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Online petition asks Eskimo Joe's to change its name

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Eskimo Joe's on Saturday, April 4, 2020 in Stillwater.

Eskimo Joe's and Mexico Joe's may be looking for a new name soon.

An online petition-- which has over 1,100 signatures as of Monday-- is asking the Stillwater-based company to change the branding of both Eskimo Joe's and Mexico Joe's, citing racial insensitivity.

"People of color shouldn't be seen as caricatures or used as mascots," the petition read. "It's damaging for children to see themselves depicted as ugly or dehumanized. These depictions parallel the racist ads, mascots, and cartoons of Native Americans, Asians, and Africans. The Inuit and Mexican people are not to be exploited for these restaurants' branding."

The logo features a caricature of an "Eskimo," which is a word assigned to Indigenous groups by non-natives.

Eskimo Joe's owner Stan Clark responded to the petition on Monday, stating that the company is "evaluating the path forward for our company and our brand."

The petition's creator, Tatiana Hayton, made sure to note that she doesn't want the restaurant to close, but rather make the environment and atmosphere more welcoming.

"We're not trying to make these restaurants go away," Hayton wrote. "Racism is nuanced, and it can come from an innocent place. But this insensitivity contradicts the positive impact these businesses have on the community. We ask the owner, Stan Clark, for a total rebranding of Eskimo Joe's and Mexico Joe's that removes this dehumanizing imagery and the slur 'Eskimo.'"

Eskimo Joe's has been located in Stillwater since 1975 and has always had the same name.