Reagan Escude, a Turning Point USA ambassador who spoke at President Donald Trump's Phoenix event Tuesday, called Aunt Jemima a "picture of the American Dream." Days before she made her comments, Quaker Oats said it would retire the racist character, which was based on the enslaved "Mammy" archetype. Although there is no evidence that the first Aunt Jemima spokeswoman, Nancy Green, ever became wealthy, Escude stood by her comments after they went viral.
During her speech, Escude discussed her own experience with cancel culture and described how Aunt Jemima was "canceled" after Quaker Oats decided to no longer use the brand name for pancake mix and syrup. "Nancy Green, the original, first Aunt Jemima, she was the picture of the American Dream," Escude said, reports CNN. "She was a freed slave who went on to be the face of the pancake syrup that we love and we have in our pantries today. She fought for equality, and now the leftist mob is trying to erase her legacy. And might I mention how privileged we are as a nation if our biggest concern is a bottle of pancake syrup."
Escude's remarks that Green lived the "American dream" was met with a quick backlash on Twitter. Green was born into slavery in Kentucky and later moved to Chicago to work as a caretaker and nurse for a prominent family. She was hired to play the character at the 1893 World's Fair, according to obituaries, reports WBEZ. After the fair, she signed a lifetime contract to become the Aunt Jemima Manufacturing Company's spokeswoman and toured the country to give demonstrations of the pancake mix. She died at age 89 and is now buried in an unmarked grave. There is no evidence to suggest she died wealthy or became one of the first Black millionaires in the U.S., as a meme falsely claims, notes Politifact.
“Aunt Jemima was canceled… She was the picture of the American dream. She was a freed slave who went on to be the face of the pancake syrup." -- A student at Trump’s event on Tuesday pic.twitter.com/jgONhiXiza— Peter Wade 🤦♂️ (@brooklynmutt) June 24, 2020
The Aunt Jemima name was inspired by the song "Old Aunt Jemima," which was sung by a minstrel show performer and allegedly by slaves. The logo was first used in 1890 and is based on Green's likeness. On June 17, PepsiCo's Quaker Oats subsidiary said it would no longer use the logo as its "origins are based on a racial stereotype."prevnext
Future Fox News Anchor... https://t.co/w7KS4xqaUq— Ice Cube (@icecube) June 24, 2020
Escude, who said on Twitter she was fired from a job for "giving a Biblical response to social issues," later defended her remarks. "Aunt Jemima rose above what was a horrible situation and turned it into something good, leaving a legacy that Americans will remember forever—hence, the American Dream," she tweeted. "It's a shame that most don't understand!"prevnext
I'm not sure this individual did any research at all:
"In 2014, the descendants of Harrington sued Quaker Oats and its parent company PepsiCo saying that Green and Harrington were exploited and asked for their shares in developing the brand."https://t.co/stn1811y86— MobileI95.com (@Mobilei95) June 24, 2020
AuntJemima was the American dream? Imagine standing in front of ppl saying stupid shit like that. Fool please,aint nobody birthing y’all’s babies no more. These MFs love2victimize themselves by whining about losing symbols of their white supremacist culture. They’re batshit crazy https://t.co/lJKg7MKqak— Kenny BooYah! (@KwikWarren) June 24, 2020
Whitesplaining the American Dream. Some dream. Green did not die a millionaire. In fact, she could not live off the earnings she made from her portrayal of Aunt Jemima, and continued to work as a housekeeper until a few years before her death in 1923.— Maine Man (@Maine_NH) June 24, 2020