The Brazil Files: Paper, Plastic, or Racist Caricatures?

by Special Correspondent Wendi Muse

I go grocery shopping almost every day here in Brazil, but I rarely really study the packaging of the products I buy beyond checking out the price and the contents. However, a few weeks ago, while sitting down to remove my nail polish, I noticed that a grocery store purchase yielded a little more than I had bargained for: racist caricatures! Yes, ladies and gentelemen, racist caricatures, even on something as simple as nail polish remover!


After noticing this, I decided to take note of other products. Another one I found by accident happened to be on a small bag of rosemary I picked up to use at my friend’s house:


…little Chinese man (chinezinho) rosemary, that is.

In almost every country, racist caricatures have been used to sell every day products, but to still see such images in circulation is a bit troubling. It’s of little concern here in Brazil, but usually in the United States, these logos would bring forth quite a bit of criticism.

Have any of you seen any racist caricatures on grocery items in the States or abroad? How do they make you feel?

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