Last week I posted about the stereotype that Black people love watermelons, explaining that it originated with efforts to justify slavery. Black people were simple, slavery proponents argued, so a delicious watermelon was enough to make them happy.
This stereotype, long past its strategic usefulness, nonetheless persists. Barack Obama’s election to the U.S. presidency, for example, inspired a rash of watermelon-themed commentary, including this one:
In light of this history, as well as the ongoing racism, the product below — a Valentine’s Day candy that pairs two Disney princesses — is rather, let’s say, insensitive. The White
Cinderella Aurora character decorates the vanilla flavored side; the Black Tiana character decorates the watermelon flavored side. Just… wow.
Thanks to Caroline H. for forwarding this along.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.