A couple of months ago, as many of us were dealing with shelter-in-place orders during those good ol’ days when we still cared about stifling a pandemic, Land O Lakes made some big news.
That’s right. Butter. Butter made the news. They removed the image of a Native American woman from their packaging. It was a move hailed by half the nation and decried by those thinking this could be a slippery slope toward having almost nothing racist anymore.
They actually removed the woman from the packaging in February, but I guess no one noticed until April because we were so busy getting ready to lead the world in coronavirus deaths. Coronavirus was bigger news until we got tired of virus updates and Gov. Cuomo’s PowerPoints.
The reactions on social media were predictable. Folks on the left posted things like “About time!” and folks on the right melted down like butter in a microwave and screamed through their keyboards things like, “WHAT’S NEXT?! NASCAR BANNING THE CONFEDERATE FLAG?!!!!”
That kind of overreaction is just ridiculous. I mean, really, NASCAR would never ban the … Um, excuse me for a second. What did you say? No way! Well, I’ll be …
Of course, had it not been for the breaking butter news, I’d have never noticed the woman was gone. If someone had asked me what kind of packaging Land O Lakes used, I’d have had no idea. Not only is my wife is more of a Country Crock kind of gal, but also I have a tendency to not notice little details like packaging, colors and oncoming traffic.
I don’t think Land O Lakes’ packaging was quite as offensive as the Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo or the Washington NFL team’s racist nickname. But if folks were offended, good riddance to the packaging. No one needs to be upset about her absence. It’s butter. It tastes the same (I assume, being a Country Crocker). If it came in a plain white wrapper with the word “butter” on the outside, who cares?
That truly was a precursor to changing a lot of things that were offensive or potentially offensive. NASCAR actually has banned the Confederate flag, which should make social distancing easy at its races forever more. Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben are leaving us. Mrs. Butterworth is evolving. Lady Antebellum changed its name to “Lady A,” and The Dixie Chicks (despised by those who ironically complain they are not allowed to freely express opinions) have now changed their name to “The Chicks.” I guess next year that name might sound misogynistic, so they could change their name to just “The.”
Statues are coming down and flags are changing. Somewhere between those toppling statues of abolitionists just because they are white and those who consider everyone fighting for equal justice to be a terrorist or “Antifa” likely lies the common-sense middle ground, but extremists are preventing anyone from pointing it out.
When it comes to things like butter and flags and statues of Thomas Jefferson, I’m going to have to let y’all fight that out. There’s plenty in this country and this world that needs changing. I trust y’all to handle all that stuff making news while I’m mad about other things that aren’t getting quite as much attention.
I’m mad that America is stuck with a dysfunctional two-party system.
I’m mad that pharmaceutical companies are still allowed to enrich themselves by fleecing the sick.
I’m mad that millionaires and billionaires game the system while leaving the burden of our economic success on the backs of the 90 percent.
I’m mad that football season is iffy because so many people are still too selfish to wear masks and socially distance. Way to prolong the pandemic!
I’m mad that I haven’t been waited on in a restaurant since February.
And I’m mad there’s no statue I can tear down to make me feel better. The only thing getting torn down is my patience.