The woke mob, spurred on by Black Lives Matter following George Floyd’s death, has come not only for cities and statues but for people and brands. It came for the Washington Redskins — canceled. It came for police shows — canceled. It came for Aunt Jemima, Rice Crispies, Goya, Lady Antebellum — the list never ends. When it recently came for Trader Joe’s, the grocery company responded loud and clear: We don’t bow to the cancel mob.
“A few weeks ago, an online petition was launched calling on us to ‘remove racist packaging from [our] products,’” Trader Joe’s said in a statement last week. “Following were inaccurate reports that the petition prompted us to take action. We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist. We do not make decisions based on petitions.”
The petition, circulating on Change.org, demands that the company “remove racist branding and packaging.” It reads, “The grocery chain labels some of its ethnic foods with modifications of ‘Joe’ that belies a narrative of exoticism that perpetuates harmful stereotypes. For example, ‘Trader Ming’s’ is used to brand the chain’s Chinese food, ‘Arabian Joe’ brands Middle Eastern foods, ‘Trader José’ brands Mexican foods, ‘Trader Giotto’s’ is for Italian food, and ‘Trader Joe San’ brands their Japanese cuisine.”
The petition further bemoans the inception of Trader Joe’s, alleging it was inspired by a “racist book and a controversial theme park attraction” and saying it perpetuates “exoticism.”