Around New England

Ice Cream Shop Announces It Changed Name of Jimmies Years Ago — Just In Case ‘Jimmies’ Is Racist

July 6, 2020

An ice cream establishment in Salem, Massachusetts has announced a race-conscious change to the menu it quietly made a few years ago.

But it’s not clear the original name of the item has a racial connection.

Dairy Witch Ice Cream published a Facebook post on Sunday, July 5 explaining that the establishment no longer uses the term “jimmies” to describe sprinkles — oftentimes used for chocolate sprinkles in particular.

“Hey Dairy Witch Fam! We wanted to have a convo about something important,” the store wrote. “The term ‘jimmies’ has been used in New England for decades, and is believed to have racist roots. We had removed the term from our menu a couple years ago, and wanted to announce it formally. It is such a small change to use ‘sprinkles’ instead, but it’s a positive change, and we know you all will agree!”

But the Facebook post did not draw the level of unanimity the store owner hoped. Instead, the post was inundated with negative reactions.

Responding in the comments on the Facebook page, the store owner admitted not having proof that “jimmies” has a racist origin, but said the store made the change anyway, to be on the safe side.

“This announcement was so we can spread the word that, although many stories exists for how the term came to be, we ultimately cannot prove 100% that it is NOT RACIST,” they wrote. “Everyone making this into a frenzy of negativity is totally missing the point. The point is:  this word has existed for a long time, with a ‘grey area’ for how it came to be, and we would like to speak up so that those who would be interested in not using it, just like us, can do so.

“This truly doesn’t have to be so controversial!” the store added. “We are not here for the negativity, just here to spread positivity and inclusivity and to serve delicious ice cream to our community as we have for over 65 years! Have an excellent evening everyone! And let’s all be kind!!!!!!!!”



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