Say It Ain’t So, Trader Joe’s

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Image credit to Wikimedia Commons. Image modified from original.

The recent events surrounding the famous brand, Trader Joe, being called out for cultural exploitation, is something that no American could have seen coming. The famous grocery store is the perfect example of the underlying white supremacy, and even cultural exploitation that exists in America, even to this date.

While the company eventually apologized for their explicitly inappropriate and problematic behavior, the apology was issued long after a 17-year old high-school student brought their idiocy into the limelight. The Black Lives Movement has unquestionably given rise of awareness to the white supremacy.

The movement has shed light on different companies that have allegedly been following racial stereotypes. Moreover, it has also left the entire nation questioning their values as individuals.

Trader Joe has reportedly been labeling many of its ethnic foods with numerous advancements and alternatives to Joe. Many believe that these modifications chiefly highlight the eccentricity that boosts hazardous stereotypes. While Trader Ming’s was represented as the Chinese food offered by the brand, similar names were used for deriving different cuisines offered by the brand.

Everything that went down with Trader Joe and their stereotypical agenda

An infuriated 17-year old high school student, Briones Bedell, initiated an online petition. It was based on asking the grocer to take down different ethnic brands including Arabian Joe, Trader Jose, Trader Giotto’s, and so on.

The sole argument of the 17-year old was that the word Joe suggested that every other character highlighted racialist behavior. Moreover, with Joe being the very basis for normal, it would mean that other cultures fell out of it.

This glamorized different cultures and even normalized racism in its biggest form. The petition has not only gained peak popularity, but several global citizens are feeling infuriated towards Joe Biden. In fact, they suggest that he should change his name before he eventually gets canceled.

Ms. Bedell’s take on Trader Joe’s attempt to normalizing racial stereotypes

The 17-year-old further spoke about how the founder of Trader Joe, Joe Coulombe, is proud of designing Trader Joe’s brand. He took inspiration from a very controversial book that normalizes racism.

Not only has the book been called out for its controversial tone and an explicitly disputable concept as a whole, but it has further been condemned for idealizing western Imperialism.

Furthermore, the mere fact that the book fetishizes non-Western people is enough to understand how the book misleads people into thinking that something is okay when it isn’t. Trader Joe’s very first store was established in 1967. According to the website itself, the store comprised a marine aura and a theme. The store was administered and operated by high-seas traders, as mentioned by the brand.

What astonishes several young adults is that not a single individual spoke about their racial behavior up until now. Back then, Mr. Coulombe had reportedly been reading another controversial book known as “White Shadows in the South Seas”. The book was based on the sole white exploitation of the Polynesian pearl drivers.

White supremacy and racial stereotyping

Not only has the news of Trader Joe’s exposed their racial and stereotypical mindsets, but it has also left millions of people feeling angry and disturbed. To give you an illustrative explanation, Mr. Coulombe showed an extremely racist behavior by branding different food chains as he did.

The core idea behind the product naming may or may not have had a racial agenda. But the news has unquestionably left a negative remark on the brand, especially with the current rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Wrapping it up

The public relations director of Trader Joe, Kenya Friend-Daniel, released a statement saying that the company had no intention of coming up with different product names to normalize racialism. However, he further stated that the company realizes that their attempt to unite every other culture might not have been the very best one.

Ms. Bedell concluded that the brand has allegedly been aiming to mitigate different ethnic brands — something they should have done a long time ago. White supremacy and racialism exist, even today. But the fact that more people are coming out and participating in protests and different events shines a light of hope that racism may finally be removed entirely.





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