This week in Blackface: ‘Hip-hop Cupcakes’ and a shop owner’s ‘Joke Drawer’

By Arturo R. García

A reader sent us this ad for what Duncan Hines is calling “Hip Hop Cupcakes.” Uh huh.

I couldn’t embed it because the coding’s wonky, but as you might expect, the commercial for these cakes takes its’ cue from the old California Raisins ads, which adds another layer of weirdness: if you’re going to call them hip-hop cupcakes, then shouldn’t at least one of them at least do a verse? Or was “Beatboxing Biscuits” already taken? At least some folks on the ad campaign’s YouTube page have caught on to its’ problematic nature and pointed it out.

Meanwhile, in Indiana …

Thanks to Tami for pointing this story out: a defense attorney in Noblesville, IN was found to be selling soaps with names like “Darkie,” “Monkey Brand” and “Kolored Kids” at a store he and his wife own, and wastes little time pulling out all the stops in defending the merch to WXIN-TV: the Historical Value card (they’re “nostalgic” and stored in a “joke drawer”); the Victim Card (“You politically correct people can dance to your own tune”); the I’m Not Racist card (both of them note they defend black clients) and, in a partial transcript of their conversation with reporter Kimberly King, the C.R.E.A.M. Card:

You’re making money off of racism.
Gary: Racism? Our country was built on racism. If it didn’t sell we wouldn’t sell it. People buy it.

But should you be the middleman to make a profit off racism?
Gary: Racism?

People are going to be appalled at this.
Gary: They are? Then people are just too politically correct. How about gay people in our country. Would they be offended by “Gay Johnny” and “The Fairy soap.” (Gary then showed the soaps labeled “Gay johnny” and “The Fairy soap”). This is free publicity and I hope it makes every channel, because people will come in here.

People will think you’re a racist because you’re selling this soap.
Gary: I’m a businessman selling a product people buy

Why would you want to be making a profit off of racism?
Gary: Because it’s a legal product

But don’t you have a moral principle not to promote something like this?
Gary: In our country the almighty dollar says it all, ma’am

Can’t wait to see the grand opening at their new store.

About This Blog

Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at

The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.

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