Demand Eskimo Joe's & Mexico Joe's rebrand to remove racist imagery and the slur "Eskimo"

Demand Eskimo Joe's & Mexico Joe's rebrand to remove racist imagery and the slur "Eskimo"

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Steve Reynolds
Steve Reynolds signed this petition

Esk*mo Joe's has been a beloved but racially insensitive Oklahoma brand since it was established in Stillwater in 1975. Everyone in Oklahoma knows Esk*mo Joe’s, but few question the restaurant's name or branded mascot as offensive or racist, or even know the term "Esk*mo" is considered a racial slur. 

People wear the shirts and buy merchandise with the logo, which includes a depiction of an Inuk with exaggerated racial features and the offending term. 

Similar branding is used for Mexico Joe's, a Mexican food spin-off which presents Joe with a sombrero, a poncho, and a donkey companion. A popular image shows him bull riding a jalapeño pepper with a taco in hand.

Perception is starting to turn. Some students at the local college are voicing their concern, people who have lived in Oklahoma their whole lives are starting to recognize the problem, and newcomers to Oklahoma are horrified. 

People of color shouldn't be seen as caricatures or used as mascots. It's damaging for children to see themselves depicted as ugly or dehumanized. These depictions parallel the racist ads, mascots, and cartoons of Native Americans, Asians, and Africans. The Inuit and Mexican people are not to be exploited for these restaurants' branding.

We're not trying to make these restaurants go away. Racism is nuanced, and it can come from an innocent place. But this insensitivity contradicts the positive impact these businesses have on the community. We ask the owner, Stan Clark, for a total rebranding of Esk*mo Joe's and Mexico Joe's that removes this dehumanizing imagery and the slur "Esk*mo."

These links to opinion pieces were directly sent to me from the Communications Manager of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami in Ottawa, ON

https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/65674natan_obed_why_the_name_edmonton_eskimos_harms_inuit/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/article-head-of-canadas-national-inuit-organization-calls-on-edmonton-cfl/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/attention-edmonton-eskimos-inuit-are-not-mascots/article27512855/ 

*Update July 21: Edmonton Esk*mos team name was removed today and a new name will be announced.