Ben Stein Is Being Dragged For Racist Aunt Jemima Maple Syrup Video

If you've ever seen the classic '80s movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," then there's probably one droning, unlikeable teacher who is stuck in your memory. In fact, his calls of "Anyone? Anyone?" became readily affixed into the cultural zeitgeist. Well, the teacher in question was played by Ben Stein, and what some people are coming to realize is that the actor who played the miserable economics teacher might not always act like a likable guy in real life, either.

Stein is a former Nixon speech writer, game show host, and ostensibly a comedian, but his comments on matters related to politics and race have been anything but funny. In the past, he's faced controversy for claiming that Presidents Richard Nixon and Donald Trump were "kicked out of office for doing exactly nothing wrong" (via Newsweek). During an appearance on Newsmax TV, he made disparaging remarks about Black people in America, whom he referred to as the "beaten-down, pathetic, self-defeating black underclass." Well, Stein wasn't done inserting himself into conversations about race. In a recently uploaded video, for some reason, he decided to share his opinions about the Aunt Jemima brand changing its name and logo.

Ben Stein can't let go of the past

Quaker Oats, the owner of the former Aunt Jemima brand, admitted in a press release that "Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype" (the name came from the minstrel show song "Old Aunt Jemima"), but Ben Stein seems to think he has a more nuanced understanding of the company's old logo (via Forbes). In a Twitter video, Stein holds a syrup bottle and states, "This used to show a large African American woman chef, but because of the inherent racism of America's corporate culture, they decided to make it a white person or maybe no person at all," which seems to imply that it's actually racist to have changed the logo. The logo in question was based on an offensive "mammy" stereotype. The Jim Crow Museum explains that "Mammy is the most well-known and enduring racial caricature of African American women."

Ben Stein faced much criticism for his video. Self-described Africanfuturist/Africanjujuist author Nnedi Okorafor took to Twitter to say, "A prime example of 'When you don't know the context and history behind a conversation you should just STFU and listen.'" Another said, "Ben Stein's past his expiration date." We can't say whether Stein will take this criticism to heart, but hopefully, it will give him food for thought when he digs into his pancakes.