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The Daily Planet's Opinion: Bye, bye, Eskimo Pie! Ice cream treat’s owner decides ‘eskimo’ is ‘derogatory,’ hops on name-change train
Sunday, 19 July 2020 19:30

After nearly 100 years, Eskimo Pie ice cream will get a new name,” CNN reported on June 20.

Going with the flow, Dreyer’s Ice Cream announced plans to change what it terms the “derogatory” name of its Eskimo Pie product, the latest in a series of brand decisions that their owners claim are attempt to root out racism in marketing. Among a number of other long-time products undergoing name changes are Aunt Jemima pancake mix, syrup and other breakfast products; and Uncle Ben’s  parboiled rice and other related food products.

“We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognize the term is derogatory,” Elizabell Marquez, head of marketing for parent company Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, told CNN in a statement.

The chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream bar is part of a trend toward mindless political correctness widely attributed to the ongoing global demonstrations against alleged police brutality and systemic racism following the deaths of George Floyd and other African-Americans at the hands of police.

“The name ‘Eskimo’ is commonly used in Alaska to refer to Inuit and Yupik people, according to the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska.,” CNN reported. “This name is considered derogatory in many other places because it was given by non-Inuit people and was said to mean ‘eater of raw meat.’

“Linguists now say the word has another origin, based on a word meaning ‘to net snowshoes,’ the language center notes on its website. “But people of Canada and Greenland prefer other names.” 

Still, to our knowledge, nobody has complained publicly about the name “Eskimo Pie.” Given that the name changes are (in theory) intended to change how people treat one another — and are unlikely to do so — why do the companies buckle to pressure?

In a world mandating political correctness, the ludicrous product name changes remind us of the plot of George Orwell dystopian classic “1984,” which begins so meomorably: “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”



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