Day 260: In case you forgot America has a race problem…

I travel for a day and all the sudden really obviously racist things happen.

My travel compatriot showed me this at breakfast.

The video seems to be gone forever, so all we have are the stills. But let me explain as best I understand this ad that “missed the mark” of “thoughtfully representing women of color:”

Scene opens on attractive African American woman. She tugs at her brown shirt. As she removes it– surprise! She’s a red-haired white woman once she gets “clean.”

I’m going to pause for a second while someone explains to me how I’m taking this wrong.

*pause*

*more pause*

*stern look*

*I’m writing “WTF” in the dirt on your car window*

*your car window, under the dirt, isn’t a flirty redhead*

I will pay a crisp $20 American to the person who can explain to me what this ad was SUPPOSED to be if it’s not supposed to mean “black woman dirty– no worries! Dove make white!”

That’s not missing the mark, Dove. That’s nuking the mark, calling David Duke, helping him build a KKK HQ on the mark, inviting Milo Sucaktopolis to speak at the new mark, licensing the rights to broadcast it to Sinclair, then getting to second base with a Trump admin member while missing the entire fucking point of civility.

AXE got lambasted years ago for their poorly-thought-out ad for Chocolate body wash (actually, it was a bad product, too) because of how it played on the fetishization of the black male. That product, though, was actually chocolate based, and the man wasn’t SUPPOSED to be black. Still, the AXE folks realized that much like the cloud of funk their sprays produce, they’d done something disgusting and apologized/pulled the ad.

You know who makes AXE body funk? Unilever.
You know who makes Dove?  Unilever.

So… what’d we learn, Unilever?

*waits for Unilever to answer. Realizes he’s not important enough to get a response*

*pouts*

What scares me almost as much as the advertisement are the people who are saying “I don’t see anything wrong with this ad” or “we have bigger problems.”

We don’t have bigger problems, actually. We have bigger resulting actions, but the biggest problem this country has is self-centered entitlement and disregard for those who are different than we are. White people don’t understand how racism works. Some are trying, but the majority just don’t get it. If you can’t understand why something is racially offensive when it’s a black person peeling off their blackness to be white, the simple fact that you can’t understand it reveals your ignorance. American culture colonizes everything. On Columbus Day, it’s only appropriate that I end up talking about white America colonizing the black body.

Also, we have a problem with people who think they hold the moral high ground just because they declared that they hold the moral high ground, and since they’re sure something couldn’t have been racist, it must not be racist. Point in case: Mike Pence. I knew, before this weekend, that Mike Pence was a hollow man. Once early in his career I asked him a question at a town hall meeting, he didn’t answer but started into a talking point, I insisted “no, answer the question” and he couldn’t handle it. Mike Pence couldn’t handle me.

But yesterday, he wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars, and besmirched the name of the Indianapolis football team, so he could pull a publicity stunt over the National Anthem thing. He walked out of the Colts vs. 49ers game because of “the blatant disrespect” of some of the 49ers players kneeling during the national anthem.

I’m so glad he stands up spontaneously for his belie… wait. He told the Press Corp to wait on the plane because he’d probably be leaving the game super-early. Could that be because the 49ers have done this same form of protest since their then QB Colin Kaepernick started the trend.

When Mike Pence, or anyone else, can show me the on-duty black NFL players who are killing white kids with unnecessary force, I’ll join him in snubbing protests of police violence by NFL stars.

Until then, I’d appreciate it if the rich white Vice President of the United States were to take a second to realize he has NO FUCKING IDEA what it feels like to be an NFL player who sees kids in his community suffer and die from police brutality. It’s not a problem in Mike Pence’s world, but in the REAL world, it’s something we all need to face. Mike Pence doesn’t have to fear he’ll catch a bullet any time he’s pulled over. It’d be mature of him, and would show leadership and wisdom, if he’d admit that and realize that being a Patriot means protesting when you don’t feel you’re being heard. I know it’s not a bunch of tea in the water, and that NFL players (other than the Redskins) aren’t wearing Native costumes, but protest is protest. You can’t love the forefathers and disrespect people doing a more reasonable version of that same thing today. You don’t get to choose who has the right to protest. You have to engage them.

Or we could toss paper towels at people and tweet about fake news.

That seems productive.

 

 

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