Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

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Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by Common Sense » November 25th, 2004, 12:49 pm

We just wrote a letter to Jack in the Box re: a commercial they are using which we find offensive. Here is the letter and it should explain a lot.


Robert J. Nugent
Chairman and Chief Executive Office
Jack in the Box Inc.
9330 Balboa Avenue
San Diego, CA 92123-1516



Dear Mr. Nugent,

We are writing this letter to request that your company’s television
commercial "Pilgrim" be pulled from the airwaves immediately. Although Jack
in the Box may not have intended it, the commercial is racially charged and
offensive to both Native Americans and non-Natives.

First, it portrays Native Americans through the lens of the European
experience. It perpetuates several stereotypes about Native Americans, which
purport to explain in positive terms the decimation of Native tribes and
their way of life by "advanced" cultures in the name of progress.

Second, "Pilgrim" depicts Native people at the time in which Europeans were
conquering them as docile people who required aid and enlightenment by
Europeans.

Third, it depicts Native persons as not as civilized or intelligent as a
"White" person. "Jack" is seen showing a Native person how to use a knife to
spread something on a sandwich. One of the pilgrims is later seen showing a
Native person that he has something on his chin, and then showing him a
napkin that can be used to clean if off.

Fourth, the commercial ends with the statement "that is the reason why
Native Americans fondly refer to us as the White Man." This statement raises
three problems. To begin with, the notion that Native Americans fondly think
of their conquerors suggests that Native people are somehow grateful for
being colonized by the "White" man. Second, the use of the word us alienates
other racial groups – because it clearly refers only to those of a "White"
or Caucasian background. Third, it equates Jack in the Box with "White"
culture and would seem to be aimed only at "White" consumers.

We are confident that, when Jack in the Box gives this matter more serious
reflection, it will decide that it is not in the company’s interest to
continue to have "Pilgrim" on the air.

We point out that as the nation again celebrates Thanksgiving, many members
of various tribes throughout the country along with friends and supporters
will not celebrate a day of massacre. William Newell, a Penobscot tribal
member and noted anthropologist wrote, "The first Thanksgiving wasn’t a
festive gathering of Indian and Pilgrims, but a celebration of the massacre
of 700 Indians. Newell earned degrees from Syracuse and the University of
Pennsylvania, and is a former chairman of the University of Connecticut
anthropology department. He based his research on studies of Holland
documents and the 13-volume Colonial Documentary History, both thick sets of
letters and reports from colonial officials to their superiors and the King
of England, and the private papers of Sir William Johnson, British Indian
agent for New York colony for 36 years in the mid 1600s.

In the fall of 1637, 700 Pequot Indian men, women and children were
celebrating their annual green corn dance, a celebration of harvest.
Pilgrims seen the celebration and thought that the Indian tribe was
preparing for war and went back to the village and reported what they had
seen and caused the pilgrims to panic and declare war on the tribe who were
only celebrating.

As the pilgrims attacked the village they burned their long houses with
women and children inside and continued to kill the men. The village was
unarmed. In today’s society, Thanksgiving is a celebration of economics and
to celebrate, our conscience must remember those 700 tribal members who were
killed so the people of the United States can have a Thanksgiving holiday.

As William Newell said, "The first Thanksgiving was a celebration of a
massacre." For this reason many individuals and their supporters are staging
a nationwide fast to honor the 700 who were massacred in 1637. Those who
wish to join the fast can do so by not celebrating this day.

The fast will begin on Thanksgiving day and will end on Sunday for those who
desire to fast four days. Others will fast just on Thanksgiving day. The
National Day of Mourning has existed since the 1960’s, and will continue as
long as Thanksgiving day continues. In 1991 Congress declared, by an act of
Congress, the month of November as American Indian Month nationwide.
Celebrations across the country are scheduled to honor Native Americans.

We would appreciate your prompt attention to this and a prompt response by
next Wednesday at the latest. If you choose not to reply in a timely manner,
we will call on all Native people, friends and supporters in our
Thanksgiving message to stop patronizing Jack in the Box indefinitely.

Sincerely,

WaBunInini, Ojibwe Nation
Aka, Vernon Bellecourt Nation
Floyd Redcrow Westerman, Dakota
President National Chair

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by 1111§ » November 25th, 2004, 2:39 pm

I haven´t seen the commercial,but it sounds disgusting.I fully support the letter.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by hkswb357 » January 24th, 2005, 8:12 am

Sounds disgusting? No, not really. I don't know I guess you could make the point that since I am not native american that I do not "understand" or something like that. But seriously, its like nobody can make any commercial nowadays without someone getting offended and complaining about it. Like that commercial for Monday Night football months ago where the lady took off her towel and ran and gave T.O. a hug and people were complaining saying that was "completely disgusting...blah blah blah"

So ABC made an apology saying they were truly sorry and they realize now that they shouldn't have aired the commercial. Well, that is BS...ABC was not sorry, as well they shouldn't have been sorry, they were just conforming their statement to fit what the public thought. I think it is stupid...ANY commercial nowadays, people are like "that is a racist commercial or a sexist commercial and it should be pulled IMMEDIATELY!"

I'm sorry but I think people are just way too uptight and freak out over the littlest things. Just take it for what its worth.....and that is a Jack In the Box commercial.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by Common Sense » January 24th, 2005, 8:51 am

Native Americans don't take lightly of having their culture disrespected, not even in fun. Their deal is: Once again the "white man" is trying to belittle us. We are a proud people and we don't go for that.


There is this major push to get rid of all mascots from professional sports and school teams and that are Native American. Their deal is: We are a nation of people. We are not mascots.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by hkswb357 » January 24th, 2005, 9:08 am

That is what I'm saying though. Jack In the Box of course did not make this commercial purposely to discriminate against a certain race. It would be stupid of them to purposely do that since they are such a large corporation they would be in legal trouble so quick.

But what I'm saying is that a lot of people just take things way too seriously. Someone will say one thing and you'll have people who over analyze it and try to come up with reasons for why the person said what they said. I don't think you would find this commercial offensive and discriminatory if you didn't over analyze everything. As I said before, take it for what it is worth...a commercial trying to promote their food.

I do not agree with your letter asking them to pull that commercial off immediately. But I do realize we are from different backgrounds and have experienced different things...therefore, we have different views. So good luck with your letter.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by Common Sense » January 24th, 2005, 9:29 am

hkswb357 wrote:I do not agree with your letter asking them to pull that commercial off immediately. But I do realize we are from different backgrounds and have experienced different things...therefore, we have different views. So good luck with your letter.
LOL...it's not my letter, I just posted it for people to read. The commercial doesn't offend me, to tell you the truth.. I didn't even realize it until I read the letter, but I do understand the Native Americans point of view.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by hkswb357 » January 24th, 2005, 9:41 am

Alright, well if you find out anything about the outcome of the letter. Whether Jack In the Box decided to take it off the TV or not then let us know. Although, honestly...I'd be surprised if they did take it off the TV.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by kodiak » January 24th, 2005, 9:56 am

People need to grow some thicker skin. Wont say anything about the commercial because i havent seen it but about the sport teams give me a break it doesnt offend me in the least. The past is in the past are my thoughts lets try and move forward and not keep dwelling in the rear view. I have had every chance to provide for my family as much as any white man I just had to wake up and take the chance.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by hkswb357 » January 24th, 2005, 10:01 am

kodiak wrote:People need to grow some thicker skin. Wont say anything about the commercial because i havent seen it but about the sport teams give me a break it doesnt offend me in the least. The past is in the past are my thoughts lets try and move forward and not keep dwelling in the rear view. I have had every chance to provide for my family as much as any white man I just had to wake up and take the chance.
That is my outlook on things too. That's exactly what I was saying up above about how people need to stop taking things so seriously all the time. Glad I'm not the only one with this view on things.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by Common Sense » January 24th, 2005, 10:07 am

Well I saw the commercial...and basically Jack is trying to explain to a stupid Indian how to make a chicken sandwhich..plus how to wipe his mouth after he eats.

I really don't blame these guys. If you are going to draw a line..draw it early.

I remember when I was a kid I was looking at an old cartoon from the 1930's, could have been popeye or something similar. Well the main character was being chased by a ghost. The ghost had the singing voice of Louis Armstrong (the trumpet player). The ghost had huge big eye's and big white lips. Stereotypic black people of the time. Would have things been different if a stink was made about stuff like that early. People tend to do what you accept.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by hkswb357 » January 24th, 2005, 10:26 am

Sorry, but I've never seen a black person with huge big eyes and big white lips.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by kodiak » January 24th, 2005, 10:42 am

If they were putting the indians off as complete idiots i see your point about drawing the line, but i would have to watch it myself to judge for myself about how i feel about it. Some of the things just make no sense to me.

To me the goverment offering money to me just because they won a war hundreds of years ago is rediculous, and offensive. How long do you think it takes to recover?

Totally off topic but interesting fact do you know when and why indians started scalping?

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by Common Sense » January 24th, 2005, 10:45 am

hkswb357 wrote:Sorry, but I've never seen a black person with huge big eyes and big white lips.
LOL...me either, but check out early print media, the minstrel era, Al Jolsen.

Right now there is a big stink about comics crackin' jokes on white people. Sayin' that it's ok to crack on whitey but not on anyone else, because it's not PC. I agree.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by Common Sense » January 24th, 2005, 11:00 am

kodiak wrote:Totally off topic but interesting fact do you know when and why indians started scalping?
How did the Indians start scalping their victims? One theory is that they learned it from the European settlers. A few Indian tribes had practiced scalping to a very limited extent before the Europeans arrived.
Between these two links you should have your answer.

http://ks.essortment.com/historyscalpin_rdrp.htm

http://college.hmco.com/history/readers ... andsca.htm

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by kodiak » January 24th, 2005, 11:26 am

Very interesting read. I was always taught that it was taught to native americans during the french and indian war.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by hkswb357 » January 24th, 2005, 12:16 pm

Common Sense wrote:
hkswb357 wrote:Sorry, but I've never seen a black person with huge big eyes and big white lips.
LOL...me either, but check out early print media, the minstrel era, Al Jolsen.

Right now there is a big stink about comics crackin' jokes on white people. Sayin' that it's ok to crack on whitey but not on anyone else, because it's not PC. I agree.
By "PC" you mean Politically Correct? I don't know about this. I mean, I am a white guy. I've heard black comedians, hispanic comedians and even white comedians making jokes about white people, and I do not care at all. It doesn't offend me that they make jokes about my race because thats all they are...just jokes for entertainment.

But to say "it is okay to make jokes about white people, but if you make jokes about blacks or hispanics...that is wrong and unfair to them" I think that is BS. I mean does it really seem fair to you? Why is a black man making a joke about the white race or a white man making a joke about the black race; both for the sake of entertainment, any different from each other? They shouldn't be, but they are.

Like I said before...I've heard blacks, hispanics, and whites make fun and crack jokes about the "white" man. But you will NEVER hear a white comedian crack a joke about the "black" man, because you could bet your ass the next day in the papers there would be allegations that he is a racist. And I just have never seen why these two are any different from each other.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by Common Sense » January 24th, 2005, 12:27 pm

hkswb357 wrote:By "PC" you mean Politically Correct?.

That's correct.
hkswb357 wrote:It doesn't offend me that they make jokes about my race because thats all they are...just jokes for entertainment..
Yea. but it does offend some people. Even non whites They're offensive jokes.
hkswb357 wrote:But to say "it is okay to make jokes about white people, but if you make jokes about blacks or hispanics...that is wrong and unfair to them" I think that is BS. I mean does it really seem fair to you?.

It is BS, and no it isn't fair. Maybe it's society's strange way of apology.
hkswb357 wrote:Why is a black man making a joke about the white race or a white man making a joke about the black race; both for the sake of entertainment, any different from each other? They shouldn't be, but they are..
Well it's an easy laugh. Cracking on people's differences can be funny especially if it's not malicious.
hkswb357 wrote:Like I said before...I've heard blacks, hispanics, and whites make fun and crack jokes about the "white" man. But you will NEVER hear a white comedian crack a joke about the "black" man, because you could bet your ass the next day in the papers there would be allegations that he is a racist. And I just have never seen why these two are any different from each other.
I have never been a person who condoned racism while being racist, even in play. It waekens one's arguement.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by hkswb357 » January 24th, 2005, 2:56 pm

Common Sense wrote:
hkswb357 wrote:By "PC" you mean Politically Correct?.

That's correct.
hkswb357 wrote:It doesn't offend me that they make jokes about my race because thats all they are...just jokes for entertainment..
Yea. but it does offend some people. Even non whites They're offensive jokes.
hkswb357 wrote:But to say "it is okay to make jokes about white people, but if you make jokes about blacks or hispanics...that is wrong and unfair to them" I think that is BS. I mean does it really seem fair to you?.

It is BS, and no it isn't fair. Maybe it's society's strange way of apology.
hkswb357 wrote:Why is a black man making a joke about the white race or a white man making a joke about the black race; both for the sake of entertainment, any different from each other? They shouldn't be, but they are..
Well it's an easy laugh. Cracking on people's differences can be funny especially if it's not malicious.
hkswb357 wrote:Like I said before...I've heard blacks, hispanics, and whites make fun and crack jokes about the "white" man. But you will NEVER hear a white comedian crack a joke about the "black" man, because you could bet your ass the next day in the papers there would be allegations that he is a racist. And I just have never seen why these two are any different from each other.
I have never been a person who condoned racism while being racist, even in play. It waekens one's arguement.
Are you saying that I am racist?

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by hkswb357 » January 24th, 2005, 5:37 pm

Maybe I misunderstood what you said, but to me it sounds like you were implying that I was a racist as a result of what I posted above. I hope this isn't the case, as I am not racist in the least.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by Kemosave » January 24th, 2005, 7:50 pm

This reminds me of the Native American attempt to force the "Redskins" football team to change their name.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by hkswb357 » January 24th, 2005, 8:56 pm

Kemosave wrote:This reminds me of the Native American attempt to force the "Redskins" football team to change their name.
Yea, I did not like that idea at all. It's a name of a damn football team, I don't understand why people get uptight about the littlest things.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by kodiak » January 24th, 2005, 11:19 pm

Well in comparison its like calling a football team from Alabama lets say niggerskins or honkyskins. Although i could care less myself but its the same comparison. Do you think people calling native americans redskins is a positive thing? Like i said though i'm not caught up on it as far as the team. I dont see anything wrong with the cleveland indians though.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by Common Sense » January 25th, 2005, 1:45 am

hkswb357 wrote:Are you saying that I am racist?
Not at all. Where did that come from?

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by Common Sense » January 25th, 2005, 1:54 am

Kemosave wrote:This reminds me of the Native American attempt to force the "Redskins" football team to change their name.
Here is a letter from a Native American that may shed some light on the subject:


The Term Redskin

Dear Editor; It was brought to my attention that some were asking if the term "redskin" was really offensive to Indians and that they would like to hear from us on this subject. Well, here you are...I am Blackfoot, Cherokee and Choctaw...and yes, the term is extremely offensive to me. Let me explain why. Back not so long ago, when there was a bounty on the heads of the Indian people...the trappers would bring in Indian scalps along with the other skins that they had managed to trap or shoot. These scalps brought varying prices as did the skins of the animals. The trappers would tell the trading post owner or whoever it was that he was dealing with, that he had 2 bearskins, a couple of beaver skins...and a few scalps. Well, the term "scalp" offended the good Christian women of the community and they asked that another term be found to describe these things. So, the trappers and hunters began using the term "redskin"...they would tell the owner that they had bearskin, deer skins....and "redskins." The term came from the bloody mess that one saw when looking at the scalp...thus the term "red"...skin because it was the "skin" of an "animal" just like the others that they had...so, it became "redskins". So, you see when we see or hear that term...we don't see a football team...we don't see a game being played...we don't see any "honor"...we see the bloody pieces of scalps that were hacked off of our men, women and even our children...we hear the screams as our people were killed...and "skinned" just like animals. So, yes, Mr./Ms. Editor...you can safely say that the term is considered extremely offensive.

In Struggle,
Tina Holder
Mesa, Az.

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Re: Jack In The Box Commercial Offends Native Americans

Unread post by hkswb357 » January 25th, 2005, 4:01 am

Common Sense wrote:
hkswb357 wrote:Are you saying that I am racist?
Not at all. Where did that come from?
Sorry, my mistake. I just misunderstood something you said previously.

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