On the surface, Oreos, Sno Balls and Twinkies seem like your average gas station treat to satisfy that sweet tooth on the road. But interpretations regarding their physical appearance can stir up quite the controversy. 'Mr. President' Oreo Cupcake
Many customers have accused the bakery and owner Anjelica Hayes of encouraging racial slurs, as the Oreo cookie mocks President Obama’s biracial identity.
Hayes defended her creation and bakery as the cupcake’s name came from its taste and a joke that the Oreo cupcake is so good it should hold office. She further defended the name as a nod to the fact that Oreos are Obama’s favorite cookie.
But just like the cupcake, customers aren’t buying it.
Racial slurs can be influential through a variety of sources, but this particular racial slur, Oreo, manifested in the form of a processed snack food we all know and love.
An Oreo consists of white cream sandwiched between two black cookies: black on the outside, white on the inside. Thus, the term is most often used when describing people of mixed heritage—especially those of european and african descent.
Hayes’ cupcake not only mocks Obama’s biracial identity, but condones the slur's social history.
Of course, the Oreo is not the only racist slur that exists. The Twinkie, a yellow cake filled with white cream is an example of another term used to describe person. It's commonly used to make the point that an Asian person is "acting white"—yellow on the outside, white on the inside.
Similarly, Sno Balls—a chocolate cake covered in white/pink marshmallow and coconut—is used to describe a white person "acting black."
Contrary to the majority of customers' accusations, the problem with the "Mr. President" cupcake isn’t so much about Obama’s biracial identity, but the stereotyped qualities associated with specific races.
As we can do is all ask ourselves is, "What exactly does it mean to be 'white'?" or "What constitutes 'blackness'?"
After all, isn't it a little racist to assume all whites and blacks are the same?
The cupcake's name has since been changed.
While a simple name change of the controversial pastry may resolve this specific problem, it cannot fix the racial stereotypes so heavily embedded in our society.
As a nation, we still have some work to do.