Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Accidental Racism? Part 2

A friend sent this video to me months ago. She believed it to be from Thailand. I'm struggling to make sense of it:

I really do think the folks at this Black Herbal toothpaste company did not have bad intentions when they made this advertisement.

"Appearance can be deceiving. Black Herbal Toothpaste."

On the one hand, the advertisement is saying that you shouldn't judge people/things based on how they look because a person/thing can still be good even if you think they/it looks bad.

On the other hand, this commercial is based on the fucked up assumption that large Black men appear to be "bad" because they are Black.

(Yes, I'm talking in "good vs. bad" because...well...you saw the commercial.)

"His appearance is deceiving because he is a large Black man, and therefore we would, of course, assume he would hurt a child because that's what Black people do. They hurt other people. Why is that offensive? I still called him a person."

Or as my dear friend Ariela put it "they're saying "don't be grossed out because our product is black. we're scared of black men, but we shouldn't be. don't be scared of our product either."

Also, why is a black man being compared to toothpaste? That's just absurd...and again...DEHUMANIZING.

That point of view is the "other hand." This hand, however, was apparently Black and therefore, was deemed inconsequential or too scary to consider.

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