Petition Created To Change Eskimo Joe’s
It seems that the little juke joint in Stillwater called Eskimo Joe's is now under fire from Social Justice Warriors. Home of some mediocre food and epic cheese fries. Why are they under fire? Because of their use of the word "Eskimo." It's a weird world. Granted, I'm not Native Alaskan nor have I ever lived there, so I can't speak to whether or not it is offensive. I do remember our Native Alaskan neighbors in my childhood always insisting on giving us Eskimo Kisses before going home, but that's not the same as calling one of them Eskimo is it?
As there are two sides to every stone, I asked Critter about it. He spent a portion of his childhood growing up in Alaska, and he told me just how offensive a term it actually is. Straight up instant fisticuffs type terminology there.
From the petition at Change.org:
Eskimo Joe's has been a beloved but racially insensitive Oklahoma brand since it was established in Stillwater in 1975. Everyone in Oklahoma knows Eskimo Joe’s, but few question the restaurant's name or branded mascot as offensive or racist, or even know the term "Eskimo" is considered a racial slur.
People wear the shirts and buy merchandise with the logo, which includes a depiction of an Inuit with exaggerated racial features and the offending term.
It goes on for a few more paragraphs, but corporate doesn't like us sharing that much of someone else's stuff. They say it's about plagiarism, but we know they don't want us filling our word count the easy way.
Fun Fact: In the 1990's, Eskimo Joe's logo was the second most recognizable t-shirt logo worldwide only falling short of Hard Rock Cafe. It's been a huge brand and a really easy holiday gift idea. Joe's even used to set up shop in Central Mall back when people still had a reason to visit malls. Nowadays, they just ship whatever you order online at still very reasonable prices.
If this gains any momentum at all remains to be seen. If it does, what does that mean for local businesses like Chief's Smokin Icehouse or Chit's BBQ? Chit's has a very similar logo rumored to be designed by the same artist.
At the time I hit "publish" on this, the petition to have Eskimo Joe's renamed was 1215 signatures.
Ironically, at the same time, the petition for Eskimo Joe's to keep their name and logo was almost 13,000... I would give a definitive number, but it's rising so fast, I can't get bearing on it. You can check that one out right here.