Presidents often get streets, airports and battleships named for them – often posthumously – and it’s seen as an honor. No doubt at some point, a school will be named for Barack Obama, or a park.He’s already picking up the…er…”tributes” with a Russian company, according to the Daily Mail, trying to cash in on chilly relations between Moscow and Washington by releasing an ice cream called ‘Little Obama,’ irritating U.S.officials.
The product, called ‘Obamka’ in Russian, is glazed with chocolate and its wrapping features an image of a smiling young African boy, wearing an earring and holding an ice cream.
With relations at a post-Cold War low since Russia’s 2014annexation of Crimea and its military intervention in Syria, Russian state media and pro-Kremlin activists have often berated and mocked President Barack Obama in terms that U.S. officials have described as racist and insulting.
The company that makes the ice cream, Slavitsa, said in a statement that it was part of a range aimed at children featuring ‘cheerful’ characters.‘With different flavours and glazes, the ice cream symbolizes the main races of people on our planet,’ it said, adding that the picture of the boy had been inspired by a Soviet film.
‘Ice cream names need to be memorable. For those with a rich imagination, various associations might arise, but this product is for children and is a long way from politics.’
A U.S. official, who declined to be named because of the subject’s sensitivity, told Reuters he saw the ice cream as part of a disturbing pattern.‘While I haven’t seen this particular product for sale, we are disappointed by the media-driven anti-Americanism that has become so prevalent in Russia over the past few years, particularly when it takes on a discriminatory or racist bent,’ the official said.
So is this ice cream offensive because:
a. It says “little” Obama in a sort of Marco Rubio-esque fashion?
b. The picture of the brown-skinned child is wearing an earring?
c. The ice cream itself is chocolate on the outside and white on the inside?
d. It’s got a stick up it?
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]