QED

The Enduring Racism of Big Cheese

According to reports, Stephen Hagan campaigned for a couple of decades to rid Coon cheese of its “racist” name. He, and others who joined with him, have been successful. Saputo Dairy Australia said that the cheese would be renamed Cheer. Cheer cheese has a ring to it. I imagine highly-paid marketing consultants were brought in to find the new brand name.

What do I think? I have to say that I don’t care overmuch. I have never bought Coon cheese or knowingly eaten it. Nor, by the way, did I ever put a racial connotation on the cheese when I spotted it in the supermarket.

At the same time, whatever you or I might think, Hagan has a right to his view and showed an impressive indefatigable resilience in its prosecution. You might think the company has folded like a cheap suit. But, let’s be magnanimous. It too has the right to change the name of one of its products. Maybe, the company’s head honchos thought it was an opportunity for renewal as well as getting Hagan off their back. Who knows?

In any event, my beef, so to speak, has nothing to do with changing the name of Coon cheese but with not changing the name of Cracker Barrel cheese. Everyone one knows that the descriptor “cracker” is a racist slur against poor white folk. I am not sure how poor you have to be but I, personally, feel terribly insulted and hurt. And my hurt feelings are surely paramount.

And, to boot, the currency of  cracker, which I shall henceforth call the C-word to avoid taking or giving offence, might have a wider target than just white people who are poor. Wikipedia reports Nation of Islam spokesman Khalid Abdul Muhammad referring to Pope John Paul II in 1993 as “a no-good C-word.” And Popes ain’t poor as a general rule, I understand.

Lo and behold, surprise-surprise, I also found that the aforementioned company, guilty of selling Coon cheese, also has the C-word cheese in its stable. And, a word to the wise Saputo Dairy, get the Coon name off your website tout de suite before Hagan spots it.

I am not one to complain without offering a solution. In this case what’s needed is a seamless change to another cheese brand name to take the place of you know what. Let’s find something beginning with C which resonates with Cheer. Charisma Barrel cheese has a ring to it. Though maybe that’s a tad overblown for a cheddar.

I consulted my Roget’s Thesaurus and came up with Chirpy Barrel cheese. However, after deep reflection and soul searching, I thought, hmm, didn’t those slave ships transport rum in barrels for the captains and crews to imbibe? Possibly? Why not drop barrels to be on the safe side.

Chirpy cheese is, thus, my final suggestion. I offer it to Saputo Dairy for free; on behalf of poor white trash everywhere. No need to hand over dollops of dough to marketing gurus. At the same time, I admit to not thoroughly investigating whether ‘chirpy’ has any historical negative racial connotations. Hopefully, there is no character or actor in Gone with the Wind or in those Shirley Temple movies called Chirpy for short or no line which refers to a chirpy chap.

Inadvertency is no excuse. Diligence is absolutely required if we are to cleanse the language and provide a safe environment for those who might feel offended. Don’t risk causing any offence, should be our watchwords.

21 comments
  • Necessityofchoice

    Coon v Cracker
    Whats good for the Goose is sauce for the gander.
    Whoops, some gender stereotyping in that statement.
    PC rabbit holes are endless, and pointless.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    Birds love Coon, especially Lite’n’Tasty with 25% less fat. My magpies get very chirpy about it. Expect they would do so even with a name change. As for the other one, I suppose Double Barrel is too politically incorrect.
    Does anyone know how the descendants of Mr Coon feel about it, assuming he had some when he “cracked” the manufacturing technique in Philadelphia over a century ago?
    Come to think of it, how do the present residents of that swing-state city – and the indeed the USA – feel about the name?

  • STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    Problem solved economically! Only an ‘R’ had to be moved. Now CROON & CACKER BARREL. No recompence required Saputo Dairy. The buzz is enough.

  • lbloveday

    “And Popes ain’t poor as a general rule, I understand”
    .
    That’s very different to my understanding, formed when I read Pope John Paul II’s Last Will, specifically “I leave no property behind me of which it is necessary to dispose”.

  • en passant

    I have a friend called ‘Pope’ and he isn’t poor.
    Also, what would Dr. Coon think of his real name being a racist term?

  • DougD

    Hagen flush with success over Coon Cheese has now filed a discrimination complaint against Australian makers of the board game Scrabble for including racial slurs in their word-check dictionary.

    Though his struggle will not save a single Aboriginal child from neglect, abuse or violence, he confirms the accuracy of the comment by the black American economist Thomas Sowell who said that such activist have little incentive to bring about a genuine reconciliation, as their position and influence usually depend on maintaining a climate of resentment. ‘The point is “to create the appropriate climate for bitter recriminations”… [If] through miscalculation, a demand may be made that can be and is met… what is conceded must then be denounced as paltry and insultingly inadequate, however important it may have been depicted as being when it seemed unattainable’. [Preferential Policies: An International Perspective, 1990, page 174.]

  • DG

    Coon is a fellow’s name, the fellow in question was a Scot. So I guess Saputo Dairy is now showing racism towards Scots, denying their inventiveness and enterprise.

  • Ian MacKenzie

    Hagan has a right to his view.
    Saputo Dairy Australia, a subsidiary of Canadian Saputo Inc., has the right to change the name of one of its products.
    I have the right not to buy from those who cave in to woke activists.
    Saputo Dairy Australia products are sold under brand names such as Caboolture, COON, Cracker Barrel, Devondale, Great Ocean Road, King Island Dairy, Liddells, Mersey Valley, MG Ingredients, Mil Lel, Sungold, South Cape and Tasmanian Heritage.

  • Carlos

    Just discovered the word ‘ginger’ is an anagram of the N word. Talk about hiding in plain sight! It’ll have to go, Ginger beer, Ginger cordial, Ginger biscuits, my god what were we thinking?

  • deric davidson

    Am I allowed to be offended by the BS nonsense of those who are supposedly offended?
    Racism is a two way street. BLM are supremacists as much as KKK/NeoNazis are surely?

  • Biggles

    Melbournians who remember the sixties and seventies will recall Coons Shoes in Bourke Street, just east of Russell Street. Fortunately for the owners, it was a bit too early to be driven out of business by the Woke crowd’s censorship, I imagine.

  • IainC

    Cheesegate and a single complainant getting an Australia Day ad pulled from Nova Cinema were contemporaneous and illustrative of the increasing power of perceived offence. No proof necessarily needed as to the basis of the offence, just the right code words in the right template from the right source is enough.
    Cinema shows ad celebrating Australia’s many cultures. Viewer uncomfortable with other people’s cultures makes complaint; likeminded cinema owner agrees and pulls ad. So far, so good; a private agreement between two intolerant parties. What I object to is the assumption that that action, along with the names of cheeses, has widespread, or even moderate, support amongst the wider Indigenous community. Where is the evidence that Aborigines don’t support Australia Day, or boycott a particular cheese because of its name? Further, who gave the complainant (and it seems that there is one only in each of these cases) the right to speak for all members of his (or her) community?
    Meanwhile, on the same day as Cheesegate Reconciled, there was an article about a certain artist on display at the NGV: “With his mirrored sculpture pride of place at the NGV Triennial, Jeff Koons reflects on his ascent to world’s most expensive living artist.”
    Oh, dear.
    Closing the gap, one cinema advert and cheese slice at a time. Meanwhile, in the remote communities……

  • Stephen

    I have a Singapore Chinese friend called Koon. She advised me that it is a fairly common Chinese name. She knows about its Oz context but it’s the name her parents gave her and she’s happy with it. She used to own the best Hawker Restaurant in Hawthorn but she closed it when she married and had a baby. A shame really her Nasi Goreng was the best. I’ve considered whether I would shout out her name if I saw her across a busy street? Mmmm……I’d probably cross over and talk to her close up in the current PC climate.

  • Blair

    “Apart from a sale of slaves from B.M. Campbell to J. Hagan (1857), the majority of papers of James Hagan pertain to his military career. ”
    Louisiana State University Libraries
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University

  • gary@erko

    They should have renamed it as Goon Cheese.
    Goon – cheap wine, or is that a cheap whine that forced the renaming.
    Or according to the Mirriam-Webster dictionary – a stupid person, or a man hired to terrorize or eliminate opponents.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    John Cleese would have had some Pythonesque fun with this one, perhaps doing a riff on “stiff cheddar”. Until he changed it, I believe his family name was Cheese.

  • Bwana Neusi

    STJOHNOFGRAFTON. Why not Croon your Clacker Barrel?

  • Bwana Neusi

    I am starting to feel really nervously guilty now. Bwana Neusi is Swahili for Mr. Black and as a white fella I feel doubly guilty for both cultural and racial appropriation.
    But even worse still, If I change my name to White (to reflect skin colour) I would be classified as a supremacist – Oh woe is me!

  • Lacebug

    I can think of another four letter name starting with C that would sum up my feelings about and Stephen Hagan.

  • talldad

    Bwana Neusi – 2nd February 2021

    I am starting to feel really nervously guilty now. Bwana Neusi is Swahili for Mr. Black and as a white fella I feel doubly guilty for both cultural and racial appropriation.
    But even worse still, If I change my name to White (to reflect skin colour) I would be classified as a supremacist – Oh woe is me!

    Bwana, are you aware that Mr Black was the murder victim (never seen but always reported) in the famous board game “Cluedo” ?

    You are most certainly in trouble now 🙂

  • simonbenson65

    Not to mention Jimmy Bancks’ long-running iconic cartoon, ‘Ginger Meggs’ – because of the racist anagram, I assume our PC newspapers still publishing this salacious cartoon will henceforth cease and desist from any and all further publication. Honestly, how can anyone take the PCB seriously? In the best traditions of Erasmus, it’s refreshing to see the rediscovery of sarcasm as a bulwark against this all left wing PC insanity. The only thing, after all, funnier than left wing PC insanity is the individual, corporate or otherwise, who seriously asserts that its revisionist ‘reality’ has some sort of universal validity or truth. Luther had it right. Mankind’s biggest problem is when it is ‘turned in on itself’. That sums up well the spirit of the present age.

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