We Ate a Bunch of Racist Snacks and Ranked Them
It gets even worse than Oreos, apparently
I really, really don’t like Oreos.
Partially it’s because they just don’t taste good. But also, I had a really bad experience as a kid, when a white friend offered me an Oreo and was like
‘Have an Oreo! Get it? It’s black on the outside, and white on the inside, just like you! Gosh, I’m glad I have a black friend that I can joke around with.’
Okay, I’m paraphrasing a little here, but that’s basically how it went down.
But a little while ago, I started wondering: are there other foods that people might avoid, because of negative racial connotations or memories?
To find out, Those People publisher Felicia Megan Gordon and I (でじことdex digital) hit up a Harlem bodega and bought a bunch of junk food (and drinks) to see what kind of offensive delicacies are on the market.
We ranked each item for Offensiveness (where 1 is a golden retriever puppy softly barking into a silk pillow and 5 is Donald Trump in blackface) and Taste (where 1 is a stranger’s potato salad and 5 is Waffle House).
Here’s a sampling of our experiment, complete with commentary from our notes.
The ‘Rachel’ Black and White Supreme.
The joke pretty much writes itself here. It’s half black, and it’s called Rachel. As in Dolezal. Really unfortunate naming. I hope nobody gets called this at school, and for that reason I’m going to give it a 3 for Offensiveness. As for Taste: a weak 2. It’s like a slice of Wonder Bread with frosting. It’s a shame this thing doesn’t taste good, because I could see myself rolling through the bodega and saying ‘yo, lemme get a couple of those Dolezals’.
I’m from New York City, so the Black & White Cookie will always hold a special place in my heart. Having said that, what Dex didn’t tell you is that we split this cookie. Dex took the white half, I took the black. Make of that what you will. Anyway, I give it a 1 for Offensiveness. I mean who’s against miscegenation (although segregation is another possible read) in 2015? The dark part definitely deserves a 5 for Taste. The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice.
Average: 2 offensiveness, 3.5 taste
One of my friends told me that some Asians get called this (or ‘banana’) at school. It’s like the Asian version of being an ‘Oreo’, except instead of white on the inside and black on the outside, it’s yellow on the outside. For that, offensiveness factor of 4. I will never know the Twinkie struggle but I’m personally offended someone brought these things back. These are disgusting. Taste: 1.
I never liked Twinkies; I preferred their darker and much sexier cousins, Hostess Cupcakes. No one calls anyone a Hostess Cupcake to be mean. Because I’ve been called a “6' Oreo” (with hand drawn picture to illustrate), I get it Asian people. Offensiveness: 4. It was almost impossible to get these down, but I’m giving them 1 for Taste because their brownish tint suggests that they could’ve actually gone through the somewhat familiar process of being baked.
Average: 4 offensiveness, 1 taste
Crispis Salsa Roja Flavored Yucca Chips
I didn’t know Yucca Chips were a thing. They probably shouldn’t have that scantily clad woman with the sombrero at the top, so for that, Offensiveness: 3. These are actually delicious, though. They taste healthy. I can’t stop eating them. Taste: 4
This is a mess. First, why is the copy half Spanish, half English? Second, green jalepenos don’t go in salsa roja. Third, what is that giant jalepeno doing on that lady’s butt? Having my butt hole attacked by a giant jalepeno is not my idea of fun and probably not hers either. 5 for Offensiveness. These taste nothing like yucca and they don’t know what they want to be — popcorn chip? rice cake? potato chip? with a dash of lowry’s? Taste: 0.
Average: 4 offensiveness, 2 taste
Little Debbie Honey Bun
I’m not sure why we bought this. But ‘honey buns’ kinda sounds like something a dude (or more specifically, a ‘fuckboy’) would catcall at a woman. I don’t know. Offensiveness: 2. But these things are delicious. This is amazing. I feel like I’m eating a continental breakfast. I feel rich. If you put this in a hotel lobby, I promise you’d have satisfied customers. And it’s only 50 cents. That’s real value. Taste: 5.
I don’t have much to say about these. I find the fact that they’re so cheap and good offensive because people (specifically, those people) eat these for breakfast everyday and end up with diabetes by the age of 40. Kind of like crack or whatever. So 4 for offensiveness, 3 for Taste. They kind of taste like a poor man’s Cinnabon if you’re into that.
Average: 3 offensiveness, 4 taste
Trail’s Best Beef & Cheese Sticks
We tried our best to find something that might offend white people, and this is the best we could do. This has the lumberjack, who is white, and you also get the piece of cheese. I tried asking some white friends if me calling them ‘lumberjack’ or ‘Trail’s Best’ would bother them, though, and they said no. So I’d say Offensiveness: 0. But the meat is amazing. This tastes so good. I wish we bought more. Taste: 5.
Could my cuticle be any more gross? Anyway, I found this beef stick revolting. First, it’s pretty small and limp and that dude on the package is presumably pretty big and fit. So basically it re-enforces every stereotype about white men’s dick size (and black men’s by implication). So I give it a 5 for Offensiveness. Maybe being a go-to for those of you on the Atkins diet (are people still on that? you know he died at 73, right?) is a plus, but CHECK OUT THAT EXPIRATION DATE. That’s all you need to know about how Beef & Cheese tastes. A festival of nitrates basically. Taste: 1.
Average: 2.5 offensiveness, 2.5 taste
Crazy Stallion 24 oz Malt Liquor
So I couldn’t put my finger on it when we were drinking this, but something just felt wrong about it. Later, that night, I looked it up online. Turns out this stuff used to be called ‘Crazy Horse’, after the actual Native American warrior. They only changed it after a petition. They killed a dude in a jail and then made him a mascot for alcohol. This is the most racist thing I’ve ever consumed. Offensiveness: to infinity and beyond. As far as taste: For the first few sips, it tastes like Steel Reserve with faint notes of concrete and despair. I’d give that a solid 1.5. After a while it starts to taste better, but you don’t really want to enjoy a racist drink, do you? Avoid.
Disclaimer: I don’t drink much, but I do like champagne and, by extension, mimosas, and by extension, brass monkeys. In other words, 40's don’t scare me so I figured 24's shouldn’t either. This is a scary drink. First that spotted horse people have come to associate with Native Americans and which appears to be referenced on this can? Well, the breed was mostly killed off by the U.S. Army in a war against the Nez Perce people, a Native American tribe that bred this kind of horse. Some other (presumably white) people brought the breed back in 1938, “preserving its heritage,” but also probably taking credit for the breed and making a lot of money off of it. We know how that goes. Offensiveness: 5. I only took one sip because the alcohol content is not printed on the can. Is that some inside joke re: Native Americans’ alcoholism issues? I’m done. Taste: 0.
Average: infinite offensiveness, 0.75 taste
Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail
This drink isn’t racist per se, and I agree with Petey Greene when he said we shouldn’t be so sensitive about watermelon. But I’d still say Offensiveness: 3, because somewhere out there there’s probably a “ghetto” themed frat party that is serving these. As far as Taste: it’s pretty good, actually. It’s a little too sweet, which probably isn’t a complaint I should be making about anything Arizona. 3.
I was pretty disappointed here. I’m black and I love watermelon so I thought this was a no-brainer. Fact is, this drink tastes like watered-down Hawaiian punch. Watermelon is the last ingredient before “coloring.” Arizona is bait and switching and could not care less. I mean why brand this “watermelon” and “fruit juice cocktail”? Which is it Arizona? Maybe you don’t think black folks know the difference between watermelon and fruit punch or maybe you think we just won’t care. I care. Offensiveness: 4. Taste: 3.
Average: 3.5 offensiveness, 3 taste
Felicia: This experiment was fun until it was depressing. Bodega snacks in the hood taste horrible and offer no nutritional value. So the crash was pretty bad. None of that’s a surprise. What is surprising is that the branding is more than flagrantly disrespectful of all types of folks. A gigantic jalapeno shoved between a Mexican woman’s crack sells glorified pop chips? I don’t get it. A huge business opportunity awaits someone willing to revolutionize this entire situation. It’s a disaster.
Unrelated: Rap Snacks, where you at?
Dexter: I thought this whole thing would be a fun joke, but I ended up discovering an actual racist malt liquor. Changing ‘Crazy Horse’ to ‘Crazy Stallion’ is pretty disingenuous. Can’t they just come up with another name (and design–what’s up with those feathers in the horse’s mane?) that doesn’t obliquely reference Native people? As jokey as the rest of this post is, I’m serious about this one. They need to change the name, or stop selling it.
What kind of questionable foods have you had? Is there anything that you secretly enjoy but are worried to eat around other people?