New Killeen business Cookie Plug is garnering a lot of attention in the local community, and not all of it is positive.
While numerous area residents lined up outside the store for its grand opening Saturday, others waited in the nearby street with signs and bullhorns, protesting what they say is racial insensitivity on the part of the company.
“The Black community tried to bring attention to the fact that one of their cookies had a name that had some racial connotations,” Gia said. Gia — who declined to provide a last name — was leading a small group of protesters outside of the Killeen Cookie Plug location around noon Saturday.
The company has generated significant buzz on social media. While many potential customers are eager to try the unique cookie flavors and combinations on offer at the business — including dozens who attended the grand opening — other area residents are concerned about what they say is a lack of racial sensitivity.
“Instead of it being a teachable moment, (the company) doubled down and did this,” Gia said, gesturing towards signs set up at the protest. The signs contained screenshots from various social media sites of users attempting to point out issues with the name of one of the company’s cookies.
The product in question, “Better Than Your Mammie’s Banana Pudding,” is “associated with a slave caricature, a ‘Mammie’ caricature, of a heavy-set, dark-skinned Black woman who is supposedly happy to be a slave and in service,” Gia said. “It just perpetuates the stereotype that Black people were happy being slaves.”
According to the social media posts on display at the protest, users attempted to point those issues out to the company. When pointing out the issue with the cookie name, one user said “Pick another word choice,” to which the company simply responded, “No.” Another post said of the company, “Y’all aren’t Black ... using the word mammy in one of your cookie flavors. ... Just another fake ally.” The company allegedly responded, “take the woke non sense (sic) some place (sic) else.”
According to Gia, soon after the heated social media exchanges, Cookie Plug reportedly removed the offending posts, deleted the comment exchanges and stopped referencing the cookie name online.
“I myself am very wary of companies that have or cater to an African-American aesthetic that are not owned by African-American people or have African-American people as part of their major decision-making team,” Gia said. “I did some research and saw that this isn’t Black-owned, so I said 'I’ll pass.'
"But then a few months later, all of this ended up blowing up, and it all just happened (the protest). ... I’m in a couple of (national) Facebook groups, and somebody in one of the groups was like, ‘Man, somebody should protest them,’ and I’m like, 'Well, I’m here and they are opening one up here, so why not me?’”
The franchise, whose current CEO is Chris Wyland, has more than 25 locations across the country currently and plans to open additional locations in Temple and Waco in the future.
It’s folks like these that have no clue about slavery and they only believe what they want to believe, every race on earth was a slave at some point (Yes Every) grow up.. oh can I get 3 White macadamia cookies ? I don’t find it offensive I find it delicious. GROW UP!
The people in this city are absolutely freaking ridiculous. Even if there's nothing to argue about, they're going to find something to argue about. That was a stupid argument, needless protesting, and this city is just ridiculous overall. Where's the positivity in life? It's certainly not in Killeen! Give it a rest already, and stop trying to come up with something to fight and argue about. Bunch of Karen's and Karl's!! Yes, I put a male name to male Karen's as well.
The people in the city are absolutely freaking ridiculous. Even if there's nothing to argue about, they're going to find something to argue about. That was a stupid argument, needless protesting, and this city is just ridiculous overall. Where's the positivity in life, it certainly not in Killeen. Give it a rest already, and stop trying to come up with something to fight and argue about. Bunch of Karen's and Karl's!! Yes, I put a male name to male Karen's as well.
Yeah, that's got to be one of the dumbest things I've seen protested. It's as if some people are looking for things to be offended by with a fine toothed comb.
Don't get me started on "woke". Some of us were never asleep!
Some serious bs when blacks call other blacks racist. And racial sensitivity ? How about we just go back to the good times when all people got along great instead of looking for ways to separate the cultural differences through negativity. We have black and Latino and islander months. Where's my white celebration week. You don't see white people protesting that. Let us prosper through love and respect instead of making up stupid ideology. The future is our goal not drowning in the past
White celebration week?? Are you serious? You know what, I'm not even going to respond.
What exactly does anything you're talking about have to do with the name of cookies being offensive? All groups do unjust things to each other and it's still not right that they use this name. The N-word doesn't even remotely describe a group of people. It was used by laziest, nastiest, uncouth group of people on this planet who refuse to own up to the hate in their hearts. The hate they've raised their families with til this day. No business should sell a product using any phrases, words or names that are disrespectful to anyone's culture. Good day.
*face palm* let me get this straight......a young Black man was just beaten to death by 5 Black police officers and we're protesting over a name of a cookie??? Ladies and gentlemen, this is Killeen.
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