A new Cheerios commercial caused a lot of noise and racist comments on YouTube after its premiere last Tuesday. The story-line tell us about a modern interracial family and a pretty little girl who asks innocently to her white mother what Cheerios means by saying, “are good for the heart”, she leaves the scene and then her Afro-American father is napping on the couch with Cheerios all over his chest, then the word “Love” closes the scene.
The United Nations used the term Racial Discrimination instead of “racism”, which they defined as “distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent or national origin that has a purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedom in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life”.
The comments through the social networks talked about conspiracies and secret Government agendas; somebody posted on the site Politix, “What else is Cheerios selling? Multiculturalism is the agenda to replace the American citizen; not about RACE rather RELIGION as most white Americans are Protestant. Who are the incoming immigrants? Latinos and Muslims”, this statement shows how some Americans are thinking these days. In my opinion paranoia and obduracy won´t take us anywhere.
In order to understand the malady we need to know the origin of it. Some theories say that Racism is the product of Capitalism, it started when slaves were brought to the New World and it was consolidated in order to justify the white domination of the rest of the world. It´s documented that Greeks and Romans didn’t distinguish races, the slaves were white or black, and mostly white. Racism was an attempt to justify the inhuman treatment of slave trade from Africa to Britain and to America. Then, a new expression of racism took place, the anti-immigrant racism. Racism has mutated in different ways, for instance, the anti-Semitism.
Nowadays, there has been a big improvement in the World in terms of Racial Discrimination, today there are laws protecting human rights; there are organizations condemning acts of racism; The President of United States is Afro-American; big corporations, like Bank of America in 2011, faced lawsuits for millions of dollars for minority discrimination; and Science has documented that all races are equally capable in all areas of human knowledge.
The marketing Campaign had only one hidden agenda, to target a growing audience in US; whether haters like it or not, the society is more dynamic, open, and educated. In 2010 US census showed interracial or inter-ethnic opposite sex married by 28 % over the decade, from 7 % in 2000 to 10 % in 2010. States with higher percentages of couples of a different race or Hispanic origin in 2010 were located in the western and southwestern parts of United States, along with Hawaii and Alaska, informed United States Census Bureau. It was not long ago, in 1967, when the Supreme Court decided that laws banning interracial marriage were unconstitutional.
Finally, Camille Gibson, vice president of Marketing of Cheerios, said, “Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios ad” and “At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families and we celebrate them all”, and the negative comments on YouTube were removed this week after the negative feedback; the comments made reference to Nazis, troglodytes, and racial genocide. The Ad had 984, 472 views, with 14, 967 likes (thumbs up) and 1,134 dislikes (thumbs down).
By: Oskar Guzman
Source: Libcom,US census Bureau, Washington Post