Is it more than just about us?
This week, Nestlé announced plans to rename its iconic Red Skins and Chicos lollies which - in their words - 'acknowledges the need to keep creating smiles, ensuring that nothing we do... is out of step with our values.'
Perhaps it's a bit rich coming from a company with a shadowy history of things like rewarding doctors who recommend Nestlé baby 'formula' when it is not needed which led to multiple boycotts in the 70s and 80s and slavery and child labour.
Otherwise, it's a reasonably clear message of a desire for inclusivity coming from a global brand. This is all coming at a time where the world is reconsidering its need for symbols, language and images that have their roots in racism and historical ignorance, whether it was intended or not.
A quick Google search is about as far as you need to dig to learn why both names are problematic and I'll let you do that in your own time.
When the news broke, many people - not needing or wanting to read beyond the headline - whipped themselves into a fervor over 'Political correctness gone mad' while some asked 'Can we even say the words red, black or white?' ad nauseum.
No brand is censoring anyone. And yes, of course, all humans are encouraged to use words that describe colour.
We are instead, being encouraged to step away from words that have a long history as racial slurs.
But the silliest part of the outrage cycle when it comes to culture change is that it's almost always change that has no effect on the people whining about it the most. For people around the world that have lived their lives experiencing racism or marginalisation this could be a big deal, it could not. But small changes like this, along with big ones, go a long way toward overall positive change for people and reduces the normalisation of things that hurt.
It's all in service of making the world a better place for everyone. Who could be mad at that? Plenty of people it turns out.
If Nestlé wants to change the name of any of their products...whoop de do right? They'll taste the same, they'll still be on the shelves and you'll continue to live your life completely unchanged.
They changed Fags to Fads and they changed Golliwogs to Scalliwags. For the people back then that I'm sure got angry, their lives continued unaffected. But for the people who those words were harmful to, it could have made that much of a difference and it certainly worked to take those hurtful words out of the vocabulary as time went on.
But what it might represent to some people is a challenging of their long-held values around what certain people are and are not entitled to.
Some people are acting like this name change is a direct personal attack on themselves as a human being. It shows where their priorities lie if they are willing to get so up ended over something like this.
It's been easy to see recently with the Black Lives Matter protests. How many people that were previously silent came out of the woodwork to proclaim 'all lives matter!' or fall over each other to obfuscate the message BLM was aiming to spread.
It's about minimising a voice because you feel threatened and think for others to live a better life, you must lose something in exchange. It is not a zero sum game. A rising tide lifts all boats.
And if you want to be angry at the company for something trivial, at least make it about the discontinuation of Banana Quik.
What do you think?
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