Ignorance Is Bliss

Everyone who knows me personally understands how sensitive I can get when it comes to the media and how it portrays certain races.

The media; whether it be an ad, the news, or movies, always has a way of ticking me off with some un-needed bias. Is it possible for those in control of the media to be so ignorant about how images of certain races are projected by the very program or channel they run? I honestly don’t think so. I dare you to name me a few Hollywood movies that portray Blacks, Arabs, or Hispanics in good light as intelligent or non-violent people. At the same time, try finding a TV commercial in which a minority is projected without stereotyping.

A friend of mine in networking showed me a certain ad and thought I might love it due to its creativity. It had a hint of creativity, but loving it was far from how I felt. Little did she know that it would spark a whole discussion regarding the issue of racial portrayal in the media.

The ad showed a Black boy around his preteen years standing in a kitchen when a Black man comes in and walks toward him with what appeared to be a high tech camera. The man tells the kid to do something ‘cool and the kid instantly starts dancing and wiggling to the camera. We then see people from across the globe literally running to their screens, whether it is their PCs, PDAs, or TVs to see this little Black kid dance around a kitchen. What a marvel!

Tell me…why is the kid dancing?

Black people, just like any other group of people, consist of different people with numerous talents. Why did the ad have to associate the Black kid with dancing? Why couldn’t they portray the kid as a little genius explaining his Science Fair project over the camera to groups of students and teachers from other schools? Why couldn’t they show the kid fixing his toy remote controlled car? Why couldn’t they depict the kid as a finalist in a math knowledge bowl challenging other contenders via video link? Why in the world couldn’t they show the Black man as some sort of professional using the same camera to have an international conference with other doctors while at the same time communicating with his wife and kids?

The possibilities and ideas are endless…but they had to make the kid dance. Then again, I’m guessing that if anything, the guys who made that commercial thought they were doing a good job by actually putting a Black kid on TV. I bet they had no second thought as to how it would make him look. I’m sure a generous lofty reward was handed out to whoever dreamed up the idea of bringing a little Black kid who happens to dance and slapping on some groovy music to go along with his moves. And to think they spent millions of dollars for that ad. Ignorance is bliss.

This post is to be continued…

  1. Sami
    March 20, 2007 at 7:22 AM

    Wait till u see the movie 300, then u are facing racism and a crap load of propaganda.

  2. Osman
    March 20, 2007 at 11:12 AM

    Pretty interesting post and makes one think and look back at all those ads they have seen. I’m sure those multi billion dollar companies are not oblivious to all this since they have emply people to prevent negative news from spreading about them. But I am guessing they do this thinking people might think of their company as one that integrates all different types of people. I would not say that they were doing this intentionally however.

  3. Amanda
    March 20, 2007 at 12:21 PM

    I agree 100% on this issue. I have seen several ads which appear racist to certain groups. If you go to youtube I guarantee u will find tons of videos that show similar racist ads some of them even banned by TV corporations because of their content. But I don’t think that it is total ignorance on their side. I think it’s just plain stupidity and running after money.

  4. Ali
    March 20, 2007 at 1:24 PM

    This reminds me of an old food ad where people would be dancing.

  5. Chris
    March 20, 2007 at 1:56 PM

    I found your blog through a search for articles regarding racism. I have seen the kind of ads you described and I must admit, to the normal eye nothing seems to be wrong with them. In fact, they appear to be creative and sometimes even funny. Some ads nowadays have almost nothing to do with the products they are promoting, except a tiny bit near the end.

    Unless one thinks about it deeply they will not see the racism involved. However, I am sure the creators thought it was commendable to put a black child on TV and saw it as a cool thing to make him do what people sometimes associate with blacks: dancing or even basketball.

  6. Trev
    March 20, 2007 at 2:10 PM

    I wouldn’t say the ad is totally racist. It looks like it took a lot of creativity to make it. What I am all up for though, is doing something about the black rappers who are contantly ruining the image of African Americans and damaging the youth with their profanity. It would not look right if we attack a company for something that is not totally damaging to the black community and then leave rappers who make money from negatively influencing our youth.

  7. Jaded
    March 20, 2007 at 3:21 PM

    Have you seen the ads on youtube? You would be amazed at the number of ads big corporations have come up with like sony and mcdonalds. Although the makers of these ads want them to look funny, they are all making people laugh at the expense of a whole racial group!

  8. Amal
    March 20, 2007 at 3:43 PM

    Have you seen the movie 300 yet?

  9. Jacqui
    March 20, 2007 at 4:07 PM

    I feel the same way everytime I see an movie associating Arabs with violence or terrorism, especially the series 24. I feel equally angry when I see how differently certain groups of peple are reported in the news.

  10. Sam
    March 20, 2007 at 4:47 PM

    I used to think I’m being too sensitive about this topic. Everytime I would see a commercial on TV I would get sick of how they would use stereotypes in their ads to make them more appealing and funny to the audience. I am glad I’m not alone on this. The problem is most people don’t think deeper about the situation and simply laugh along with the commercials.

  11. Young Turk
    March 20, 2007 at 5:11 PM

    You should go to youtube and check out the racist ads posted there. its amazing how many adds u can find there.

  12. Omar
    March 20, 2007 at 5:15 PM

    I agree fully with you Sam. That’s just messed up. I always used to get sensitive when I would see ads such as those on TV. I don’t know what is in those people’s minds but money talks bro and that’s why they are doing all this. Commercials bring in consumers and the big bosses are just reaping all those dollars.

  13. Mahmood
    March 20, 2007 at 5:53 PM

    Try these videos

  14. March 20, 2007 at 7:16 PM

    There have been times I have felt that intentions of those who make some ads are questionable. However, I don’t think it’s all about ignorance on their part. No business person in their right mind will risk doing such a thing intentionally because it could ruin the very product they are endorsing.

    But when it comes to news and how certain minority groups are portrayed, I agree with you fully. I remember the Katrina disaster and how blacks were projected as looting and violent and compared them to a few incidences during last year’s war between Hizbullah and Israel where some Israelis happened to loot Arab stores and the news told us that they were just trying to stay alive. That’s a bunch of crap.

  15. aansisi
    March 20, 2007 at 7:20 PM

    Try checking out the banned ads which were posted up in youtube. THOSE are truly racist to thr core

  16. Instamatick
    March 21, 2007 at 12:21 AM

    Although I agree that it might come across as racist to many, I don’t think that was their true intentions. But I would like to emphasize on the rappers who are currently doing worse damage than any skinhead racist can to their own black community. How can we accuse the advertising industry for something like this when its our own rappers who are influencing little children from all races to indulge in their negative ways? Just look at the things they rap about: sex, drinking, guns, violence, dehumanizing women etc etc etc. I think that is where things need to be fixed first. We are not even united as a race.

  17. Mina
    March 21, 2007 at 12:05 PM

    These days I don’t enjoy watching ads as much as I used to. I can’t stop myself from looking deeper into its meanings and wondering if there are signs of racism and stereotyping. Do not take offence in those youtube ads because some of them are nothing but amateur ads done by stupid amateurs.

  18. March 22, 2007 at 2:00 AM

    Sadly, it’s pretty acceptable to stereotype, especially on TV. A lot of people don’t even think about it, and I’m guessing that (while the company considered it, like Osman said, they employ people with that in mind) they thought not many other people would notice/mind. They’re right too, unfortunately.

  19. Frank
    March 22, 2007 at 8:47 AM

    Rappers doing more damage to their own race than anyone else. With all their explicit videos promoting sex, objectifying women, profanity, they are the ones damaging our image. They are a greater problem to us than these ads.

  20. Arabian Princess
    March 22, 2007 at 12:24 PM

    As much as I try to deny all this, the sad fact is that it is true. The media are depending on people’s lack of attention to the finer details and go along with their commercials. And they usually get away with it as people laugh along with their ads. Osman has a point since a big company would not risk ruining its image and usually hires consultants and thinkers to come up with all the possible scenarios and outcomes and after weighing their options go on with whatever option can bring about the least or no damage at all.

  21. March 22, 2007 at 1:23 PM

    I have been a skeptical ever since I was young. I used to doubt everything and look deeper into them and TV was no different. I clearly remember a Mcdonalds ad about nuggets and used to wonder whats with the stereotyping. But among all those I know I was the only one who noticed such things so I figured the ratio of those who actually see stereotyping and racism in commercials is very low. That must be what those huge corporations have been hoping for, and they got it right.

    But it all comes down to choice. I personally think that blacks should voice their opinions on this instad of watching from the side. Our black community’s image is brutally destroyed by those handful of rappers who talk dirty and produce those racy and profane videos as if to say that is what blacks are like. That influences our youth and everyone else watching them who has not interacted with black person before can’t help but have that image of blacks in their mind.

  22. Kea
    March 23, 2007 at 4:20 AM

    i have seen 300. the movie is just another hollywood blockbuster that unfortunately coincides with current world affairs. to hollywood its a matter of money and taking advantage of any situation to get more money. i do agree however that the persians were misrepresented and made to be the enemy while the others were initially shown to be the underdogs so everyone could side with them.

  23. Tyler
    March 23, 2007 at 7:42 AM

    To everyone who said that rappers be doing more damage than the ads, I say you’re wrong. Rappers are one of the only voices we blacks have and I don’t think they are doing anything questionable. It’s those white ads that be discriminating and belittling us blacks and other minorities. They be using stereotypes against us just to make people laugh. It damn pisses the fuck out of me each time I see an ad about food with some black dude talking about food or an ad with some black dude dancing in it. I agree with Sam why don’t they show the black people doing other positive things? Creativity can be used in many ways.

  24. Latifah
    March 23, 2007 at 11:21 AM

    I’m with Destiny all the way. Blacks should be voicing their opinions on all this instead of watching from the sidelines. We can’t just talk and argue on who is to blame. Each time we see a certain ad we think is disrespectful to anyone race we should do something or atleast send the company an email stating our distaste in their commercial.

    Our rappers should also stop thinking about money and use their voices and popularity to do some good for their community.

  25. Youngin
    March 23, 2007 at 1:01 PM

    Yo bro I got ur link from one of the boys and thought I might give you holla. I have been noticing the same things about commercials myslf. They start showing black folks in a negative light looking like buffoons dancing around to some beats. Or they even make them look like nothing is important to them other than chicken and meat. It sickens me man but what can we do? And as for them rappers they in it for the money. the mo they use profanity and show naked girls the more album sales and airtime they get and the more money they make. its all business to them and they dont give a damn what people think of them.

  26. Lisa
    March 23, 2007 at 2:56 PM


    It’s a sad thing that these companies exploit minorities in order to make ads to improve their sales. As Agent said, what is even sadder is that almost all of these people watch the ads without realizing what’s wrong. They end up laughing and amazed at the commercials creativity and that is what all these companies hope for. As others have suggested, rappers and hiphop artists are also part of the problem. People get the image that blacks are money hungry people who simply spend whatever money they earn on electronics or anything that shines.

  27. Instamatick
    March 23, 2007 at 4:09 PM

    I have to disagree with Tyler up there. I personally believe rappers are doing a lot of damage with how tey carry themselves and influence our youth. Yes, we can’t deny the fact that the makers of these ads are ignorant and stupid and exploit other races to make some quick cash, but rappers also do the same but in a differnt way. Rappers are the most recognizable voices in the black community and most of them instead of doing something positive choose to use profanity and explicit videos. Who can dispute that?

  28. MJ
    March 23, 2007 at 5:38 PM

    I have noticed it too! I used to think I was making a big deal out if it, but I guess I wasn’t. I would argue with people tat some commercials on TV were racist toward blacks and then they would see the picture eventually. I remember some McDonalds ad quite clearly, where they would associate blacks with food. Yes, blacks like food, but having a whole ad revolve around such a stereotype is not the right way.

    Tyler has quite a point there, but I don’t think that rappers are doing quite a good job themselves. They have a voice, and a great audience of whom most are teenagers, so they should put some positive spin to their songs.

  29. March 23, 2007 at 6:30 PM

    Tyler, you got it wrong. Rappers ARE part of the problem. You are right when you say they have a voice. But look. What are they doing with their voices? How are they using it?

    Rappers these days are not like the oldschool ones we used to listen to. Those rappers used their talent and music to get children off the streets and off the violence and drugs. Now, we have a lot of rappers doing just the opposite, and those that are doing this are the most notable ones people listen to. They use profanity. That, we can handle. Then, they talk about violence and guns, and that is where children get influenced and think it’s cool. Then we have them showing explicit videos with lots of drinking and bareley dressed women, which just makes the young ones think that it’s just cool.

    Now you tell me, are they using their voice properly?

  30. March 24, 2007 at 10:53 AM

    That’s some damn messed up shit. People these days so busy watching TV series they don’t even pay attention to commercials. Companies be exploiting blacks by using stereotypes to target products at them. I’m sick of seeing food commercials using blacks or other ‘creative’ ads with blacks in it just to show the world how thoughtful that company is to include blacks in an ad. Shit blacks don’t need that kinda shit.

    As for Tyler, I gotta disagree there. Rappers got one of the biggest voices if not the biggest voice. They should be more responsible with it.

  31. March 24, 2007 at 10:30 PM

    I agree that the media does in most cases show a bias racially and in other forms as well, social, political, whatever. What we do need, however is an awareness of people around what they see on TV. People just don’t care enough, which is why the ad got sent to you in the first place. People don’t analyse anymore, if it’s cool or funny, they just spread it.



    P.S. Anyone who has Noam Chomsky and Amir Sulaiman linked on their blog has my respect 😉 I can’t wait for Amir sulaiman’s new CD, Dead Man Walking blew me away!

  32. March 24, 2007 at 10:33 PM

    In connection with the rappers, it depends on who you are talking about… guys with bling bling, sex and drugs are the problem… but Rap and hip hop and Rappers are not all of the same ilk. Look at Immortal Technique, Saul Williams, Sekou Sundiata, Amir Sulaiman,Mos Def, Paris, Talib Kweli …even NaS and the list could go on… they represent rappers and the whole culture of hip-Hop in a very different light to the eminem’s and 50 cent’s and all that other crap.

    There are many sides to this one… I think that’s what Tyler was getting at.

  33. Black Betty
    March 25, 2007 at 3:49 AM

    Even thought I havent seen that ad, I understand what you are talking about. I have seen several other ads with black people dancing and would wonder sometimes what’s with ll the dancing. It never really occured to me that the commecials might be a bit biased toward blacks but now that you put it this way, I see the bias clearly.

  34. Indira
    March 25, 2007 at 8:54 AM

    Sadly, that is the way many people see it as: blacks can dance! WHoever created that ad clearly knew that most people are oblivious to the bias shown in ads. Everyone is so busy waiting for their TV show to return they just laugh along with the ads. I personally am sick of all this, but what can one do? We can sign as many petitions as we want. We can write letters to the companies. But what is needed most of for everyone to be aware of this trend in the first place. That is how they get away with it in the first place because no one is aware of it.

  35. Johnny B
    March 25, 2007 at 9:12 AM

    I honestly don’t think those portrayals of blacks in commercials are intentional. But I do think it’s plain stupidity to use a stereotype in such a way. There are more professional ways to promote products and that’s not one of them.

  36. Jamila
    March 25, 2007 at 12:28 PM

    I used to think I was oversentitive about this. I can’t count how many times I had argued with friends over commercials and they would sometimes write me off as paranoid! This also brings to memory all those times news channels have been biased against blacks, especially the Katrina days when they would go over the board with reports about black people LOOTING and committing other felonies. This wont stop anytime soon because the greater public doesnt even realize it.

  37. Lidia
    March 25, 2007 at 2:26 PM

    Rappers are not wholly to blame. It’s true they are part of a problem and should fix up their act, but the real problem is the majority of people affected by this are totally unaware of it. Only if they become aware of it will this bias in commercials stop. However, I agree with Jamila. This also brought memories of Katrina and the bias towards minorities in the media. Sadly, I don’t see such bias stopping anytime soon. And it is not only blacks who are targeted by the media. Also Arabs and other minorities as well. It is a sick world we live in these days

  38. March 25, 2007 at 10:13 PM

    Its the old maxim of ‘let the whites rule and the blacks entertain’. Yet, as a content generates a controversy, the temptations of those involved in producing these sort of ads only hightens. So, which is the better approach? Protest and create a man or ignore and suffer insidious insults?

  39. March 25, 2007 at 10:33 PM

    Great post Sam! Even though I have not seen this certain commercial, I can relate to what you felt. I can recall seeing some McDonald’s commercials in which they used Blacks in such a way. It used to make me wonder what the link between dancing and selling burgers was. I certainly didn’t used to dance when I used to order my Big Macs. I also agree with Jamila as this also brought memories of those news reports from Katrina and last year’s war between Israel and Hizbollah to mind.

    Tyler wasn’t totally wrong when he said that rappers aren’t the problem. They do pose some problem within the Black community but there are numerous other artists whose lyrics aren’t filled with hate and sex and violence such as those Muhammad listed. This problem wont go away until awareness is raised because it seems everyone watching these ads is pretty oblivious to them.

  40. Cara
    March 26, 2007 at 4:24 AM

    As much as I wish it were not true, I have to say it is. But I am sure most of these corporations don’t do it intentionally. I believe, like many others who commented, that it is due to them being ignorant of such things. I also agree with Muhammad. Not all rappers are spewing hatred and violence. There are those like the ones he mentioned who actually spread good and love. Sadly, there are also those that are only after their money and will get it and keep their fame by whatever it takes. Worst of all, the dirtier their videos and lyrics, the more they sell.

  41. Ebonique
    March 26, 2007 at 10:41 AM

    I agree with you. I have seen too many ads whether online or on TV where blacks are projected in negative ways, even though it might seem unintentional. Why would you make a black kid dance to promote a camera? Suppose they were promoting new shoes or something, then maybe they could show someone dancing because that has something to do with it. But a camera?

  42. Areej
    March 26, 2007 at 3:20 PM

    Having studied in an all girl school and a prestigious one at that, I had my share of racist remarks aimed at me. I’m Saudi, but I am mixed. My mother is 100% Saudi while my father is African American and due to this, and my slightly tanned skin complexion, I grew up knowing how it feels to be the only colored person in a whole school. I agree with you when you said that there are many other talented things the producers could have made the boy perform. But they chose to let him dance because its a predisposed notion that Black people can dance, and they thought it would be cool.

    As for the rap argument, there are tons of rappers who do good and avoid too much profanity, but it’s the ones that spit hatred and toxic lyrics and videos that recieve the limelight. Maybe it’s only me, but it seems that the more profanity and dirt they put into their songs and video clips, the more they sell. Have we as humans gone that low?

  43. March 27, 2007 at 8:46 PM

    I would disagree with tyler here on the issue of Rappers – indeed they are to blame for the glorification of this ‘gangsta’ culture sweeping across the Black youth aren’t they? What positive thing do they contribute to the society and the enhancement of black culture – all they glorify is ‘drugs, money and women’ – in the mostpejorative terms at that!

    Sam, there are too many negative portrayals of Black people on TV. Have you ever seen a movie where there happens to be a scene with Jail and the inmates aren’t black? There will always be a black person in Jail in any scene whether it be in Kazakhstan, Russia or the States. As for the Ads, has anyone (UK folks) seen the Ad for the Trinadad Chocolate bar, where a Black Rastafarian starts screaming down the road with excitement after taking a bite of the chocolate. This ad has raised several questions and instigated a Debate on Radio shows across london – is it by mere coincidence that the chocolate bar is called Trinadad? perhaps…

  44. Marc
    March 28, 2007 at 3:06 PM

    Hey Sam,

    I have seen a lot of racist ads the past year, and I remember reading in a certain website a compilation of the top 10 most racist ads. One of them was the one about Thailand’s (if I am not mistaken) coloured toothpaste and I didn’t know what to think when I first saw it. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byok6vipekQ

  45. lightcontrast
    March 28, 2007 at 3:13 PM

    Funny that you mention mention race. I was just reading a report in which a scientist collected data about Blacks and their IQs. He said that skin color is not a significant factor in determining whether Blacks have lower IQs than White. He also said many other things including the role of family and having one parent in the army and being away from home. Here’s the link: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~nisbett/racegen.pdf

  46. Morgan B.
    March 28, 2007 at 5:32 PM

    I do not recall seeing this ad, but I have seen plenty questionable ones. I would always tell myself I am being over sensitive about the issue but the feeling would never go away. Then I would wonder why a milti-million company would risk such being sued by whatever race gets offended by its ad. And then I would tell msyelf that its probably not on purpose but just plain stupidity on their part. But wherever we go, there will always be bigots and racists to ruin that perfect day

  47. March 28, 2007 at 6:47 PM

    If I were viewing this ad, I would think that the whole thing is centered on the little dancing kid and not the camera. It’s just pathetic to use stereotyping to get a product across to consumers. I dont think this is the last one we will see though.

  48. kenyatta
    March 29, 2007 at 1:15 AM

    Sam, your post is an eye opener! It would have been very difficult for me to see the racism in this ad. I’m the type that would usually look at the product and not analyze the commercial. Suffice to say, I am not that observant. But your post does bring up the thorny question of racism. One would expect a company to do its homework and prevent anyone from getting offended by its productions, which is why I believe they did not do this intentionally. Yes, I believe it was careless on their behalf, but not intentionally racist. I just don’t see the point in making such a racist video on purpose with the prospect of millions of dollars worth of law suits hitting them smack on the face.

  49. CJ
    March 29, 2007 at 4:21 AM

    I do not fully agree with everyone here. We as a society are intellectually inconsistent and very hypersensitive when we call commercials that simply happen to have a black person portrayed in anything but a positive light “racist”. But then we don’t mention any of the various commercials that have aired over the years that have jokingly portrayed white people as “rednecks” or “hicks”. It just shows that almost everyone has double standards. I believe the word ‘racist’ is often misused to a certain degree.

  50. March 29, 2007 at 11:17 PM

    I agree with CJ. He has a point, even though that doesn’t change the fact that this ad could have been made more professionally. I too have noticed how we as a people tend to hold double standards. We get offended by one thing, and start laughing at something else that offends someone, and I like everyone else often see myself as guilty in that sense.

  51. Morgan B.
    March 30, 2007 at 1:26 AM

    lightcontrast, I have read that report earlier. It’s pretty interesting that scientists went quite that far to prove those theories. I personally believe that IQ does not depend on genetics but on living conditions on whether the person is provided with the right resources when growing up. Their own expectations were also proven wrong when the Blacks outscored the Whites in certain areas.

  52. Young Turk
    March 30, 2007 at 6:43 AM

    CJ has a point there. It’s hard facing the fact that we have double standards. As much as we try to avoid double standards, we can’t help it. As for the term “racist”, it’s become over used like the terms “terrorist” and “fascist” etc.

    I’ve read the report lightcontrast linked to, and it was quite insightful. It’s good to know that genetics and skin color have nothing to do with the IQ factor.

  53. Lilly
    March 30, 2007 at 4:20 PM

    I was raised up to appreciate diversity, not make an issue about it. As a child, my parents taught me to embrace others and appreciate the differences between us because that is what makes us unique. But at the same time we cannot be blind towards the kind of injustice the media gives to people. The saddest part is that most of the people watching these commercials or programs don’t have a clue as to what they imply. People do not analyze anymore, and to some degree, that is a good thing since no one gets or feels offended. But it’s also a bad thing because these companies get away with their erroneous ways.

  54. Xena
    March 31, 2007 at 6:40 PM

    This is unnerving indeed. I am most sure that the companies clearly knew the implications of such a video but went on to produce it. Hey, they are not losing anything as long as their product sells!

    shafi, I have seen the Trinidad ad and even though it appears racist, it doesn’t rival the one about the Thailand toothpaste that Marc linked to

  55. The Professor
    April 1, 2007 at 9:09 AM

    It’s pretty amazing how so many things today can look like political statements.

  56. Chris
    April 1, 2007 at 9:12 AM

    CJ has raised quite a point. We do tend to have double standards unknowingly and shout ‘bias’ and ‘prejudice’ when we feel wrongly approached. But that still does not eliminate the fact that these companies could have avoided all this controversy with their ads.

  57. Trev
    April 1, 2007 at 3:45 PM

    I personally think these comments just show how unobservant we people are. We’re so into watching TV that we sometimes do not realize what we are watching. I am sure about everyone who commented thought the ad was cool until they read the post.

    Advertisers are nowadays exploiting people’s races to get their products across to them. Some people think it’s quite funny and don’t mind at first-unless their race is projected in a negtive way. The question is – should we as a people allow this to go on since they are ‘funny’ commercials or should we let our voices be heard?

  58. Pat
    April 2, 2007 at 1:54 AM

    Every single one of those ads in youtube were racist. Some were way more racist than than others. But that’s not to say that they were not funny. Some were funny–and racist at the same time. Racism can be funny. If you are talented with that gift, you can make anything look funny.

    But still that doesn’t undermine the fact that all these ads are clearly racist, and also the fact that people have the nerve to justify those ads instead of just acknowledging the content’s racism, is quite appalling.

  59. April 2, 2007 at 2:56 PM

    I have seen that juzz hadnt looked at it that way! But now that u mentioned it, Am startin see them in that light!
    Lovely Post!!

  60. Morrisson
    April 7, 2007 at 1:32 AM

    Tyler- “To everyone who said that rappers be doing more damage than the ads, I say you’re wrong. Rappers are one of the only voices we blacks have and I don’t think they are doing anything questionable. It’s those white ads that be discriminating and belittling us blacks and other minorities. They be using stereotypes against us just to make people laugh. It damn pisses the fuck out of me each time I see an ad about food with some black dude talking about food or an ad with some black dude dancing in it. I agree with Sam why don’t they show the black people doing other positive things? Creativity can be used in many ways.”

    Like most of the other commenters I disagree with him. But when you think about it, this also has partly to do with people not being aware of what is going on in the first place. More awareness should be carried out so people don’t just laugh along with commercials that are in fact making fun of them.

  61. Curtis J
    April 7, 2007 at 7:58 AM

    Sam, you have raised quite an issue, and to be quite frank with you, I myself have never looked at it this way. Now I see the other side of the picture. Now I can recall all those commercials that have aired on TV which have shown black people in a twisted way.

  62. Shayna
    April 7, 2007 at 1:21 PM


    I agree with everything you have said. It’s a pity we don’t see what is being done by those corporations. I also agree with CJ. Most of us are guilty of double standards and it’s something I too, am ashamed of. But we can’t cry foul when someone disrespects us and then laugh at something offensive to someone else. Nevertheless, we should be more aware of these kinds of things.

  63. josef
    April 7, 2007 at 11:27 PM

    I have seen those ads but nebver quite looked at them that way. Now that you mention it I see a totally different picture. Wow, it is amazing how many sides there are to something we think of as simple. Thanks for highlighting that man. i will try and see things more clearly next time

  64. patricia
    April 8, 2007 at 5:38 AM

    I never looked at it this way before. Now I’ll be more attentive when watching satirical commercials.

  65. April 12, 2007 at 1:35 PM

    Thanks for the link Sam and I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and the ensuing comments.

    My 2 cents-
    The “other”. Even if we were to suddenly devolve as a human race into our original Adam and Eve hues, we’d just find other traits to alienate each other by.

    I agree with your observations about the media, but it’s soooo much more pervasive than that. It’s even down to chastising my daughter for using the phrase “are you Hindi” when accusing someone of stupidity. Every race, culture, and tribe has its “others”. It’s human nature, the need to belittle others to make ourselves feel bigger.

  66. Precious
    April 13, 2007 at 3:58 PM

    Among the many issues I have against the corporate world is this one. I personally think its these kind of ads that do more damage than the ones that are openly insulting certain people.

  67. Brad
    April 17, 2007 at 7:53 AM

    This issue is small compared to many others. Have you by any chance seen Borat? A whole satirical movie revolving around a whole country and its indigenous people.

  68. The Maverick
    April 17, 2007 at 8:11 PM

    I have seen commercials similar to the ones you have mentioned and never quite thought about it the way you have. I guess there are two sides to every story. Like CJ said, we can’t have double standards. We can’t laugh at certain sterotipical ads and then cry out at others.

  69. Sharif
    April 17, 2007 at 9:27 PM

    They KNOW that what they produce might come off as insulting to some people but the reason they still do it is because they know they can get away with it.

  70. Aya
    April 17, 2007 at 11:06 PM

    That’s some deep thinking Sam. I would never be able to look beyond all that and see the hidden picture. But that does raise some serious questions and still there’s the question of what can be done about it. Some would argue that the makers of those ads didn’t mean to portray those people like that.

  71. Maryam
    May 13, 2007 at 11:11 AM

    As with all businesses, their first priority is profits. If they have to do certain things to get more money or to promote their services or products then they will do it regardless of what a number of people will think

  72. Adrian
    June 16, 2007 at 8:05 PM

    Being Filipino and lived in Dubai, I can relate to much of what is said before me. I remember how patients at the hospital I worked at would silently wish they had another doctor instead of me. Once I even recall overhearing a patient request another doctor and preferably a white one or Arab one over me. Even my many years of experience and specialty in one of the highly respected fields in medicine could not stop people from labelling me as second class doctor because of my nationality or background. I have moved to work in the southeast Asian countries and the kind of respect I earn here is nothing like I used to in the Gulf.

  73. Samuel
    September 12, 2007 at 2:20 AM

    Racism is everywhere and im not at all surprised they made that video. As others mentioned it was money that talks. I am Chinese Malaysian and even though our country is multicultural (Indians, Chinese, and Malays) racism and discrimination can still be found but no one will admit it openly.

  74. saiful
    September 26, 2007 at 12:37 PM

    I am not surprised that his happened. Have you seen the advertisement of the toothpaste called Darlie? (prev known as Darkie). Even though the company changed its name, the chinese version still calls it the same as it used to even though it’s a politically incorrect term. For most, it is most prbably the attention they will get for their advertisements that makes them oversee the negative aspects.

  75. March 20, 2009 at 5:46 AM

    Hey salam, I really enjoyed reading your post. I have experienced what you’ve mentioned in your post. Where I live here in Mpls, MN the media has made it their job to portray the somalii community as ignorant consumers who take much more than they give. The youth here have asked the media outlet to be fair in their reporting and possibly shed light on some of the positive things that take place. Unfortunately our pleas fell on deaf ears. I’ve realized that what makes to news worthy are usually negative. It is then up to us to then be walking examples for our people and most importantly our deen. The good we do might not make it to the front page of the newspaper, but just maybe someone out there might take notice, thus resulting to maybe the correction of a misconception. 🙂

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