DES MOINES, IOWA–Cracker Barrel, located in Roseville, Michigan, has long been the source of good old home feelings and products that bring us a sense of hearth and fireside. A nationwide producer of cheese, and a supplier of local eateries that host gift stores, the company is suddenly under fire for its name, which refers to the items that most usually accompany cheese: crackers. Food item or racial slur? That’s the raging debate.

When Iowa’s Ryan Koch ranted in mid July, through an online petition about the subject, he didn’t know that he was not alone in his feeling that the word, “Cracker” went a little too far. Posing the idea that the company should change its name to “Caucausian Barrel,” Koch soon heard from other petitioners, 13,500 of whom agree with his perceptions.


When questioned about the matter, Koch interviewed recently that, “I started this satirical petition in lieu of constant media reports of various groups and organizations constantly wanting to change things throughout the country because they claim they are offended.


The petition was meant to shed light on how ridiculous all of the political correctness currently going on in the country is, and how we should focus on real issues.” Interestingly, the debate calls attention to the fact that nothing is more mainstream than the company in terms of its corporate image, which is very much a middle class projection. Fires and hearths are not just for white people, perhaps should be the retort.