Home Arts & Culture Hip-Hop-Themed Cookie Shop Faces Backlash From Indianapolis Community For Misappropriating Black Culture, Drug References

Hip-Hop-Themed Cookie Shop Faces Backlash From Indianapolis Community For Misappropriating Black Culture, Drug References

by cashonbank.com
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A new cookie shop in Indianapolis has stirred up some controversy with its hip-hop-themed store. Cookie Plug, a nationwide franchise that opened its Indianapolis store in May, is being accused of misappropriating Black culture and using a racist marketing strategy.

Some of the customers who visited the shop after its opening were startled by the graffiti lines on the walls and boombox hanging from the ceiling, as well as the hip-hop references they saw throughout the shop.

According to WISH TV, there are several boxes decorated with drawings of cash and phrases associated with drugs, including “Thank you for supporting your neighborhood doughp dealer.”

The shop also sells cookies labeled as “phatties,” which is another word for marijuana joints. Additionally, Cookie Plug offers a purple lemonade drink labeled as “purple drank,” a term that refers to a drink made from a mix of drugs.

“I grew up at this time and I’ve never done drugs. ‘Purple drank’ is just that, ‘purple drank.’ It’s lemonade,” Cookie Plug co-owner Doreen Walters told WISHTV.

Feeray Phillips, one of the critics of the shop, said there are serious consequences for using terms such as “purple drank.”

“When the franchise is not aware of what the terminology they’re dealing with and, to be honest, tropes as gimmicks to sell people lemonade and children lemonade, that’s a problem,” Phillips told WISHTV.

Phillips, who is Black, said the owners are painting a negative image of hip-hop.

“Why is the entire theme of the organization (franchise) based on drug references terminology? You are painting the picture that drugs and hip hop are synonymous, which is not the truth,” he said.

Cookie Plug previously faced controversy at its Texas location after customers said the store used a slavery caricature. Erik Martinez, the franchise’s founder, defends the business from criticism, saying he wants the shops to promote freedom of expression.

“You can be a proud American and love hip hop and love cookies and love graffiti, and you don’t have to fit in a box,” Martinez told WISH TV.

Martinez, who is Puerto Rican, said he grew up listening to hip-hop and wanted to show his love for the genre through his franchise.

“America has a thing for this gangsterish they do,” he said. “That’s why I thought, ‘Let’s make this cookie shop gangster.’ That’s really all it is.”

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