Saturday, March 31, 2007

I Stole Your Burrito

At the Cherry Blossom Festival today, one of the food vendors was the Burrito Bandito, replete with a lovely stereotypical image of a Mexican bandit, dying to get his greasy little hands on your delicious, overstuffed tortilla con carne. Classy! I dunno, something about seeing that bandito image at such a diverse event just struck me as ironic.

I probably wouldn't have thought about it again, but after I got home, I saw this article about Uncle Ben, who has been promoted to Chairman of the Board. There was mention of a few of the many racial stereotypes used in advertising various products:

In addition to Uncle Ben, there was Aunt Jemima, who sold pancake mix in ads that sometimes had her exclaiming, “Tempt yo’ appetite;” a grinning black chef named Rastus, who represented Cream of Wheat hot cereal; the Gold Dust Twins, a pair of black urchins who peddled a soap powder for Lever Brothers; the Frito Bandito, who spoke in an exaggerated Mexican accent; and characters selling powdered drink mixes for Pillsbury under names like Injun Orange and Chinese Cherry — the latter baring buck teeth.

Weird serendipity. Also, I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that when I saw the article, I actually assumed it was an April Fool's joke.

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