Should We Re-brand Our Business Named for a Confederate General, Using a Racist Stereotype, or Honoring a Person who Enslaved Others?
Longer answer: I’m going to dispense with the “what took you so long” speech because I think we all know this day is so long overdue, it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
I was contacted by a reporter yesterday, asking for my comment on the “PR perspective” on a local business changing its name from that of a person who enslaved other humans to a more geographic moniker. All over, we’re seeing the renaming of schools, roads, and other properties for someone other than members of the confederacy here in the South where for many years, we haven’t paid attention to how those names were making black people feel.
So yes, re-brand your business. Re-name it. But be clear on why you’re doing it and be ready with your statement. Ask the people of color who work for you, who serve on your board, and who are your customers what they think of your potential new name and brand. And if you don’t have any people of color in your community, fix that.
Today there’s news about the Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s brands revising their brands as well. At last. Let’s celebrate even these small steps in the right direction.