase, practically by definition.

I mean, are you suggesting that calling black things "African," and thus creating an environment where it's acceptable and comfortable for other people to do the same, would not exacerbate racism?

*Teehee.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby G.v.K » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:41 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:And now, having gotten that off my chest, a bit more Serious Consideration and Response:

G.v.K wrote:so for the three years that the biscuits were on the shelf before any university professor caught sight of them, you think the levels of racism in Australia against Creole people increased?

Yes, no, sortof. There are a lot of factors — "lurking variables," I think, is the term I'm looking for — that affect racism, and they're all affected by the underlying fact that "racism" isn't something that you can measure, whether in theory or in practice, in order to determine whether there's more or less of it at any given time. But, yes, I do think that promoting a demotion* of a race to mere synonym for color causes racism to increase, practically by definition.

I mean, are you suggesting that calling black things "African," and thus creating an environment where it's acceptable and comfortable for other people to do the same, would not exacerbate racism?

*Teehee.


again we are going round in circles.

at the risk of incurring both your wraths (of which there seems to be plenty) I'm going to suggest that we agree to disagree and move on to more productive discussions.

by the way, I resent the troll allegation. I know you don't care about intent, but I WAS posting in good faith. by contrast, i've seen no evidence that either of you have made any attempt to understand my position.

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:44 am UTC

G.v.K wrote:by contrast, i've seen no evidence that either of you have made any attempt to understand my position.

Contrast? I could say the same to you. I think I already have, in fact. Thus the troll appellation.
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