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, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.