Right now, product names like Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, Eskimo Pie, Mrs. Butterworth’s, Cream of Wheat, the Native American woman on Land O’Lakes butter are being changed, and statues of various Confederate leaders are being removed. There are calls for the Texas Rangers sports team to be renamed (and of course, the Washington Redskins), and calls for racist street names to be renamed. The Laura Ingalls Wilder award has been renamed. College football stadium names are under review. Californian elementary schools (Jefferson, Washington) are being renamed. There are calls for Broward County to be renamed, along with McCarran airport in Las Vegas.
All of these changes or removals may be justified on an individual case-by-case basis. But on a broader, macro scale, this behavior is becoming reminiscent of the quote from George Orwell’s 1984:
“…every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed…And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute… nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”
How do we as a society change or remove individual things without eventually morphing towards the 1984 attitude being described here?