Has anyone else noticed that I have yet to actually say “this commercial is racist”? That is because my whole point is that we need to stop using inflammatory language to label any and everything that gets in our way. “Racist” is almost too strong a term for this weak ad. You know what? The mean redneck who called me “girl” and denied me access to my own dressing room when I was headlining a musical tour even after I pointed out my picture and name above the title on the marquee? He was racist. My grandmother (may she rest in peace)? Kinda racist.
But a commercial can’t hurt my feelings, and it is certainly no targeted assault on the Caribbean community. It is far too stupid for that. This commercial commits the most egregious of sins. It is not funny.
The "Not racist" derail is just an artifact of a particular way of defining "race". I don't think anyone would disagree that Jamaicans are a distinct ethnicity. Calling a particular anti-ethnic prejudice "racism" is a pretty common shorthand.
Those who benefit from structural racism are probably having great guffaws at the current supposedly anti-racist preoccupation with language and imagery. Not saying that such concerns are insignificant, but meanwhile, 38% of African-American children live in poverty.
Someone linked to an essay (here on Metafilter, I think) about how some instances of racism can more properly been seen as violations of an elaborate system of etiquette.
I get that there is a small minority of white Jamaicans, but if you are seriously going to tell me that you imagine a white person when I tell you to picture a Jamaican person in your head, I'm going to call bullshit.
Nah, it's not racist exactly. But it's relying on cliché and cultural stereotype so it's lazy and a little bit embarrassing. That Wendy's ad, however, is fucking horrible.
Considering how good VW makes many of its ads this one is certainly way below par.
I actually feel way more strongly about this issue than I feel the ad is offensive (I'm kind of in the 'it's so dumb I can't think critically about it' camp). If we say that things can only be racist if they target a neatly delineated racial group, nothing is racist. Why? Race is a construct.
I didn't get the pot allusions at all. Less than 5% of Jamaicans are Rastafarian. It's not a nation of pot smokers.
Do you really and truly believe this is a significant problem?
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