So, Are There No Scary Black People Any More?
This could be my most incendiary post to date. I don’t care at this point, as someone has to say it and it may as well be me. I am done with the political correctness that is running wild in advertising these days. It seems to me that the only stupid people in ads are white males, followed by white females. And as a white male, it gets right on my tits.
This is a racial post by the way. Not racist, racial. Big difference. You can say what you want of course, no doubt the deafening yells of “racist pig” will fly around, but hear me out…before you throw me out.
Now I was watching a few awful ads for Broadview Security (look them up on YouTube), scratching my head and not knowing if I should laugh or cry, and I noticed a strange phenomenon. All of the intruders were white males. Now I’m not saying that there are no white criminals, that would be ridiculous. But ALL the villains in these ads were white guys. Doesn’t that strike anyone else as odd? In one ad, the guy who worked for Broadview Security was a black guy, so they got their racial mix in there. But so far I’ve seen five different spots and EVERY intruder was a white male. Please, let me know if you see one that’s different. Sorry, but crime stats would suggest a different story.
Want to talk dumb instead? I’m reminded of a recent spot for a medicine, where these idiotic white morons were trying to figure out how much of one medication to take daily. All of the white folks were dumber than Simple Jack. I swear some of them started drooling. Then, a black lady walks over, finds the perfect product and walks away looking smart. Hmm. I’m not saying she’s not smart, but why the imbalance? Would the ad have been any worse if one of the white morons had been a moron from a different ethnic background?
Thinking again, I remember an ad for a financial company. It was for loans, I think for WaMu. All of the old, white guys with monocles, double chins and mothball-smelling suits were “harrumphing” at the idea of giving loans to people. Enter the smart, young black guy to say that at WaMu, they do things differently. In fact, they’re cool. Real cool. And by the way, they were a part of the whole financial meltdown anyway, so maybe they weren’t that cool after all. But that’s besides the point. Once again, dumb white people, smart black person.
And that’s just scratching the surface. So many ads these days come with this formula that insists we’re all a part of an enormous melting pot in our everyday lives.
Apparently, we’re all part of a social circle that includes someone from all of the main ethnic minorities. If you’re a black guy, you have a white friend, a Chinese friend and a Hispanic friend, and you have both male and female friends. And you always hang out together at dinner parties and sing Kumbaya.
If you’re white, you have black friends, Hispanic friends, Japanese friends, American-Indian friends, hell, why not throw in a Russian and an Aborigine just for good measure.
The fact that most of us have a circle of friends made up primarily of our own race and sex is neither here nor there. I’m sure for some of you that’s not true at all, but for the majority of people, it is. I’m not saying that we don’t have friends of different races, colors and creeds, I know I do. But we’re not all walking ads for the United Colors of Benetton. Superbowl parties are not filled with people from the United Nations. And by the way, I have some black friends that have done some REALLY DUMB shit in their time. We all have. It’s not racist to say that by the way. It’s just true. But in advertising, political correctness wins every time. I’ve done dumb shit too. And my sister has. And her friends have. We’re human. Get it, human. Humans are dumb, they’re smart, and they’re all races, sexes, and colors. In advertising, it’s not the same story.
Here’s another fact. The actors and models getting the most work these days aren’t white, and they aren’t black. They’re of “mixed race,” meaning that you can’t quite tell what their ethnic background is. Hurray, that means we’ll all identify with them and go and buy an Old Navy shirt, or a Gap jacket.
I know that advertising is supposed to be an idealistic view of the world, and that perfection is usually the name of the game. If you’ve ever worked with a hand model, you’ll know that the guy who would actually hold the chainsaw would not have a perfect manicure. He’d be lucky if he had nails at all actually. But we can’t see the flaws, and we can’t admit to them either.
What are we teaching people with this ongoing trend? Is it ok to make fun of white people because, for so long, Anglo-Saxon males have had the run of the planet? And at the same time, do we have to patronize the rest of the population by saying that they never do anything wrong, they’re never dumb, and they’re always on the right side?
Oh, I did forget though…it’s ok for a black guy to be an idiot if it’s in the context of his own family. Why? Because then, the racial card is no longer being played, and now we’re on the anti-sexist bandwagon. Dumb black guy + smart black wife = winning ad. The same smart guy from a previous commercial will become a buffoon in the company of his own family, and his wife will tell him the correct way to do the laundry or wash dishes. Even though she won’t actually be doing it because that’s a stereotype and she’ll be off to work while he stays at home and takes care of it.
This bullshit has to stop, and it’s all down to scared clients. They’re the ones who put the bug in the ear of the ad agencies. “Hey, our brand manager thinks we need a more ethnic mix in this ad, too many white guys right now.” And we comply. And then we add more women. And maybe a kid with a handicap. And a dog with three legs. Before you know it, you’re trying to appeal to everyone, or rather, not piss anyone off.
So, where do we go from here? Is it racist to say “enough is enough, on the next ad Broadview ad, we’ll have a black guy break into the house?” Maybe. I know I’ll get flack for even suggesting it. I just want things to be realistic, rather than sugar-coated. There are black and white criminals. There are Hispanic members of M.E.N.S.A. There are women who stay at home, there are women who have careers. And the same goes for guys. But can we be a little more balanced about it?
Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
And for all you haters of the last post I wrote, well, now you have a new reason to spit venom in my direction. Proceed.