Friday, February 11, 2011

Pepsi Commercial Racist? That’s a No-Calorie Claim

Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) is doing her best to keep racism alive.

For those of you who didn’t watch the Super Bowl or were wolfing down nachos during the commercials, there is a controversy over the Pepsi Max spot. The ad depicted a black man and woman going through a series of actions, culminating in the black woman throwing a can at the black man who ducks, and the can sails past the man and hits a white woman. The black couple then gets up and runs away. Here is a link to youtube to see the commercial-

Today, Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) spoke before Congress and called the ad racist. Her argument is that it depicted black women as aggressive and “battle axes,” and black men as sex hounds. When is this nonsense going to stop?

I did not see a racist ad. However, I did think it would be called racist. I asked other people who saw the ad and they responded much as I did. One conversation went like this:

Me: “Did you see the PepsiMax ad on TV during the Super Bowl?”

Them: “Yes.”

Me: “Did you think it was racist?”

Them: “Well, yes.”

Me: “Why? What was racist about it??”

Them: “Black people are going to take offense.”

Me: ‘Why? If it had been the other way around, I wouldn’t have found it offensive, just funny. So why is it racist?”

Them: “Because they won’t like it.”

Me: “Why won’t they like it?”

Them: ”I don’t know, they just won’t.”

Me: “So, you don’t actually think it is racist, but you are saying that black people might, and that is what makes it racist, right?”

Them: “Right.”

The conversation was longer and more detailed than that, but you get the picture. This person thought it was a racist commercial because he believed blacks would find it offensive, not because there was anything inherently racist about it. So - is that what makes something racist? How black people see it?

Here’s the absolute truth; if the ad featured three white people it would not have been considered racist by anybody - just funny. Three black people? Maybe, but certainly with less insistence. How about if the couple were white and the third person black? Probably not, but maybe.

The lesson here? Don’t use black actors in situations that may have any remote chance of making them look anything less than normal - and especially if there are white people involved who may appear in a better light.

Sadly, claims of racism have become so overblown that now just the possibility someone might perceive something as racist declares it so. Until we look at a funny commercial like this one without dwelling on the racial makeup of the players, we are doomed to perpetual ill will. And as long as people like Ms. Lee continue to make ridiculous charges like this one, real charges will be ignored as “just another ridiculous claim.”

Incidentally, when others lke Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) make statements considerably more racist than the Pepsi commercial could possibly be, it is dismissed as okay by people like Ms. Lee and other liberals because of Reid’s “track record” and “intent.” So, in addition to the focus of this article, we have to consider those things as well. Would somebody please write some rules on this?

Unfortunately, Ms. Lee is doing her best to keep racism alive.

Mercer Tyson

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