NROP: Next stop – a racist ice cream truck song.

Have you ever had life just go the way you wanted it to? Not just one thing, but one event after another?

I have not. Some might argue my privilege – I have led a good enough life so I should not complain.

“Some people have it worse,” they say.

EXACTLY! There is always someone who has it worse. You are not the only victim.

While I definitely am grateful for what I have, I do not feel like the things I would like to see changed actually do. It makes me wonder why certain topics are more important than others. Just like some people/videos/posts go viral and others do not. There seems to be no real equation explaining that phenomenon.

What we do know is that it becomes easier to have our voices heard when there already is a similar debate going on. The “bandwagon effect” as I like to call it. A few women accuse one man of sexual assault, and then a few more appear out of nowhere. And then a few more… #MeToo

The trendy topic right now (aside from COVID-19) is racism. I could tell you how I had friends of different ethnicities, skin colors, and religions at the age of 4 and how I only saw these kids as people and not ethnicites, skin colors, or religions. My experience with diversity has not stopped there, trust me. But somehow all that is a bad thing. Apparently, we need to see those things to not treat them differently. Hmm… I took all sorts of Math and Logic courses back in the day, but you lost me on that one.

One of my fellow bloggers, Dee, shared a great video with her readers recently in which we see African-American celebrities talk about race issues in the US.

In June, I wrote The only way to fight racism… – an article about riots. We are now in August and the riots have only become worse in some places. In Chicago, last week, store windows were smashed and items looted from the Magnificent Mile (high-end stores on Michigan Ave, which spans across a mile). It sure sounds like violent riots and the abolition of the police force are the solution to racism.

A week later, I spoke about #ITakeResponsibility and all that jazz; Ways to make the world a better place. I shared with you the fact that the country band formerly known as Lady Antebellum changed their name to Lady A to be more inclusive (i.e. not appear racist). Now, they are actually accused of being privileged and racist because they are suing an African-American singer for the rights to that name. They tried to reach a consensus with her but she refused, arguing that she will not let them win just because she is black.

Another week later, you were able to read my post Racism on the shelves – How the products we grew to love make us racist. It was about our favorite breakfast items (pancake mix, syrup) changing their branding so as not to be linked to anything related to racism. Around the time that post came to be, I noticed that Aunt Jemima items were not as easy to buy as they used to. However, now, there seems to be a regular supply of them. Was that just a PR stunt to have certain people buy things that might soon seize to exist? We can only speculate.

Since June, I have been waiting for another item to become the target of racial topics. Yes, various statues have been toppled over for the past months. No, years. It is nothing new. Today, I found what I was looking for – apparently, the ice cream truck song might soon change.

I can only speak for myself but when I think of the ice cream truck melody, I think of my childhood.

I think of summer days.

Filled with joy and laughter.

I think of being good to my parents so they would give me some money for ice cream when I knew the truck would come.

All the excited faces of kids swarming the truck, eager to pick their flavor.

Of kids sharing their ice cream with others to compare flavors (yes, cooties, I know).

I think of dirty faces, and hands, and shirts, covered in melted ice cream.

And parents who smiled, seeing their kids happy.

The ice cream truck melody has the power to possess kids. No, I have no proof. I just know that I, and all the other kids, would drop whatever I was doing and run towards it the moment I heard the song. Then, when I knew the schedule (date and time), I would acquire money ahead of time and wait, ready to run for my life. The faster you made it to the truck, the better chance you had at getting the ice cream you wanted.

How is all that a problem? The folk song “Turkey In The Straw” was very popular during minstrel performances some 200 years ago. During such events, white people appeared in blackface. It is not important that this tune was based on “The (Old) Rose Tree,” which originated in Europe and traveled over the Atlantic as a folk song. No, it is important that someone some time ago performed it in a now-perceived-as-racist way. Apparently, there were at least a couple of parodies of this song, perpetuating the black stereotypes. You can learn more about it here (“Zip Coon” lyrics) and here (“Nigger Love a Watermelon. Ha! Ha! ha!” audio). I, for one, had no idea. It would be interesting to find out how many of us – living here today – actually knew about these racist songs before any of this was dredged up.

I do not excuse everything I do by saying Christians used to be persecuted back in the day. Oh, wait, they still are…

Unilever, who is the parent company of Good Humor – responsible for the ice cream truck tune explained that they have not owned an ice cream truck for over 40 years, but they still decided to do something about it. They did come up with a new melody. This one, they made sure had no lyrics.

When I heard it, it made me feel sleepy. The beat picks up a little after a few seconds, but it still does not energize me. However, my partner said it made them feel inquisitive and they definitely could not fall asleep with that melody. Maybe I am just sleepy and even heavy metal will seem soothing. (I will have to test it once I finish writing this post.) (I just checked the comment section under this tune and it seems like more people think this sounds like a lullaby. YES!)

  • How would you feel if things suddenly started to go your way?
  • What are some issues that you are passionate about and would like to see gain more traction?
  • If you are African/American or black, PLEASE share with us how the recent changes have impacted your life. I would love to hear your side of the story. Are you happy to see the changes? Are they doing any good? What would you like to happen next?
  • What are your memories associated with the ice cream truck song?
  • Were you aware of the racist songs?
  • What do you think of the new ice cream truck melody?

Stay golden,

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55 thoughts on “NROP: Next stop – a racist ice cream truck song.

Add yours

  1. I have a funny story about ice cream trucks. The idea wasn’t mine but I learned of it and ran with it.

    When my son was much younger, money was very tight. It always ran out before the month. We lived in an area with lots of kids ergo, lots of visits by the ice cream truck. I couldn’t afford a treat every time. The story I read, that I told my son, was this: if the music is playing, that’s the ice cream man letting us know he’s out of ice cream. He didn’t learn differently until he was about nine.

    I’m probably going to hell. 😂😂😂

    Liked by 6 people

  2. This made me laugh.

    You do NOT have to see it to accept. Funny thing is I left a whole bunch of rambling voice notes to a friend about this. I think she comes under black? I don’t know. Is black an umbrella term for all darker skinned? I never notice colour (or height or weight or clothes) unless it’s extreme. I’ll notice if someone is black, not darker. Probably wouldn’t remember their skin colour if you asked me. Same as I won’t remember if they wore glasses. I don’t remember unless it made an impact for some reason. Why should I notice the unimportant externals???? I dont see why one ever has to notice it. Just live and let live. Be and let be…….. I don’t think I’m even being naive.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. No, not for all “darker skinned.” I think people from India (and others) might get upset if they were called black. I was trying to be inclusive of black people around the world. Not everyone that’s black is African-American.

      Hmmm…., interesting. I do notice details about people but I don’t think my brain dwells on it. It just makes an observation of its surroundings and then moves on. Just like I would if I went to the mountains or the beach (“Oh, that’s a big mountain!”)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.”

    Good grief, we all have difficulties in life. My dad worked long hours and my mother did everything from cleaning, sewing our clothing and paying the bills, to mowing the lawn and painting the house. Once, when there was a big expenditure, we had pork and beans over rice for dinner for a month straight. They pinched their pennies and had to use their savings when he lost his job. He found 2 jobs and worked 16 hour days to make up for the loss. Never did they make us feel as if they were being trod upon or the world owed us something.

    The pursuit of happiness is not the same as a guarantee of happiness. We come into this world with certain gifts, such as music, art, math, etc. There was no country with more freedom, and with more assistance to give people the chance to pursue their dreams; if people were willing to work for them. Now, every time we turn around, there are people who want everything for free and aren’t satisfied with anything less than destruction.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s quite different what was vs. what is and you illustrated it really well. It saddens me because I’m not sure where we can go from here. It makes me think of kids eating tons of candy and then their teeth rot. If they have baby teeth, they might get another chance. Otherwise, they lose a tooth. What are we losing by letting the world walk the path that it is on?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s like we’re watching 13 year olds running the world who have been given license to do anything they want. When a child is 13, you have to come down on them HARD the first time they steal, lie or cheat. That is a nexus point, where they either learn they can get away with it or go onto the path of becoming a decent human being.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sigh. I totally agree. That’s why I cannot top but despair about our future.

          It all started with us wanting to do something about abusive parents. What did we do? We decided to prosecute parents for laying a single finger on their kid. From one extreme right into the other.

          Which is why I’m telling everyone we’re going too far but hey, their screams are so much louder.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, I actually cannot say I’m familiar with this melody– I always heard the “Popeye the Sailor” tune growing up. Maybe that tune will someday be connected to some racist phenomenon???

    Amidst all the discussion on this hot topic, I think the best comment I’ve heard so far is that the world should recognize that we are all of one race: the Human Race. Whether you believe in macro-evolution, intelligent design, or creation, we are all, at the end of the day, Homo Sapiens. The human species.

    Of course, we have different ethnicities, cultures, and physical appearances. Being of the human race does not mean we are all identical. And being of the human race does not mean we shouldn’t celebrate our unique ethnicities, cultures, and bodies. But being of the human race does mean that none of these differences add to/remove from a person’s value, because none of them change what we are in the most basic sense: human. The moment we use someone else’s ethnicity, culture, or appearance as an excuse to pre-judge them, we are violating the standard that Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us of: that we should all be judged “not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character.”

    This is paraphrasing loosely what I have heard some thoughtful individuals say. I thought it worth sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m not even going to speculate about Poeye (what a great cartoon!) because it looks like there’s dirt on everything and everyone.

      You’ve put it so well and I totally agree. But I’ve been attacked for presenting my views in that way. The sad truth is that no matter what you say, someone, somewhere will find something about you that displeases them.

      Like

  5. Racism is an interesting topic because it exists all over the world, not just in the United States and not just black and white or white and black either. I agree with Inkpot, We are all the Human Race.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, man, I went through almost 500 pages of spam comments to fish yours out. The spam is out of control these past couple of weeks. I get hundreds of them every day.

      You are absolutely correct that it’s not just about black vs. white or white vs. black. I can only imagine how other races must feel marginalized since the spotlight is never on them. But then again, that might be a good thing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have that happen with the spam sometimes, too. It’s like Akismet forgets its job. Then it puts people who have over 100 approved comments in spam.
        Yeah, I’m not sure how the spotlight thing would work, sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m gonna get ahead of this one. When I was a kid I liked chocolate ice cream. I would eat ice cream cones, and the chocolate would get smeared over my face. There may be pictures of this, I don’t know. Although I meant no harm to anyone, I realize that it was irresponsible of me to allow chocolate ice cream to cover my face. I apologize for the agony and pain which my actions have caused.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, thank you so much for coming clean.
      I wasn’t sure where your comment was headed at first but I’m glad you decided to take ownership of your mistakes. Still, I think it might disqualify you from running for office in the future…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I was reading about “racial wealth differences” and it says that the net worth of a typical white family is nearly 10x greater than that of a black family.
    I don’t know much about economics, but I would like to see how that is calculated.
    First of all, I hope they don’t include Hollywood and the super rich.
    And what is net worth? Does that include the depths that people have?
    And how about the size of the family? And the way that people spend their money.
    It should all be taken into account.
    I just don’t want to believe in numbers without proof.

    I used to watch the Cosby Show and I would love to say how that show taught me a lot about morality and respect towards different races, but then it will look like I support child molesters.

    I don’t even understand the term “racism” anymore.
    Is it racist that both the Danes and Dutch make a “Hitler mustache” each time a German colleague enters the office? Or is that discrimination? How do you call someone who discriminates?

    What about the civil war in Yugoslavia?
    Does that have to do with race or ethnicity? Or are those the same things?

    What about my Danish colleague who kept asking me “jokingly” how my black slaves are doing only because I live in the NL most my life?
    Can I call that racism?
    Do I even have a right to be offended in this current society?

    People are generally assholes, you really don’t have to be a certain skin color to get that kind of shit shower.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you pose some great questions.
      Such statistics often only show one side of the story. For example: There is person A and person B. Some might say: “Person A is poorer than B.” OK, that might be true. Does A have a job? If no, then why not? There’s many layers to that…

      People often turn specific terms into umbrella terms. “Bigot” is a term now used for everyone who doesn’t love everyone and everything you say. My head hurts, trying to figure out all the terms.

      No, race and ethnicity are not the same. Re: Yugoslavia you would be talking about ethnic issues. Or national issues.

      It’s interesting how only certain people can be offended about certain things.

      And you are absolutely right – there are all sorts of bullies out there (not just racists).

      Like

  8. I’m a fan of RZA and Wutang, so seeing this actually makes me happy hahaha I didn’t, however, know anything about the racist roots and it’s definitely sad to hear about it now. It would’ve been nice to see an attempt to change how we perceive the song and how we utilize it today but I guess the easiest way was a “revolution” and that’s what we got hahaha It does indeed sound like a nice lullaby but at least I could recognize this from far or close. I honestly don’t think there was a single ice cream truck out here throughout my childhood though. I think it’s quite an American thing though? At least the ice cream trucks in movies are usually always fun and thrilling moments. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The lyrics are disgusting. They should not see the light of day.

    I also think there is a huge difference between the people who are protesting racial injustice and those who are rioting and looting. It is not the same thing at all. Not the same people, not the same cause, not the same mindset.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Here’s what we need to remember: permanent social/cultural corrections never happen unless they start with an over-correction. Anyone from a marginalized demographic understands that fear and prejudice is so deeply entrenched in just about everything in our culture that the only workable approach is to attack the culture in its entirety. If that sounds like an overreaction, it is — and due to human nature, it is also the only thing that has the potential to usher in significant change. So for the time being, I am a-okay when I find out that some little nostalgic thing from my childhood is being forced to go the way of the dinosaur due to protest and consumer pressure. If this is the biggest sacrifice I have to make, I think I can handle it. The resulting return of justice and equality to our society would be well worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. May I ask what you base that on? An examples of over-correction balancing itself out at a later time?
      I’m not as optimistic about that since my experience has always been: give an inch, and then you will be asked for a mile.

      Like

      1. Slogan: END DWI! Has driving while intoxicated ended? Of course not. Never will. Is the aggregate effect of the ubiquity of such messages more or less of the questionable behavior? Almost certainly less, even in the case of such a pedestrian prohibitive slogan. Scream, wail, gnash them teeth…then sit down and come to a compromise. That’s the American way.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. To me, a DUI slogan does not compare to what is happening right now.

          There are instances when they install a breathalizer that you need to use and pass to start your car. Of course that can be bypassed, but how would you feel if all of a sudden, everyone had to have one in their car?

          I really hope you’re right about the compromise. No one seems to want to bunge. I will keep watching.

          Like

          1. Calling everything “PC” is the only weapon left for those terrified of inevitable cultural and demographic change. It is, of course, precisely why the U.S. is currently being led by a barely literate, racist authoritarian.

            Liked by 1 person

  11. How would you feel if things suddenly started to go your way?

    I have had times in my life things all seem to go my way for a bit. I’m usually really grateful, but also waiting for the other shoe to drop. 🤣

    What are some issues that you are passionate about and would like to see gain more traction?

    American voters to start looking outside of the two main party candidates to effect real change politically.

    What are your memories associated with the ice cream truck song?

    Similar to yours, though there was never a schedule to ours that I could figure out. My faves: candy cigarettes, lick ‘em sticks, drumsticks, and ice cream sandwiches. 😁

    Were you aware of the racist songs?

    Some of them.

    What do you think of the new ice cream truck melody?

    Definitely a lullaby. Adding the beat to it didn’t change that at all for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, yes. Always waiting for our “luck” to run out. Isn’t that sad? I’m the same way.

      Interesting that you mentioned that. I thought now would be about time that people focused more on individuals than parties. But I guess not.

      Candy cigarettes. Loved those!

      I’m definitely curious as to how they came up with that specific melody.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not sad, realistic. Balancing the scales. Karma. Whatever you call it. It’s just the way it is. ::shrug::

        Our country’s people are nothing if not stubborn. They equally cry about wanting things to change and gripe about things changing while clinging to the old ways. ::eye roll::

        I still DO love those! Particularly the hollow ones that you could puff out powdered sugar “smoke”! Simpler times—now those would be considered very un-PC for children. ::sigh::

        Likely a bunch of non-musical execs wanting the most PC musical piece they can get—who can bitch about a lullaby being offensive?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I liked how every paragraph had ::sigh/eyeroll:: Definitely helps with the interpretation of the written word. Unfortunately, you forgot to add it at the end of the last paragraph. ::chuckles::

          You are so spot on it all. ::nod::

          Well, if I am working from home, and the truck with that melody drives by… and I fall asleep and get fired, you can count on me complaining. ::belly laugh::

          Liked by 1 person

  12. 🤣 So, I use emojis when I reply on my phone like the cool kids do, but when I reply using my laptop, I have to resort to old-skool emojis IRC-style, yo! I have a bery dry sense of humor and I was told a long time ago that people can’t tell if I’m kidding through my writing unless I give them direct cues. I started out being stubborn and refusing (because eff all that noise!) but, ultimately, I had to admit it made good sense and gave in. Now it’s second nature.

    But won’t that underlying drum beat keep you from being lulled into sleep? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

                1. OK. I was about to start watching all law shows just to see your acting skills. Hahahah.
                  I used to do plays, too. I miss those days. I will add you to a list in my head that I have of bloggers who having acting desires for when my book is turned into a blockbuster movie!

                  Liked by 1 person

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