Culture

Trader Joe’s Reverses Course, Will Keep Ethnic Food Names

Update July 31, 2020: Trader Joe’s will not be renaming ethnic food packaging that some find offensive. Instead, the grocery chain released a statement dismissing a petition signed by customers seeking a change to the packaging.

Trader Joe’s officials have changed the minds about renaming packaging of ethnic food.

In a very visible flip-flop, Trader Joe’s is no longer changing the packaging name of its ethnic products. The decision comes after mounting calls for the grocery chain to do better and change the name of ethnic products.

“In light of recent feedback and attention we’ve received about our product naming, we have some things we’d like to say to clarify our approach,” reads the statement on the Trader Joe’s website. “A few weeks ago, an online petition was launched calling on us to ‘remove racist packaging from [our] products.’ Following were inaccurate reports that the petition prompted us to take action. We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist. We do not make decisions based on petitions. We make decisions based on what customers purchase, as well as the feedback we receive from our customers and Crew Members. If we feel there is need for change, we do not hesitate to take action.”

Looks like Trader Ming’s and Trader José are here to stay.

Original: If you’re feeling a little disenchanted by the progress of nationwide protests over racial inequality, you might find some light looking at the recent mass of rebranded products by companies. Protests online about companies who have amassed their wealth on products that promote racial stereotypes have prompted brands like Quaker Oats, PepsiCo, Colgate, and Nestlé to acknowledge their roles in perpetuating racial issues through their products and make changes. That’s right brands like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s rice are changing. Now, Trader Joe’s is up for its reckoning.

Over 1,700 people have signed a petition pressing Trader Joe’s to make changes to some of their food products.

The petition, which was kicked off by Briones Bedell (high school senior from California) two weeks ago, accuses the grocery chain’s branding of being “racist.”

“The grocery chain labels some of its ethnic foods with modifications of ‘Joe’ that belies a narrative of exoticism that perpetuates harmful stereotypes,” the petition explains.

The petition points to the grocery chain’s international food items whose names include Trader Ming’s, Trader José, and Trader Giotto’s.

Those products and others reflect “a narrative of exoticism that perpetuates harmful stereotypes,” according to the petition, which on Sunday had been signed by more than 1,500 people. “They’re racist because they exoticize other cultures, present ‘Joe’ as this default normal, and then the other characters — such as Thai Joe, Trader José, Trader Joe San — falling outside of it,” Bedell wrote in the petition.

Bedell’s petition also underlined that Trader Joe’s approach to branding has roots in the “fetishization” of non-Western people.

“The Trader Joe’s company takes pride in the fact that the founder, Joe Coulombe, took inspiration in building the Trader Joe’s brand from a racist book and a controversial theme park attraction, both of which have received criticism for romanticizing Western Imperialism and fetishizing non-Western peoples. We learn directly from the Trader Joe’s website that the first Trader Joe’s store: “had a nautical theme and it was run by people who were described as “traders on the high seas.” At the time, Joe had been reading a book called “White Shadows in the South Seas,” and he’d been to the Disneyland Jungle Trip ride, and it all just…coalesced. To this day, Trader Joe’s Crew Members consider themselves “traders on the culinary seas” and are known for their bright, tropical-patterned shirts…'” the petition explains.

As the petition also points out, the 1919 book White Shadows in the South Seas follows the exploitive nature of trading companies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries which worked to enslave Polynesian islands.

In response to requests for changes, Trader Joe’s has said that they have already set in motion updates to replace “any variations with the name Trader Joe’s.”

“While this approach to product naming may have been rooted in a lighthearted attempt at inclusiveness, we recognize that it may now have the opposite effect — one that is contrary to the welcoming, rewarding customer experience we strive to create every day,” a spokeswoman for Trader Joe’s, said in a statement according to NYT. “Packaging for a number of the products has already been changed, but there’s a small number of products in which the packaging is still going through the process,”

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Conservatives And Liberals On Reddit Are Sharing What They Think Will Happen If Trump Wins 2020

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Conservatives And Liberals On Reddit Are Sharing What They Think Will Happen If Trump Wins 2020

Joe Raedle / Staff

There’s no doubt that the presidential election will change the course of our country’s history no matter the outcome. Still, despite this, liberals and conservatives have some ideas of what will happen if Donald Trump wins.

We found some of the predictions from both sides of the parties and those in-between!

Check them out below

“I think he gets even more lazy in his second term and completely stops giving a shit. More golf. More rants. More tweets. Less policy (which is hard but he’ll manage.” –xTheBigShow

“Don’t forget some old fashioned corruption and setting up his family with lots of insider perks around the world.”- DukeofDixieland

“Do you think that will result in us being more vulnerable, i.e. to terrorism, or economic arbitrage?” –Learned_foot

“If Trump manages to win re-election, it would confirm several things for me:

  • The world is moving into a replay of the interwar period, with increasing nationalism, racism, and authoritarianism.
  • True, old-school conservatism doesn’t really exist in the Western Hemisphere anymore.
  • The population of Republicans in the U.S is far larger than polls suggest.
  • In addition to this, polls aren’t answered by the general populace, and that the average American’s response to hearing a political poll or any poll is to hang up.
  • Extreme socially right positions mixed in with economically left positions aimed at the rural poor will be the strategy the GOP follows going forward.
  • White grievance politics is the single strongest force in American politics. Bar none. (If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you. as LBJ would say.)
  • Populism is the dominant ideology of the United States.
  • The ‘Obama coalition’ never really belonged to the Democrats as a party, and voters were just attracted to Obama’s singular personality and massive charisma, and isn’t existent otherwise.
  • This country is probably f***ed.

As for what will happen under a second Trump term, I fully expect the U.S to move towards a Brazilian or Hungarian-style authoritarian state where democracy is greatly weakened but not (yet) formally abolished, although somewhat balanced by the power of individual states. Freedoms and institutions will be further eroded and human rights abuses, corruption and cronyism will further increase. Pogroms, riots, shootings, and other acts of political violence will probably become commonplace.

Relative to the rest of the world, the quality of life for the typical American will further deteriorate, but not collapse. Particularly, I wouldn’t be surprised if suicide rates drastically increase from their already high number, especially among Generation Z. Internationally, a Trump victory will signal to allies to permanently forgo of the notion of the U.S. as a reliable ally, signalling a shift in international relations and the end of the era of Pax Americana.” –OfElephantMonkeys

“We will have COVID forever.” –TheManWhoWasNotShort

“Does he improve?

No

Does he learn anything from the pandemic?

No

is his second term just full force fascism?

More or less.” – postwarmutant

“What do you think full force fascism looks like? Do you think he’ll suspend the 2024 elections? or the 2022 elections? Will he disband the supreme court? Open camps for his political opposition?” – Learned_foot

“The US wont survive another Trump term. The Constitution wasnt written with enough scrutiny to protect what we think of as our rights from the active erosion being done to civil liberties.

Our system of government was founded far to much on an unspoken uncodified code that is far too easy to ignore. The AG is arguing that standing Presidents dont have to follow the law. If that is true, then a standing President can invalidate the law as long as his party willfully supports it at the legislative level.” – Add1kt

“I don’t think much of anything will happen. Donald Trump is pretty lazy and and does not care about anything other than his own bottom line. His only legislative accomplishment has been a tax cut that primarily benefited the wealthy. He would attempt to pass another tax cut in a second term under the guise of economic stimulus but it won’t go anywhere under a Democrat controlled House. I really don’t see him tacking leftward and working with a Dem house and/or Senate.

RBG will not live for another four years. Breyer is 81 and Clarence Thomas is 72 so there will be at least one and possibly three supreme court justice appointments over the next four years. He could have a lasting effect there.

Other than that, a second term would just be a static period in the nation where problems are ignored, partisan division persist, and America’s standing in the world is further eroded.” – bender710

“He’d probably just link the treasury to his personal banks accounts and spend every penny we pay in taxes.” – messiestbessie

“I think the Republicans and their donors will start stealing like mad. They know the status quo is unsustainable, that America as we know it now is a sinking ship. So they’re going to loot as much as they can as fast as they can before bailing out.

If the Democrats win the election, then the ship can be salvaged. This wouldn’t be terrible for the rich donor class. Like any parasite, they like it when the host survives. But if Trump wins again, the ship will sink for certain, and then I foresee a scramble for whatever loot is left. The rich and the corporations, instead of scaling back their plundering, will ramp it up to crazy levels so they can get as much as they can before anyone steals it. It will be scramble competition.” – Stromboli16

“I think it depends on how he wins. Is it close? Did he lose the popular vote agin? Was it shady?” –HeresForHope

“He’ll be exactly the same.

Our planet is f***ed though. A lot of the bad things about Trump- destroyed our relations with allies, bad on healthcare, bad on education, bad on immigration, can change course once we get Democratic leadership again. The planet though? That damage is done.” – Reddit user 

“In short, I think it’s much worse than another poorly handled catastrophe and some national embarrassment on the global stage. I fully believe it will mark the beginning of a very dark period in American history.

If Trump wins, it means the Supreme Court becomes dominantly conservative for the next 40 years. It also likely means almost complete regulatory capture of government agencies by profit-driven private interests. Things like voter suppression and gerrymandering that have helped Republicans hold power become more solidified, so a democratic means of reversing the damage becomes unlikely. The presidency becomes mostly immune from oversight as the Senate and Supreme Court, which are both now perpetually conservative, either change the rules or refuse to enforce them.” – Dragnil

“I feel like if he wins the rest of the world will lose complete faith in us.” –greenline_chi

“It depends on how he wins.

If it’s so close and feels a bit fuccky, I’m down for the taking up arms thing, and I doubt I would be alone.

If it’s not close four more years of democratic “resistance” and trying to hold trump to a constitution that he’s never read.” –Uskmd

“To be fair, though, most conservatives haven’t read the constitution; and those who have display antipathy towards it.

I guess what I’m getting at is, what makes trump a different creature from the average conservative?” –Learned_foot

“What do you think will happen if Trump wins a second term?

States will try to secede again. Especially if Trump “wins” by blatantly crooked means, or through some sort of nutty EC shenanigans like having Republican governors suspend the election and appoint electors.” – PlayingTheWrongGame

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A 14-Year-Old Girl Won A $25K Prize After Making A Discovery That Might Lead To A Covid-19 Cure

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A 14-Year-Old Girl Won A $25K Prize After Making A Discovery That Might Lead To A Covid-19 Cure

JOSEPH PREZIOSO / Getty

Since the report of its first case from China to the World Health Organization (WHO), the coronavirus has claimed more than 1.1 million lives across the globe. In the United States alone, there have been more than 219,000 deaths according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering. So of course, scientists and doctors across the globe are on the hunt for a coronavirus treatment. Amongst them includes 14-year-old Anika Chebrolu.

The student from Frisco, Texas recently won the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge for a discovery that could prove helpful in giving potential therapy to Covid-19.

Chebrolu won the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge for a design that utilizes in-silico methodology “to discover a lead molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

“The last two days, I saw that there is a lot of media hype about my project since it involves the SARS-CoV-2 virus and it reflects our collective hopes to end this pandemic as I, like everyone else, wish that we go back to our normal lives soon,” Chebrolu told CNN in an interveiw.

The Indian American teen submitted her project when she was in 8th grade, initially not intending at all for it to be centered on finding a cure for Covid-19. According to CNN, her initial goal had been to use in-silico methods to identify a lead compound that would attach to a protein of the influenza virus.

“After spending so much time researching about pandemics, viruses and drug discovery, it was crazy to think that I was actually living through something like this,” Anika explained.”Because of the immense severity of the Covid-19 pandemic and the drastic impact it had made on the world in such a short time, I, with the help of my mentor, changed directions to target the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

Speaking to CNN, Chebrolu explained that she had been driven to find cures to viruses after learning about the 1918 flu pandemic and discovering that nearly 2 million people die from the flu despite annual vaccinations and anti-influenza drugs.

“Anika has an inquisitive mind and used her curiosity to ask questions about a vaccine for Covid-19,” Cindy Moss, a physician and judge for the 3M Young Scientist Challenge, told CNN. “Her work was comprehensive and examined numerous databases. She also developed an understanding of the innovation process and is a masterful communicator. Her willingness to use her time and talent to help make the world a better place gives us all hope.”

In addition to winning the 3M Young Scientist Challenge, Chebrolu won a $25K prize.

According to CNN, she enjoys dancing Bharatanatyam, which is an ancient Indian dance, and says her efforts have just begun.

“My effort to find a lead compound to bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus this summer may appear to be a drop in the ocean, but still adds to all these efforts,” she told CNN. “How I develop this molecule further with the help of virologists and drug development specialists will determine the success of these efforts.”

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