Tag Archive: George Floyd repercussions


I was confronted by a cop while riding my bicycle yesterday.  Alright,  that sounds worse than it was, but juxtaposed, in retrospect, with it being the day the guilty verdict was announced against the Minnesota officer  in the George Floyd murder case, I found myself pondering it further during my post-ride shower. At the time this happened, I didn’t not know the outcome of the case – I do not watch television – because I had not checked my Android headlines yet, that day.

I write this with a smile and not a frown.  The officer did not turn my world upside-down when he noticed my bike was inverted – he simply wanted to help – unlike much of the banter about policing is these days.  No. Today I come down on the side that most police people really want to help – not hurt good citizens.

Oh yes, by the way, I am a black American man and this officer is Caucasian; I only mention it to accurately paint the word-picture.  I was wearing my “California Republic” kit (very stylish), my helmet, gloves and white wristbands.

My bike is relatively new, having been gifted to me by a former boss, and recently had it “tuned-up” at a local bike shop; my second time riding it since, and this day it threw the chain twice in less than a mile, when I tried to shift gears and this was the second time I had to stop.

The first thing that briefly ran through my mind when I noticed his cruiser’s police striping from the corner of my left eye was that, “Oh, here we go, he’s gonna tell me I’m not allowed to be in the parking lot of a closed business, or something…” As ridiculous as it sounds, during my six decades on earth, I’ve been told many silly rules!    However, the officer quickly dispelled that thought with his genuine concern!  He offered to help and told me about some tool he had that might assist my situation.  When I described what I was going through, the interaction conversation continued friendly, with him telling me about a biking trail and me bemoaning the lack of bike lanes and safe cycling-friendly ways to get to it, which he related to.

We could have kept conversing that day, but I was anxious to get in whatever might be left of my riding exercise and so, I tactfully flipped my bike back upright and thanked him for checking on me, (making sure I used the word “officer” in the sentence) and it was smiles all around as we continued our separate ways, on a beautiful spring afternoon in my new neighborhood. I almost extended my fist, so we could do a sanitary and manly fist-bump, but thought better, not wanting to push it.


Suddenly, since the outrage caught on-camera of George Floyd, every company is trying to clean up their acts. Heh, lets drill deeper into this for a moment…

I link it to a man by the name of Thurgood Marshall, who was the first non-Caucasian American to become a Supreme Court Justice. ‘Marshall’, is a movie I just finished watching, which is based upon his early years, catapulting him to become an excellent magistrate. At the bottom of my last post is a Black Heritage Month postal stamp in honor of him.

This post is both a review of the movie “Marshall” and of expressions about which I have been holding back, while thinking of how this giant of our legal system highlighted lives that matter – via Brown v Board of Education of Topeka – and how his legacy is revitalized by the current George Floyd movements.

Aunt Jemima’s image has actually been evolving for decades.

In the marketing landscape of Madison Avenue, I applaud and simultaneously wonder how much difference will it make to the new movement, if Quaker Oats (another almost oxymoron of ethnic difference)/Pepsico removes the “Aunt Jemima” from the pancake box, or Mars Corporation removes “Uncle Ben” from the suddenly similarly sensitive rice brand?

And by the way, “Uncle Ben” could’ve been someone’s chef or maybe he was somebody’s real cool uncle! Who knows? One version is that he was a Maitre-d, whose image was admired and copied to a rice brand box (I bet he never received a ‘red cent’ for it either!).

According to Emily Becker in WomensHealth, “In 2007, Uncle Ben was made over as the head of the company as part of an advertising campaign that included changing his blue jacket to a business suit…”

Id’ have a problem if it was , like “Uncle Tom’s Rice” because, as most of us know, there is a book called “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, and it was definitely about American slavery and the Negro race, but Uncle “Ben”? not so much. I never heard my parents complain as they stayed true to the brand as long as they lived!
I mean, are the Carolina states upset because they call it “Carolina Rice”?
Some of this seems trite with a preconceived bite. As Munich, Germany marketing expert Pascal Lauscher says, “Why can’t Uncle Ben just be a white guy?” [See “How Germany Dealt With A Similar…”] <a href="http://https://www.dw.com/en/uncle-bens-and-aunt-jemima-logos-how-germany-dealt-with-a-similar-problem/a-53862646” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>

Back to Aunt Jemima, I grew up in New York City and really, never thought about it much. It was always a brand and, yes, it smacked maybe of slavery, but I didn’t dwell upon it. Recently, they took off her bandanna or scarf to make her seem like anybody’s “auntie/ant” – however you pronounce it, lol I’ve always cared more about the contents of the box than the packaging.

I guess there were many female slave “Jemimas”, and I wouldn’t name my daughter that, lol for sure! I wouldn’t do THAT to a girl, or even “Beulah”! To me, those are “black-sounding names” as we’d laugh about it back in the 1970s. This is all the result of a southern USA connotation.

I didn’t think deeply about the name; if their pancake mix tasted good, that’s all that mattered!! Lets try some other names: Aunt Katherine’s Pancakes? Aunt Millie’s Pancakes? Aunt Maria’s Pancakes” Aunt Katia’s Pancakes? Aunt O’Hara’s?
I’d like to know the story of why that company chose to market pancake mix that way; what does slavery have to do with pancakes, for example?

Take breakfast cereals. How about “Cherrios”. Do British people get annoyed about that because that is their way of saying “hello” which is hijacked by American marketing? I don’t think so.
How about the rooster who used to crow promoting Kellogg Corn Flakes – do the animal rights people now have an ax to grind about that, visa v abuse?

You see how many ways one can twist and turn things if you really want to make an issue, or a mountain out of a mole-hill, of something innocently marketed?

Oh, I shouldn’t have written “mole hill” because the Mole Lovers will get upset. We can’t live like this as a society with a sense of humor!

How about “Mrs Butterworth’s” syrup; I never felt insulted by this promotion. Yes, it is a brown-skinned woman on the bottle who used to talk on the commercials like a cartoon, but does she look slaveish? No. She could be my next door neighbor, who makes good maple syrup, or who has a tree out back which gives good syrup, which she shares! I don’t take it as a racist stereotype thing.

Along these same lines, what do you think the new nickname of the storied NFL franchise, “The Washington Redskins” should be? I’d hate to see them lose their color scheme and logo entirely, so I suggest something like “The Mattaponi” (they are a native American Indian tribe indigenous to the D.C region).
Our youthful, energetically accurate about how the system has had its knee on our necks for centuries generation, should keep a narrow focus upon how American policing policy has always been about protecting systemic supremacy of a minority of insecure Caucasians in the United States.

Back to breakfast cereals, do the gays get offended now by “Fruit Loops”? How about the Irish being offended by “Lucky Charms” now, because the Irish are very self-deprecating with a great sense of humor? Then there is “Tony The Tiger” visa v “Frosted Flakes”? Again, an Animal Rights or Animal abuse cause?? Nyet. Come on, people! Stop the madness and have some laughs.

As for the movie, “Marshall”; I give the movie five (5) stars because of its great acting, historical positioning, educational value and portrayal of the roots of the greatest black American to hold jurisprudence on our United States of America Supreme Court, to date, which we never knew about. “The only way to get through a bigot’s door, is to break it down.”, Judge Marshall accurately said. I recommend it.

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