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Pachy's avatar

Dare I wonder, could Colonel Sanders be a white supremacist?

Asked by Pachy (18592points) June 25th, 2015

With so many symbols of the Old South apparently now in mortal peril, it occurs to me that the return of the drawling, plantation white-suited Colonel Sanders to KFC advertising might be ill-timed. Thoughts?

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13 Answers

johnpowell's avatar

Fox News and straw-mans are on Fluther!!

Darth_Algar's avatar

Plantation? Col. Sanders? Dude ran a gas station that served chicken to motorists.

kritiper's avatar

I never got that indication. Looks can be deceiving, especially when it comes to sales gimmicks. I think his present personification is like more of a chicken supremacist. Not as foul a gig as what you suggest.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I suppose the writers of Community thought so. You know, all those KFC references in Basic Rocket Science… coupled with Cornelius Hawthorne‘s strong resemblance to the Colonel… and all the bigotry in Advanced Gay and Digital Estate Planning (the 8-bit jive turkeys in the Black Cave? Hello?).

SavoirFaire's avatar

As someone who lives in the South, I see people dressed like that all the time. It’s not some racist throwback. In any case, no one ever used a white suit as a symbol of oppression or raised one up a flag pole in the name of preserving slavery. If we were talking about white robes it might be different. But a white suit is just an article of clothing.

stanleybmanly's avatar

That’s a funny thought, and there are certainly a lot of laughs to be had at the expense of KFC. The chain must be nervous as hell about all that “plantation” imagery in regards to it’s prime demographic in the realm of customers.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I really love this shÂ¥t stirring question Pachy! Secret recipe? When you get into that characterization of the “colonel” with his immaculate suit, pristine matching hair, and the cane implying genteel feebleness, it sets you to wondering just who it is that’s responsible for the sweaty job of frying up all of that greasy chicken. You notice there’s never a hint that the Colonel’s lily white gloves could touch the foul stain inducing fodder himself. He’s actually a marketing disaster as the image of the white “gentleman” of privilege whose status and luxuriant comfort rests upon an army of slaves toiling in the oppressive heat of the plantation kitchens to churn out the artery clogging grease laden fare for distribution to field hands.

Pachy's avatar

Thanks. guys. I was really only half serious, but good input.

Pachy's avatar

True enough, @Darth_Algar, but I’m not talking about Harland Sanders the man, the entrepreneur—I’m talking about the character he created, Colonel Sanders the KFC spokesman. Where I grew up, that character—goatee, white suit, heavy Southern drawl—was one often associated with plantations and, you know, slaves—not gas stations.

My question was meant partially in jest. But as a former Mad Man, I was serious about KFC picking an unfortunate time to bring back to its advertising this character—and not even as cartoon but live (if silly) person. Yes, he’s meant to be just a symbol that stands for fun, but isn’t the Confederate flag also a symbol which doesn’t stand for much fun at all for many, many people?

Darth_Algar's avatar


That may be so of the place and time where you grew up, but I don’t think many people really associate those things with plantations.

fluthernutter's avatar

It’s a guy in a white suit selling fried chicken, dude.
It’s not like he’s wearing a klan hood, selling crosses and kerosene.

I do think it’s funny that the chain restaurant named Souplantation (found in southern California) felt that it was necessary to rebrand themselves as Sweet Tomatoes (in northern California). Are people really getting up in arms about such trivial things?

bossob's avatar

I’ve been thinking that there’s something creepy about the current incarnation. No racial overtones though.

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