Uncle Ben is a rare survivor in the once-crowded world of racist spokescharacters. Most of his contemporaries were fired a long time ago. … Today, no company would be dumb enough to build a brand around a black servant, but the ones now in supermarkets have been grandfathered in, rendered innocuous by the passage of time, image overhauls, and judicious wardrobe adjustments. But it's worth remembering what these spokescharacters truly are: a final, living vestige of Jim Crow America.

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