The owners of Coon Cheese have decided to dump the brand name in a bit to help “eliminate racism in all its forms” following complaints that its branding is “racist.”
Aboriginal activist Stephen Hagan and actor Josh Thomas called out the company earlier this year for their use of the word “Coon”, a historically racial slur that’s been used against people with dark skin.
Despite the brand being originally named after its founder, Edward William Coon, parent company Saputo made the announcement today that the company would “retire the Coon brand name” in order to align with “current attitudes and perspectives.”
Ironically, the two Australians who complained about the branding share names with two of the largest slaveholders in U.S. history, Joshua John Ward and Stephen Duncan.
Joshua John Ward, also known as the “King of the Rice Planters”, was the largest slave owner in the United States, holding more than 1,100 blacks on his Brookgreen plantation in South Carolina.
The second-largest slaveholder was said to be Stephen Duncan, who collectively enslaved more than 2,000 blacks during his time as a cotton producer. Duncan held 858 slaves in Issaquena at one time and owned more than 15 plantations in Mississippi and Louisiana.
Can we expect Joshua Thomas and Stephen Hagan to follow Coon’s example and change their “racist” names, immediately?