It seems that Trader Joe’s, that purveyor of environmentally friendly and fine foods from around the world, has a Third Reich streak in them, with their aisles practically littered with proof of their genocidal tendencies. The proof, you see, is the cute names they’ve given to some of their products that match their ethnicities. Below is a soupçon of the crimes against humanity that Trader Joe’s has committed:
- “Trader Jose’s” (Mexican food)
- “Trader Giotto’s” (Italian food)
- “Trader Joe-San’s” (Japanese food)
- “Trader Ming’s” (Asian food)
- “JosephsBrau” (beer)
- “Trader Jacques’” (French food and soaps).
Not even Josef Mengele himself could stomach the atrocities perpetrated by a grocery store famous for selling Two Buck Chuck. Those brutes! If only an entire chain could be read its last rights and given the electric chair. Maybe we could set up a gulag of some kind for fresh format grocery stores accused and found guilty of white supremacy and mediocre frozen food items.
But fear not, for there is justice in the world, and the victims of TJ’s barbarity will see their fair share, carried out at maximum volume, no less.
A high school senior from San Francisco, California has taken it upon herself to launch a petition to hold Trader Joe’s accountable for their emotional carnage. Take a look at what this person did that she definitely won’t regret when soundness of mind kicks in at some later age:
“We demand that Trader Joe’s remove racist branding and packaging from its stores. The grocery chain labels some of its ethnic foods with modifications of ‘Joe’ that belies a narrative of exoticism that perpetuates harmful stereotypes.”
The bravery displayed by this young woman is the kind you only see in Mount Everest explorers, 9/11 first responders, and Fidel Castro.
The petition goes on:
“The Trader Joe’s branding is racist because it exoticizes other cultures — it presents ‘Joe‘ as the default ‘normal‘ and the other characters falling outside of it — they are ‘Arabian Joe‘, ‘Trader José‘, and ‘Trader Joe San‘.”
That’s some hardcore Aristotelian logic this student is demonstrating here — no roundabout thinking or bending-over-backwards-to-justify-something-that-isn’t going on here. The food packaging of Trader Joe’s has been only a hop, skip, and a jump away from white supremacy this entire time, and we were all just too complacent to notice.
For shame, fellow humans.
Enough with the snarkasm.
We’ve got big, serious work to do.
Which, to me, is pointing out the dangers of broadening the definition of “racism”.
There was a time when that word had a clear meaning, which meant it was a serious accusation, one that carried with it a connotation of hate crimes and discriminatory policies cooked up by politicians who cared a little too much about the South rising again. This original definition made true instances of racial bigotry easier to point out and denounce.
But in the sturm und drang of the culture war, crystalline concepts are tossed in the water in favor of hazier axioms that are tied to simplistic and savage ideologies.
And the controversy around Trader Joe’s is perfectly emblematic of this rejection of nuance and tolerance.
All it took was the righteous pestering and circuitous thinking of someone who hasn’t even graduated from high school to grab the ear of the nation and vomit some chic, shallow activism into it.
If it wasn’t sad enough that such a non-issue inspired countless headlines, it’s a goddamn tragedy that so many supposedly rational adults have joined in the fight against something that has done nothing but illicit offense in someone who’s not even old enough to vote. Here are a few of the brainless dolts who’ve signed up for the cause:
By diluting the term “racism” into near-impotency, today’s activists have only lowered the bar for genuine heroism; it’s easy to fight racism if it’s on a box of taco shells.
Trader Joe’s has recently announced that it’s going to update the names on the offending products soon, claiming that they made the decision several years ago and that there are still some foods that need to be changed. This may be true, but I have my doubts. It’s become standard practice lately for major companies to cave in to the imperious bitching of a relatively small number of customers, many of whom probably don’t even buy their wares — people who’re just too bored and lazy to change the world from anywhere else but their own smartphones.
But what good will changing “Trader Joe San Organic Tofu” to simply “Trader Joe’s Organic Tofu” do? Will such an action drive down recruitment for the KKK? Will this encourage white supremacists to convert to Black Lives Matter activists?
There are places where bigotry & intolerance is the law of the land. Where oppression drives normal people into life or death situations on a daily basis. Where dissenting opinions is enough to warrant a public execution without anything even resembling due process.
But anyplace that has a Trader Joe’s isn’t one of them.