Whoops! I'm Racist!
This, friends, is a historic time for accidentally insulting black people. Usually our black comrades must wait for the occasional slip of tongue from a B-list celebrity in order to be victims of accidental racism, but things are changing. Today is a brave new world in which there has been a flurry of unintentional racism in advertising.
Not one, not thirty, but seven high profile incidents occured involving the creation of racially offensive ads recently. Of course, no one really noticed outside of people who spend lots of time on YouTube and various internet forums, but, needless to say, these incidents have sent a charge through the black internet nerd community. I know this, because I talked to both of them, and they were totally PISSED.
- Incident 1:
Intel, in order to send the message that their processors would allow your employees to work faster and run away really quickly if need be, came up with the concept of employees in an advertisement being represented by sprinters. Then they took some photographs and designed an ad and wrote the ad copy and approved the ad and sent the ad to some higher ups and got it approved and then sent it to a magazine which saw no problem with it and what came out of all of this was this gem:
Which I guess is another important reminder that just because there are a lot of people and many of them have more money than you, that doesn't mean they aren't all complete idiots who can't see the most obvious things when it's repeatedly shoved in their face.
- Incident 2:
Capcom released a new, longer, trailer for their game Resident Evil 5. Just like number 4 in the series, it features a big muscular guy with lots of guns fighting a horde of savage killers. Their problem was that they set the story in Africa and so created a 3 minute clip of a white guy shooting hordes of brainless black people wielding primitive weapons. In the context of the series, this is not racist at all. Outside of this context, it's a 3 minute clip of a white guy shooting hordes of brainless black people wielding primitive weapons.
The black community's response was immediate. Some black chick's blog complained about it or something. No one else noticed or cared. I mean, it's Resident Evil, as long as you get to shoot zombies and find missing keys, who really cares, right?
- Incident 3:
Kentucky Fried Chicken came out with their new ad campaign meant to emphasize the company's community values. To this end, the ad featured a large group of people from a black neighborhood all eating fried chicken together at long tables with the slogan, "Yeah, I guess you could say we all like to eat fried chicken."
This, of course, caused a huge uproar for propagating the offensive stereotype that white people don't like to eat fried chicken. We do. Fried chicken's great.
- Incident 4:
Off! Insect Repellent ran a baffling ad in Sunset magazine that consisted only of a large black men with a sign apparently stuck to his chest reading "I am a lesser being, not worthy of the same rights as you."
Things were cleared up when the Off! Corporate office explained that the sign was being held up by a tiny mosquito sitting on the man, too tiny to be seen in the photo.
- Incident 5:
Obama. Yeah, you can't have a racist moment these days without it including Presidential hopeful Berry Obama. A political ad featuring him was decried for stereotyping black men as charismatic contenders for world leadership. The NAACP commented in a strongly worded press statement: "We are deeply disappointed in...huh? Where are we? What are we saying again? I think we got confused..."'Fox News immediately registered disapproval of this statement which they could not characterize but were pretty sure they didn't like and are positive that it has given McCain the lead on the polls.
- Incident 6:
I found a flier for a Ku Klux Klan BBQ that I was given when I lived in Florida which also included an ad for their annual membership drive, but no one complained because that one specific advertisement didn't say anything about race. Soon the KKK was reporting more black customers than Intel
- Incident 7:
Called some random dude "My Nigga" and it wasn't even a black dude. It was some random guy who I bought a bacon wrapped hot dog off the street from. He took offense. I dunno why? He was Mexican. It wasn't like I told him to cut my grass and clean my car before dropping him off at home depot. I just don't take "the N word" so seriously. besides, by saying "the N word" you're just making the person hearing it say nigger in their mind. What kind of bullshit is that? You want to say the N word, then say it. Don't make me say it in my mind unless I want to say it. To correct this situation I had to give an African man a regular segment on this blog doing fashion... because clearly I have none. Stay tuned for his regular updates.