“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Did the Cheerios SuperBowl commercial make you uncomfortable?

Regular reader Dave began a discussion on race in America, particularly the idea of mixed-race families. 

Did everybody see the mixed-race family Cheerios SuperBowl commercial? Why are we still uncomfortable with blacks marrying and having kids with whites? 


Here's my take, and it applies only to black and white couples because there would be no controversy if Cheerios had featured white/Chinese, white/Mexican, black/Inuit, etc. I did make a note of it, but only because you rarely ever see mixed-race images in TV ads(at least not blacks and whites), so it was noteworthy on that level. That said, there are mixed-race couples with kids everywhere. It's not uncommon, even in the South. Still thought, I'm not sure how to include that particular segment of the population in advertising without people thinking that a larger political statement is being made, though I'm not sure what the statement might have been.

Now that Cheerios was the first to do it and everybody noted it, we'll probably see more of it in commercials and a year or two from now, nobody will even notice. And that'll be a good thing. I don't have a problem with mixed race families of any pairing, even black and white.

I think people reacted to it with suspicion because a lot of people, secretly, and they'll never admit it, don't think the black and white races should be blended. Some of us are still suspicious of, and hostile toward, the inevitable dilution of the white race into something darker. Thankfully in a generation or two those people will have died off. In the mean time, they should continue to hide their prejudices because the ethnicity of the average American is trending toward everybody being multiracial of some combination or another.

I think the fact that people recoiled from the image of black man and a white woman being happily married and having kids is reflective of our nation's continued, unstated and hidden reluctance to accept mixed-race families as normal and OK. It's as if they're doing something they shouldn't. I thought we were past that.

Thinking that black/white mixed-race families, though relatively rare, are somehow deviant in a bad way, validates that tweet by the MSNBC person who suggested that republicans would hate the commercial and are therefore racists. And that's not to single out conservatives necessarily as the ones who're uncomfortable with seeing it, no doubt there are an equal number of self-described "progressives" who're similarly displeased with the idea, though they'll take that secret to their graves.

According to my research, I am 25% Chinese, 12.5% German, 12.5% Cuban, and 50% English with some Swiss thrown in there somewhere. (That and the German is probably where I get my insistence on punctuality and precision that infuriates my wife.) I'm as indicative of the "mutt" nature of the American population trend as anybody I can name and my labeling mixed-race families as deviant and being suspicious of hidden messages when I see it in the media, would amount to an absurd denial of my own ethnic background as well as an admission of my own prejudices of people exactly like me.