Cypriot coffee… yum, but please hold the racism.

This is simply not acceptable.

(Laikon Kafekopteion – People’s Coffee Grinding – Nicosia, Cyprus.)

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@aral one of the strangest things i encounter when traveling the world: apparently it’s just american white people that have that knee jerk reaction about blackface depictions.

@zens What kind of reaction do you think Black people have?

@aral i was worried my wording was too ambiguous. i meant; out of the white people of the world, americsn white people seem to be the only people who care. i wouldn’t claim to represent black people’s reactions

@aral though, if i were to guess, i would assume a black person wouldn’t design that logo

On top of that, the coffee nationalism :P Cypriots, Turks, Serbians and Greeks (among others ?) call the exact same type of coffee Cypriot, Turkish, etc... :)

@dimitrisk Meh, I’m ok with that :) The racism, not so much.

@dimitrisk (I mean, I’m ok with whatever anyone wants to call the coffee. Not with the nationalism bit. Happy to drink a Cypriot coffee in Cyprus, a Greek coffee in Greece and a Turkish coffee in Turkey, even if they’re all essentially the same thing.) :)

@aral @dimitrisk greeks vs. turks, it kind of is racism. old wounds, istanbul was once constantinople

@zens @dimitrisk My parents are Turkish, I had a Cypriot coffee a few days ago in Paphos. I’m ok with it is what I’m saying ;)

@aral tea shop near me... no comment. There's an entire wall of shelves stocked with this.

@aral @codeforchaos
It's a reproduction of a rare 1920 poster (i.e. a product of its time). Compagnie Coloniale is probably the most famous tea company in France. The original poster was recently sold for €3500 I believe.

@zigpress @aral that’s good to know, also good to know it’s still used as marketing material in 2021 🤗

Given current sentiment re China's behaviour across many fronts, they're probably flying off the shelves. I've ordered 2.

@aral To be honest, I don't get the problem; maybe because we (as a nation/state, that is) have never had the systemic racism problem, simply for not having colonies/slave labor (what we did in internal matters is whole different story, but still). For me, its meaning is simple: coffe is a good you get from southern merchants, just like, say, tinned cod label could bear a face of bearded Nordic fisherman, and soya sauce an Asian cook. Just "hey, we get the goods from those guys, who produce it at the source and know how to do it well".

@brie @aral
Exactly this. I guess in this case the facial features are a bit, let's say, stereotypical but I don't read a racist intent behind it.

But people nowadays like to get offended by stuff on behalf of other people. And especially like to "cancel" things and people because it's easier that dealing with the actual problem.

Aral, you don't fight racism by fighting a random coffee logo. You are just taking part in this "US style" trend.

@dyamon @brie @aral case(s) in point.

i mean, i can explain what the problem is and why you should care, even in spite of you being primed not to care. but i don’t wanna waste my breath on people who are already convinced

@aral @dyamon @zens Please do. While I despise racism, I see nothing racist in the image; just some nice guy with coffee... My thoughts are not fixed in stone though, and I'd be truly grateful if you show me where do I err.

@brie @aral @dyamon imagine there was a company that was well known, and proud of their black slave trade. this might as well be their mickey mouse, and it’s presence here, intentionally or not, signals an enthusiastic complicity with black slavery just as clearly as if it were a swastika. if it didn’t have the history it has, maybe it would be harmless. but it is actively painful and scary for black americans to see this image; it’s a big “whites only” sign over the coffee shop.

@brie @aral @dyamon like imagine being a person, visitibg a foreign country, and you see a cartoon depiction of yourself as a food product.

@brie @aral @dyamon and inagine also that coubtry filled with people who “ don’t see the problem” with an image that is explicitly about the active enslavement of you, personally.

@brie @aral @dyamon just read the defense of the logo from the company itself. i’m not convinced
defense 1:
“it was just a mark of quality; like putting a russian on vodka, we put a brazilian on the coffee, to say it was quality stuff”
this is the exact same reasoning behind all minstrel style characater mascots. despite unquestionably being racist depictions, they were associated with high quality.
also; why a black brazilian, why a porter’s costume?

@brie @aral @dyamon
defense 2:
“we had not an ounce of racist intent”
i can buy that they simply depicted black people in the cartoon style that was popular in 1948; i can buy that they didn’t know these stylistic choices came out of minstrel shows. none of this excuses *continuing* to use the image and denying its origin and history; and none of it addresses the obvious question of how a black brazilian porter represents quality coffee in 2021.

@zens @brie @aral

First of all thanks for taking the time to write this. As I said, this is how you address racism, not by cancelling stuff.

Your hypotetical scenario does not really apply here. It is scary, but describes a company (and the society around it) acknowledging the racist origins of the logo/mascot, *embracing them* and somehow living by these "values" today. It doesn't seem to be the case here.

@zens @brie @aral

IMO the problem with your argument is that you are looking at this with the "2021 goggles" forgetting that everything has a context. We should always try to consider the context in which something happened (note, consider, not justify), because this is how you read history! I'd argue that not doing so is not only wrong but potentially harmful. If we keep ignoring the context, erasing what is not 2021-proof we are erasing history, we forget who we were and who we have become.

@zens @brie @aral

Let's take this logo as an exercise. I see two scenarios here:

1) The company pivots and introduces a completely different logo (let's say a coffee bean on a circle). Does this chance the company history and its potential involvement in slavery? Hell no! Does it hide it? Definitely yes. Lesson you take home? Hide your heritage, it might backlash and hurt you/your product.

@zens @brie @aral

2) The company keeps the logo and maybe publishes something on its history and evolution. Does this chance the company history and its potential involvement in slavery? Not at all! Does it hide it? No, it actually raises awareness, while taking a clear stance *today* against racism and slavery. Lesson you take home? You are who you are today because of the mistakes of the past, don't hide them, but be proud of who you have become.

(sorry for the inevitable wall of posts)

@dyamon @brie @aral yeah, no. let’s say instead of a racist logo, it’s a klan outfit that thr founder had.

the company swears they didn’t know the klan was racist when the founder joined it; and on the weight of that argument, they have decided to continue to display it in the main entrance of their coffee shop, along with a plaque that explains that it’s not really racist.

yes things have a context. and deciding not to wear your klan outfit proudly isn’t hiding your past.

@dyamon @brie @aral yes i am wesring my 2021 goggles and wondering why this coffee shop has decided to stand by its klan outfit sayibg “gosh, it’s just a ghost costume” and brushing off the obvious reading.

@dyamon @brie @aral and wuite frankely i am more convinced than ever that it, and you, are totally fine with slavery. i mean, you’re still wearing and defending the “i love slavery” badges and telling me they don’t mean anything imoortant. you really expect me to take that at face value? cos face value is you’re fine with slavery.
l no no i am still wearing the.badge proudly because i don’t want you to forget that I used to love slavery.
uh huh. yeah. right

@dyamon @brie @aral hi there stranger, my name is dave. i used to be racist but i am better now. ehy are you backing away? i told you i’m not racist *anymore*

@zens @brie @aral
I have to say I'm a bit disappointed. I though we were having a conversation but all of a sudden it turns into false accusations. Sorry but this is the reply of someone who doesn't know how to defend their argument.

@zens @brie @aral
You are doing it again! The logo is not enough to support your claim, so you exaggerate with hypothetical scenarios. Still I'll play with you: I explicitly wrote that you should not justify the context. The plaque on the outfit should not try to convince you that "it's not racist" but that the founder made questionable choices and the company moved on and learned from that. Although the outfit in a coffee shop might be a bit strong.

@dyamon @brie @aral and you don’t think blackface in the logo that you print on all the products you sell is strong? what do you think the descendants of the brazillian plantation slaves would think of it?

@dyamon @brie @aral guess what, it is 2021 now. it is not 1948. what gets done now has meaning. we don’t say “we need to leave the lead painted playground there for historical reasons”. we remove public hazards, and this is definitely a public hazard now, whether you think it started out innocent or not.

@dyamon @brie @aral correction, not “descendents”

“In 2007, the Brazilian Government freed more than 1,000 forced laborers from a sugar plantation.[67] In 2008, the Brazilian government freed 4,634 slaves in 133 separate criminal cases at 255 different locations. Freed slaves received a total compensation of £2.4 million (equal to $4.8 million).[68] They received monetary compensation for their government's inability to protect them.”
*cough* this isn’t an “oh gosh history” thing

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heh, the second time this crossed my timeline, I misread Cypriot Coffee as Crypto Coffee :-)

@lxo Crypto Coffee… we destroy an acre of rainforest for each cup (tm)

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