Is Racism the Big Trend in Super Bowl Commercials This Year, or What?

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  1. wellokaythen says:

    Hmm. Maybe, maybe not. It depends on if you define “Jamaican” as a racial group or a subcultural one or a linguistic one. It also depends on what you assume about the audience. It would seem the most racist if the assumed audience was white.

    I’m wondering how any commercial could possibly portray any person of color without being accused of racism. If it portrayed a happy African American, then there’s the “happy slave” racism. If the black person is upset, then it’s the “fear of the angry black man” racism. If it showed an African American in a mainstream, well-adjusted, successful role, then it’s tokenist racism. If a commercial pretends that society is color-blind, then it’s denying the existence of racism, which is racist.

    Can someone please provide me with a good example of a commercial with a person of color that cannot be accused of racism? You can just invent one if you can’t find one. I bet it’s impossible.

    The Jamaican government likes the commercial, but even then we can’t take Jamaicans’ word for it? I’m going to follow the lead of some actual Jamaicans on this one. Perhaps when trying to figure out if something is racist, we should hear from people who are the most likely to be offended?

  2. wellokaythen says:

    As for the man and the camel, one could argue that it’s the height of Western arrogance to equate a camel with backwardness in the first place. The domesticated camel is the product of thousands of years of genetic engineering, centuries of technological development, and is an incredibly valuable resource. You would not look down on camels if you lived in an actual desert. The glorious SUV that Americans practically worship as the peak of advanced technology is much less reliable over the terrain that camels regularly cross, especially if you factor in such things as fuel efficiency. (And you can eat a camel more easily than an SUV.) People with camels don’t depend on people with cars, but people with cars depend on societies with camels. That should say something.

    Is it really more “backwards” and “un-civilized” to own a camel than, say, a thoroughbred horse? Even if the owner of the horse is married to a man who runs for President?

  3. PursuitAce says:

    I always thought racism was like pornography. I’ll know it when I see (or hear it). Apparently it’s more like the theory of relativity. I’ll know it after it’s explained to me…maybe…

  4. ManofReason says:

    Call me knee-jerk. Your criticism is overwrought and absurd as you said. Quit looking for the racist boogeyman under the bed.

  5. Joe Anonymous says:

    I’m glad that someone else called these two particular commercials out. They struck me as completely racist.

  6. wellokaythen says:

    I just saw the commerical again yesterday during the Super Bowl. Odd that in terms of “racial” images the article failed to mention that the cowboys were led by a Hispanic man. The showgirls include women of color. I’m not so sure the commercial is evidence of no progress at all.

  7. As someone worked in advertising creating campaigns, what offended me the most is what wretched concepts these commercials are. I don’t understand what’s funny or even relevant about the Volkswagon ad. What does a white guy talking and acting like a Jamaican have to do with “German Engineering?” At least pretend that you’re trying to sell me a car! And Coke? In a lame attempt to be “inclusive” (and I’m betting that is the reasoning behind the casting in that ad because Coke has played that fiddle for years now), they instead offended because, lacking imagination, they turned characters into caricatures. It’s a delicate line you walk when creating ads, especially when aiming for humor, but you must start with a good sense of humor AND a good concept. In the meantime, when any ad offends you, the best revenge is to boycott the product. In cases like these, that is the language that registers.

  8. I think everyone just needs to chill and put some rye in their coke. ;)
    Racism, yeah, whatever.
    By the way, camels are notoriously stubborn just like the people who see racists everwhere they look.

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