“Mate-Bait” Specials, Barefoot Daisy Mae, And A Racist Rastus



While everyone in this ad is speaking in a presumably Southern dialect, the only one most people will find offensive is Rastus, the man with the chef’s hat. Evidently Rastus has been used as a generic, derogatory, name for black men circa 1880, when the first Uncle Remus book included a Black deacon named “Brer Rastus.” I’ve never heard the term in my life, and I can’t imagine anyone uses it nowadays.

And while Daisy Mae in the above ad refers to “vity-mins,” the ad from a few decades prior uses “vitamines” in a much more offensive manner, portraying Rastus as not only poor in grammar, but entirely ignorant.


It’s hard to ever imagine this cringe-worthy ad ever existed. Granted, Rastus was as made-up as the Swedish Chef, who was also mocked for his impaired speech. But he didn’t represent an entire race, and he wasn’t made to look like an uneducated fool.


And while we can all agree that modern marketing should not include offensive racist stereotypes, what do you think of this?


It seems that a Canadian Inuit woman in 2009 asserted the product name insulted her heritage, as Inuits are often called Eskimos. I don’t know, folks. I can’t get on board with this one. I don’t see anything derogatory about this cute little Eskimo. Who better to sell a frosty treat?

9 thoughts on ““Mate-Bait” Specials, Barefoot Daisy Mae, And A Racist Rastus

  1. I heard the name “Rastus” quite often when I was young. It was usually in reference to an anonymous black male in a joke. At the time Amos and Andy was a popular radio show. Amos and Andy were portrayed by two white actors later that changed when it went to television. Of course,I think the name Rastus had an element of racism attached to it. But I think anyone from the South was treated with disdain. There wasn’t much difference between the speech of Lil’ Abner, Daisy Mae and the Cream of Wheat chef. Of course the white guys would be accepted more readily than the black. That whole time was one of Jim Crow.

    Liked by 1 person

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