Racist snack foods

So, it looks like the folks at Kraft have a new commercial and slogan for their product Cheese Nips: “When you love nips, it shows.”

Is it just me or is it bizarre that a product with a racial slur right there in the name exists in the world? For some reason, I had never heard of Cheese Nips until I moved out to California almost 10 years ago now and the first time somebody mentioned them, I thought he was joking. But no, they’re quite real. I mean, is it that people just don’t realize that “Nip” is a racial slur referring to Japanese people? Is it that people just forgot that Japan is also called Nippon and that “Nip” is just like the more familiar “Jap?”

I know it’s kind of funny and it’s all about context and as battles go, this isn’t at the top of the priority list I’m not saying we should boycott all Kraft products (although I personally refuse to buy them and prefer to go for Cheese-Its) or launch a protest, but it still amazes me that in this day and age, with how politically correct we’ve all tried to become, a company would so brazenly continue to use this product name. I mean, there aren’t any snack foods with “nigger” or “beaner” or “spic” in the name, are there? And if somebody did try to name a product something like that, you know that there would be a huge outcry. We (Asian Americans) might be a model minority, but we’re also too often a silent minority. Maybe if they come out with rice cakes called “Chink Cakes,” we’ll be forced to say something.

(As an aside, here’s a weird thing I found: Racial Slurs Database. Interestingly enough, “Cheese Nip” is actually listed there for a person of White and Japanese descent.)

12 thoughts on “Racist snack foods”

  1. This is just dumb. Just because they use the word “nip” doesn’t mean it is racist. “Cracker” is slang for a white person. Are cheese crackers racist? NO. Sorry.

  2. Sorry to inform you, but it’s just you. Ya wanna talk about really racist snack foods? My mother (born 1923) remembers when she was a child that Brazil nuts were referred to as “nigger toes”. Now THAT is racism. The connection you’re trying for (and failing at) with the Cheese Nips is just way out there. And another thing: you don’t see Proctor and Gamble changing the name of its Spic and Span product in these oh-so-PC times now, do you? Of course not! You need to find a better use for your time.

    1. While the connection to “Nips” as a racial slur may be “way out there” to you and many others as it’s not as well known as “nigger” or “spic,” but it’s still an actual racial slur (maybe not as well known, but still as real as “jap,” “chink” or “gook”). The question “Is it just me or is it bizarre…” is *rhetorical*… The actual existence of Cheese Nips, including the peculiar quality of their name, was actually pointed out to me by a group of American American friends when I first moved to California and since then, has been mentioned to me on more than one occasion– i.e., people notice. Do I seriously think they’re racist and mean to use “nips” as a slur? No. It was a slightly *tongue-in-cheek*, random, brief comment on the many different ways we all use words. Better use for my time? You’re the one who found this post and took the time to actually comment, which all took probably way more time than I spent writing the post or even thinking about this whole issue in general. The only reason I’m spending more time now is that I can’t believe this post has actually attracted any comments, “heated” or otherwise, and that I’ve somehow become the top Google result for “racist snack.”

      Maybe we should better channel our concern over snack foods and racism to more glaring examples: http://guyism.com/2009/10/the-10-most-racist-food-products-ever.html. However, you may think even “Gookie” shouldn’t qualify.

  3. This is probably the dumbest most over-reaching attempt to make something out of nothing I have read in quite awhile.  You should be ashamed of yourself for even trying to construct a story around something so spurious.  “OMG ‘nip’ is also short for nipples, maybe the food is also sexist as well as racist?!?!”

    1. Wow, this was posted over 5 years ago– how are people still finding this post AND not getting the tongue-in-cheek nature of this?  I approve such “less than nice” comments in the spirit of free speech, but before you haters post, do you bother to read previously posted comments? Especially the comment at http://sindylee.com/2006/02/05/racist-snack-foods/#comment-120439844 where I’m forced to point out that this was a tongue-in-cheek comment on political correctness and the way we use words.

      Besides, if you don’t understand the difference between a slang word for a private body part (“nip” for nipples, which isn’t really sexist since news flash: men have nipples too) and a racial slur, well, then I suppose I can see how you totally missed the tone of my original post.  But what should I expect from someone who chooses such a clever, poetic handle like “URTARDED”?

      And on that note, I leave you with this Cheese Nip reference from Secret Asian Man: http://secretasianmancomics.blogspot.com/2011/04/asian-response-part-4.html.

  4. This is probably the dumbest most over-reaching attempt to make something out of nothing I have read in quite awhile.  You should be ashamed of yourself for even trying to construct a story around something so spurious.  “OMG ‘nip’ is also short for nipples, maybe the food is also sexist as well as racist?!?!”

    1. Wow, this was posted over 5 years ago– how are people still finding this post AND not getting the tongue-in-cheek nature of this?  I approve such “less than nice” comments in the spirit of free speech, but before you haters post, do you bother to read previously posted comments? Especially the comment at http://sindylee.com/2006/02/05/racist-snack-foods/#comment-120439844 where I’m forced to point out that this was a tongue-in-cheek comment on political correctness and the way we use words.

      Besides, if you don’t understand the difference between a slang word for a private body part (“nip” for nipples, which isn’t really sexist since news flash: men have nipples too) and a racial slur, well, then I suppose I can see how you totally missed the tone of my original post.  But what should I expect from someone who chooses such a clever, poetic handle like “URTARDED”?

      And on that note, I leave you with this Cheese Nip reference from Secret Asian Man: http://secretasianmancomics.blogspot.com/2011/04/asian-response-part-4.html.

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