I am most grateful—I think—to Ethics Bob Stone for bringing this story to my attention. It gives me hope, it really does, that we are quickly arriving at the point where the George Floyd Ethics Train Wreck will be revealed to all as being driven and enabled by people so silly and stupid, that there will be an ear-splitting slapping sound across the land, as Americans of sense and perspective bring their palms to their foreheads in the humbling realization that they have been taking seriously the blathering of fools and ignoramuses.
And with a ripple of embarrassed laughter, the suddenly enlightened will immediately begin going about life as they once did, devoid of self-flagellating guilt for believing in a land and a system where people are, or should be, judged by their talents, enterprise, accomplishments and the content of their character, and not, whether black, Black, white or other hues and shades, the color of their skin, their ancestors, or what their ancestors did or didn’t do. Thereafter this period of unrestrained hate and statue-toppling, the cancel culture, fear, groveling, virtue-signaling and grandstanding will come to be known as “The Great Stupid,” and we will collectively wonder, as with the Dutch Tulip Mania of the 17th Century and Disco, how the Hell something so mad could have happened, and for so long.
In Australia, Saputo Dairy announced yesterday that it was renaming its famous cheese following a “careful and diligent review” of the situation. “At Saputo, one of our basic principles as an organization is to treat people with respect and without discrimination and we will not condone behaviour that goes against this,” the statement said. The cheese in question is Coon cheese, named, quite properly, after its creator, American cheesemaker Edward William Coon, who developed a cheese with a unique taste due to his patented ripening process.
CNN informs us that the name “Coon cheese” has been under attack for decades, mostly due to indigenous activist Steven Hagan, who, like the D.C. employee who got a manager fired for using the perfectly benign word “niggardly,” meaning cheap, and the women who accused Hallmark of being racist for a card referring to “Black Holes,” which they, having the scientific knowledge of the average 4-year-old, took to mean “Black Ho’s,” and like the activists who want to rename Lynchburg, Virginia (or ban the term “linchpin”), or those who insist the phrase “chink in the armor” insults Asians, can’t distinguish a genuine slur from a homophone, which, incidentally, is not an anti-gay slur.
Many English words look and sound alike, and thus those of us with the brains God gave a wheel of cheddar understand that we must assess meaning by context and the clear intent of the users, not sounds. We also do not react as if something that we know, or should know, is a slur when it is not. This whole area is covered in the Ethics Alarms Niggardly Principles, described here and referenced frequently in various posts.
The statement by Saputo Dairy goes on to say, “We believe we all share in the responsibility to eliminate racism in all its forms and we feel this is an important step we must take to uphold this commitment.” That’s nice, but it is a non-sequitur, and irrelevant to Coon cheese. The name “Coon cheese” is not racist, nor does it advance racism, and the fact that an irresponsible activist, or many people who need to learn what they are talking about before they make fools of themselves, don’t make a man’s name “racist” because they say so or think so.
If Coon cheese is racist, so is Davy Crockett’s coonskin cap, the three varieties of the AKC breed the Coonhound ( Black and Tan Coonhound, Treeing Walker Coonhound, and the Redbone Coonhound), and D.C. institution Koons Autos, from which I bought my second car. This is, in a word, stupid. The complaint is stupid, and the dairy dishonoring the inventor of the cheese is being inexcusably stupid in order to show the world how “woke” it is.
This episode is so stupid, and so typical of so much of what has occurred over the past two months, that I believe eventually The Great Stupid must collapse of its own stupid weight.