I don’t care what anyone says; if nothing else, the Internet has proven without a doubt just how ignorant many Americans are when it comes to race relations. While I don’t think the majority of Americans are racist, I do think that we can be an uneducated fearful lot, and the Internet has given us a forum to display that ignorance loud and proud.
Recently, Cheerios ran an ad on YouTube featuring an inter-racial family. No big deal right? I mean we see mixed families all the time don’t we? I am part of a mixed race family. So are millions of people in this country. We have gotten over the shock of seeing a black man with a white woman right? Apparently not.
I mean I understand that racism is alive and well in our Country. It is even encouraged by our government right now (depending on which side of the political spectrum you are on). Of course every right winger will say that they aren’t racist when it comes to our President, but in my humble opinion actions speak louder than words – and the actions of the Tea Party and their followers scream racist at every turn. Having our first black president has brought the racists out in droves and is a stark reminder that equal rights, civil rights, and acceptance are far from reality. In fact, our mentality towards those whose skin tone is different isn’t much evolved since the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties.
What amazes me about the Internet is that it allows a voice for these people. Prior to the Internet and instant communication, we could pretend that racism only existed within groups like the KKK – but not in everyday American homes. We as humans tend to hang out with people who are like us, and so our worldview was restricted. If you were a liberal person who accepted people of any race – you hung out and communicated with people who felt the same. If you were a racist, you hung out with other racists. There wasn’t much of a blending of these two ideologies and those in between. Now though, a simple ad posted to YouTube shows in seconds just how much people still hold these stereotypes and feed their fears leading to unapologetic racist comments. Over a cereal commercial.
So here is the offending video – comments for the video have been disabled because of the sheer volume of racist comments:
Here are some of the comments:
“More like single parent in the making. Black dad will dip out soon.”
“I have no problem with interracial couples but I am tired of having it
shoved in my face constantly. The same goes for the LGBT agenda and
religion. I could care less who you marry, what your sexual preference
or religion is, just stop constantly shoving it in our faces.”
“Just trying to make a bi racial buck.”
“What’s that black guy doing with one of OUR women?”
Obviously I couldn’t post more because the comments were disabled, but there were plenty more and they were bad. YouTube allows for anonymous comments like many other web sites out there. Anonymity allows for people to say whatever comes into their ignorant little minds without having to ‘own’ their words. There were many comments about the President on this ad and about his mixed race heritage. It’s a cereal commercial not a political takeover. People implied that this commercial was trying to make the fact that President Obama is of mixed race a ‘mainstream’ attack on society as we know it. I mean really people?
So do you think this is a sign of the times? Do you think these are new attitudes or just a new way to express them without consequences? Personally, I know these attitudes aren’t new. Racism has been alive and well since different colored people started meeting other different colored people.
America is supposed to be the enlightened country right? We are supposed to be the great “melting pot” that allows all races and religions to co-exist and thrive. We were on the right track for a while it seemed, but once we elected a mixed race President the racists came out of hiding and are using the Internet as a medium to spread their hate and fear. Anonymously. Then there are the “out” racists that have no shame about letting people know just how much they hate diversity. Just attend a Tea Party rally and you will see them there – proudly displaying their ignorance.
I find is appalling that a 30 second commercial could produce so much vitriol. I wonder though how many of these comments would have been made if they had to put their name on them. Evil hides in darkness and the anonymous Internet is a breeding ground for evil and wanton hate. We use the greatest communication tool ever invented to say the most hurtful and horrible things without being held accountable to them. It truly saddens me that this is the norm and not the exception.