Crows Candy: Probably Not Racist?

Crows Candy: Probably Not Racist?

(Not anymore, anyway.)
I think for a lot of people beyond a certain age, the vision of a cartoon crow with a top hat and cane is inextricably going to be tied to the thought of those cartoon crows in Disney's classic movie "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Those racist, racist crows.
 
The idea of a racist depiction of a crow is tied up in the concept of "Jim Crow." The Jim Crow laws enacted racial segregation in the United States from 1876 to 1964. Jim Crow laws were responsible for "whites only" water fountains, black people not being allowed to eat at the Woolworth's counter, black people having to sit at the back of the bus… all of that horribleness falls under the name Jim Crow.

Why "Jim Crow"? This was the name of a minstrel show character played by a white entertainer who performed a shuck and jive in blackface in the 1830s. It was popular enough that Jim Crow became the generic pejorative term for black people. A personification of "the N word," in other words. 
 
Crows are black, of course. The name Jim Crow also has its origins in a reference to burglary (a crowbar was once called a "jimmy") and in an old practice of clubbing crows to death by getting them drunk on whiskey-soaked grain.
 
In other words, there is nothing good there. So when you ponder the fact that a black candy named "Crows" was first invented in the 1890s, when the name Jim Crow was literally as well-known as the name Tom Cruise or Barack Obama would be today? You really have to wonder. Really really.
 
I'm torn on this matter. Is it better that most people today have no idea what kind of racial baggage this candy is carrying? Or is it worse that everyone has forgotten our hundred-year legacy of apartheid in America? A century of suffering and Klansmen burning crosses and nooses hanging from trees? A century that ended less than 50 years ago?
 
I don't know, but these are difficult things to consider, while nibbling on a sticky licorice candy. 
 
Candy-wise, without the baggage of American history, these are basically just Dots that are licorice flavored. They have a nice anise flavor, without the chemical-y aftertaste you often get from licorice flavored candies. 
 
And I'm sure - I really am - that everyone involved in Crows (which are produced by Tootsie Roll Industries) is nice, and totally not racist. It's just that… yeah.