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Trader Joe's Says No To Changing Ethnic-Sounding Label Names

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Trader Joe's says no to changing ethnic-sounding label names


by JOHN ROGERS, Associated Press

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Trader Ming's Kung Pao Chicken is shown in from of Trader Joe's Friday, July 31, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Trader Joe's, which said earlier this month it was moving to change the names of some of its products after an online petition denounced them as racist, now says it will stick with labels like Trader Jose's and Trader Ming's for Mexican and Asian food.

“We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist," the popular grocery chain said in a statement posted on its website. It added, “We do not make decisions based on petitions.”

The petition posted on change.org by a high school student claims the names create “a narrative of exoticism that perpetuates harmful stereotypes.”

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Trader Ming's Kung Pao Chicken is shown in from of Trader Joe's Friday, July 31, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Other Trader Joe's names cited include Trader Giotto's and Trader Joe San for Italian and Japanese foods.

After the petition was launched Trader Joe's issued a statement saying it has been in the process of updating such product labels.

“While this approach to product naming may have been rooted in a lighthearted attempt at inclusiveness, we recognize that it may now have the opposite effect — one that is contrary to the welcoming, rewarding customer experience we strive to create every day,” company spokeswoman Kenya Friend-Daniel said at the time.

But in its recent statement the grocery chain said it still believes the names, many created decades ago, represent lighthearted efforts at inclusion, adding that its customers say they still like them.

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Trader Giotto's Penne Arrabbiata is shown in from of Trader Joe's Friday, July 31, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

“We thought then — and still do — that this naming of products could be fun and show appreciation for other cultures,” the company added.

That was news to Briones Bedell, the San Francisco Bay Area high school senior who launched the petition drive.

“It seems to be this complete reversal of their previous commitment to removing names from international foods that the corporation themselves have described as not being conducive to creating a welcoming customer experience,” she told The Associated Press.

In an email Friday, Friend-Daniel said the company has indeed dropped some names over the years, including Arabian Joe's and Armenian Joe's, and may drop others in the future. But that will be solely on input from its employees and customers and not Bedell's petition.

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The packaging of Trader Ming's Kung Pao Chicken is shown in Friday, July 31, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

“Moving forward, we will continue to evaluate those products with name variations that remain in our stores," Friend-Daniel said. “If we find certain product names and-or products are not resonating with customers, we won’t hesitate to make changes."

Bedell, who described herself and her family as frequent Trader Joe's shoppers until she launched her petition drive, said she always found the names in question offensive.

But she didn't launch her petition drive, she said, until she looked into the history of the company founded by the late Joe Coulombe in 1958.

The chain's website describes how its name and South Pacific decor were inspired by his reading of the book “White Shadows in the South Seas” and a ride on the Disneyland Jungle Boat Cruise, a comical attraction that takes people along rivers populated by rhinos, native headhunters and others that threaten to attack them.

She saw the book and the ride as being filled with racist stereotypes of native savages and white gods that she says Trader Joe's appropriated to sell food and beverages.

“It’s intended to allow the consumer to build up this perceived sophistication through their knowledge of worldliness through their choice of food,” she said. “But it's not a cultural celebration or representation. This is exoticism. These brands are shells of the cultures they represent.”

Although her petition had more than 5,000 signatures Friday, it's brought Bedell some intense blow-black across social media, where she's been the frequent target of vile, sexist insults and other name-calling.

Interestingly enough, she said, the criticism has come from across the political spectrum, with conservatives denouncing her for promoting cancel culture while liberals accuse her of wasting time on a trivial issue.

Despite that, she wants the debate to continue.

“I’ve just been really grateful that this has sparked as much conversation as it has,” she said. “I hope in any future endeavors I can act as a facilitator so people can make up own minds about what is right.”                                                                                                                                                                                              https://wjactv.com/news/nation-world/trader-joes-says-no-to-changing-ethnic-sounding-label-names

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22 minutes ago, rnetzlof said:

"... some intense blow-black across social media..."

Is everybody acquainted with Sigmund Freud's theory on so-called slips of the tongue?

18 year olds from liberal  city high schools trying to tell us how to live.  Case in point #1 what is being taught. 

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Good for her.  I applaud 18 year olds for seeing something they disagreed with, starting a petition to ask for change, and speaking up as to why she wanted the change. 

I also respect Trader Joe's for responding to her and explaining their reasons for not changing the product's name.  I have been a loyal Trader Joe's customer for years and will continue to be. 

Thank heavens this 18 year old learned about democracy in her high school Civics class.  Despite the criticism she has received from both liberals and conservatives,  she continued with the petition because she saw the need for change.  We need more 18 year old like her. 

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OK, so if all the ethnic names are gone, then what is left?  Just white names?  Just anonymous names?  Just animal names? Just codes? Just pictures?

If a petition is done, then why not allow people to also sign a column for or against the idea?  That's the only way to find out what people really think.

 


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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33 minutes ago, Petee said:

OK, so if all the ethnic names are gone, then what is left?  Just white names?  Just anonymous names?  Just animal names? Just codes? Just pictures?

If a petition is done, then why not allow people to also sign a column for or against the idea?  That's the only way to find out what people really think.

 

That's the problem. There is no answer. Idiocy knows no bounds.


"Be still, my fingers, be still" - fedup

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On 8/1/2020 at 10:02 AM, MIM307 said:

Good for her.  I applaud 18 year olds for seeing something they disagreed with, starting a petition to ask for change, and speaking up as to why she wanted the change. 

I also respect Trader Joe's for responding to her and explaining their reasons for not changing the product's name.  I have been a loyal Trader Joe's customer for years and will continue to be. 

Thank heavens this 18 year old learned about democracy in her high school Civics class.  Despite the criticism she has received from both liberals and conservatives,  she continued with the petition because she saw the need for change.  We need more 18 year old like her. 

Be still, my fingers, be still.


       THE WINDMILL IS LIBERALISM.

       MY QUEST----------REMOVE LIBERALISM FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH.

                                      ALONG WITH EXPOSING THE TPD FOR WHAT IT REALLY IS.

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7 hours ago, MIM307 said:

Why bother?  Your fingers have no bearing on my opinion,  so save yourself some keystrokes.  

Because....we don't have to agree with your opinion and can post dissenting ones?  That is, unless you have an issue with dissenting opinions being heard.  Isn't that what you are lauding the 18 year old for?  

I can't be proud of anyone for taking offense to something where there is no offense shown.  Fighting for change is a good thing, as long as one understands what they are actually fighting for.  It isn't a cause to hop on a bandwagon.

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4 hours ago, allboys said:

Because....we don't have to agree with your opinion and can post dissenting ones?  That is, unless you have an issue with dissenting opinions being heard.  Isn't that what you are lauding the 18 year old for?  

I can't be proud of anyone for taking offense to something where there is no offense shown.  Fighting for change is a good thing, as long as one understands what they are actually fighting for.  It isn't a cause to hop on a bandwagon.

You, nor Fed, have to agree with my opinions.   I'm not going to change my opinion based on your response to it. 

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1 hour ago, MIM307 said:

You, nor Fed, have to agree with my opinions.   I'm not going to change my opinion based on your response to it. 

Same.  However your post comes across that we shouldn't bother typing out our opinion and that it doesn't matter what our opinion is because it won't change your mind.  Guess what, I respect your opinion and your right to type it out even though I disagree with it.  Too bad you just can't respect other people.

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Just now, allboys said:

Same.  However your post comes across that we shouldn't bother typing out our opinion and that it doesn't matter what our opinion is because it won't change your mind.  Guess what, I respect your opinion and your right to type it out even though I disagree with it.  

My post was in response to Fed's "be still my fingers be still" comment.  I would have had no problem if he had actually typed out an opinion but since he couldn't be bothered, I thought I would save him the trouble. 

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4 minutes ago, MIM307 said:

My post was in response to Fed's "be still my fingers be still" comment.  I would have had no problem if he had actually typed out an opinion but since he couldn't be bothered, I thought I would save him the trouble. 

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 admit it. You'd have had a problem with his opinion.  You seem to have a problem with no opinion. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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5 minutes ago, allboys said:

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 admit it. You'd have had a problem with his opinion.  You seem to have a problem with no opinion. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Oh I have no problem admitting that 95% of the time I disagree with Fed.

Now can you admit that you seem to have a problem with my opinion?  You've used 3 posts to correct me.  I'm good, thanks.

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6 minutes ago, Jeff said:

But yet you thought it was great that someone else spoke up against the naming! Trying to change a company's opinion!

Actually, no I didn't.  If you read my post, you'll note that I said I agreed with Trader Joe's for not changing the names and saying why they would not do so.

I also respect Trader Joe's for responding to her and explaining their reasons for not changing the product's name.  I have been a loyal Trader Joe's customer for years and will continue to be.  - My words from the initial post on this thread. 

I don't agree with the  name changing movement sweeping the country.  What I do agree with is an 18 year old American citizen exercising her right to petition the government, business, etc for a change. 

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