Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fewer words than usual Wednesday

I know it's Thursday. I could give you excuses about why I didn't post this pic weeks ago. However, I have found that when I am reading other people's blogs and they spend time giving me excuses about why they haven't been posting, I'm all like, " JUST SHUT UP AND GET TO THE BUSINESS!"

Ok, I don't really yell like that; I was exaggerating for comedic effect.

But yes, this is a picture that I have had on my phone for several weeks.

Now, if you've been reading my previous fewer words than usual wednesday posts, you can see that this one really breaks the mold I have talked about before. If you haven't been reading them, you can click here , here and here.

We've got ourselves with a trio with a bona fide black person in the middle. And an Asian person on the side! And maybe no white people at all! Well, that lady in the brown shirt might be white, but she might also be Latina or Italian or something! And it's the cover of a major retailer's Sunday paper insert! Yahoo! Progress!

But then I started thinking about this time in college when this black guy was in the quad talking about the game Monopoly. I went to a pretty liberal University that would have speakouts, where they would set up a microphone, and people would go up and "speak out" about whatever they wanted to. So anyway, this black guy compared the United States to the game Monopoly. You have two teams: white people and people of color. The white people team gets to roll the dice three hundred times (to represent the approximate number of years that people of color were legally oppressed in this country,) before the people of color team can even roll the dice once. Of course, since they are such good monopoly players, the white people team buys up all the property, the railroads, the utilities and builds houses and hotels. Then, for whatever reason, they decide that the people of color team can start rolling the dice. The people of color are like, " Wait a second, you already bought everything!!" and the white people team is like, "F*ck you, pay me." (Bonus points if you can correctly identify that pop culture reference.)

So what does this have to do with our trio of beauties above?

Given that things have been so skewed for so long in white people's favor, what can/should be done now that would make things more even? I am not even talking about property or railroads, I am talking about advertisements. Since we've had hundreds of years with white people being overrepresented in advertisements, what's fair? Hundreds of years of white people being underrepresented? A decree from this day forward by advertisers that all groups will be accurately represented? Just a few years of white people being underrepresented, so they can see what it feels like? Ads like this one thrown in wily-nily whenever an ad director sees fit? Or maybe nothing specific or concrete, since that might be reverse discrimination?

I am glad to see the ad above, really I am. But at the same time, I think it's pathetic that the ad is such an anomaly given the multicultural society we live in. Many of us would like to see more ads like this in the future, but I wonder what it is really going to take to make that a reality. And the even more cynical side of me wonders if ads like this are just a fad and will fade as soon as we don't have a black president anymore (yeah, I said it.)

I can honestly say that I don't know what the answer is. And I can also honestly say that I am interested in hearing what you think, so you should leave me a comment.


  1. I don't think it's a fad.

    Baby steps, my friend.

  2. You know what I want to see....a black FEMALE president.

  3. Anonymous7:46 PM

    Stuff like this will soon be seen as normal. Just wait and see.

  4. John C8:24 PM

    Hello MBF, Thanks to your influence, I've noticed a number of TV ads lately that exclusively feature black actors and actresses. There is an SUV ad that touts its ability to help you avoid accidents with a black driver and a commercial with a black family in the kitchen cooking and laughing and eating. I can't remember which brands off the top of my head (I try not to pay too much attention to commercials as a rule), but I did notice the skin color of the actors.

  5. Anonymous5:50 PM

    If people of color would educate themselves in the game of monopoly they too could own some railroads or some pizza restuants. A black man selling pizza and then running for President. Sounds like this man of color has figured it out or is he just the wrong kind of black. "Not down with the struggle", is that what it means to be black, the struggle? I guess he thought building a pizza empire was more powerful and rewarding than organizing a community. I think this pizza man organized and has put more people to work than a community organizer. I would say he is doing pretty well at the game of monoploy. What can people of color learn from this man who probly hung around more with capitalists than socialsts. I bet a great deal. Yes capitalism has its problems and ugly history but I have yet to see a mass explosion of people fleeing to get to any socialist country. Tell me how Cuba has done so well. People of color are worst off with this current man in the oval office. The statistics don't lie. I say take off those bedroom slippers and learn how to play monopoly. Who will feed more people the late Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Sam Walton, Herman Cain or a coumminity organizer. Cain has way more experience than our President. I would rather have a guy who konws how to play monoploy than spend his time trying to destroy the game. The game that would replace it is far more dangerous and I have a feeling far worse for people of color.

  6. I have noticed that a lot of companies are going with the "racially ambiguous" look these days, so that people of all backgrounds can identify. I wish I could think of the example I saw a few weeks ago - all I can remember is the man's face, not the product ... so I guess not so effective afterall, but my, he was fine.

  7. Anonymous7:06 PM

    Sorry, I meant to comment on this when you first posted it. I think the Monopology analogy is a good one. And I'd also like to see more ads with people of color. I've noticed a lot of diaper boxes feature non-white babies these days.

    The next step is more interracial couples, IMHO.

  8. John C8:32 PM

    Just saw another one... Kay Jewelers add with a black couple just moving in...

  9. WHOA WHOA whooooa back up a minute. i didn't even finish the whole thing "she may be latina or italian" for real???

    i'm half italian. i made it to 21 before someone told me that meant i wasn't white. specifically they say "why didn't you tell us you weren't white?" to wit i replied - 'er, mostly cuz i thought i was .. . '

    so this universally agreed upon or something? i'm having an identity crisis. in the area i grew up - being that all white people are italian or irish (or like me - a 'mctalian') no one makes the distinctions from 100 years ago of either background being not white.

    okay, now i'll go back and read the rest. :)

  10. K. "fuck you pay me" - that's from goodfellas

    How to rectify/reverse/level - really? You figured if you limited it to advertising we wouldn't notice that you were basically asking for"the answer".

    To answer a question you asked on your post about the help - mr anonymous above who insists its nothing morethan bootstrapping that is needed is why we still need the oversimplified version.