One of my least favorite memes on TV and in movies is 'one black person in a group of white people." I know white people offer us token blacks in the spirit of inclusiveness but this has been a trend since the 1940's. That it's still happening in 2012 is depressing as hell.
And so, I wondered, why is this grouping played out on tv and in movies all the time? Until at lunch time a few weeks ago, I found myself the single black person at a table full of white people.
Ohhhhhh! I got it then. This is white reality. And white reality is pretty much all that's reflected in American media. So to white people who create entertainment, their reality is never of being in a group of black people, and very few have any idea what a group of black people do when white folks aren't around. It's of one or at most two black people or any minority will do...as long as there's only one.
I'm going to remember this year's Superbowl as 'The Sistah Bowl'. Jennifer Hudson singing "America the Beautiful," Alicia Keys singing "The Star Spangled Banner" and Beyonce rocking the half-time show. And then there's that beautiful sistah at the end of the Tide "Montanaland" commercial. "Go Ravens" indeed. She sold it so hard, I wanted to go out and immediately buy the largest $19.99 bottle of Tide. I instantly regretted having only bought the $11 bottle earlier that day.
Audi also had a commercial that left me clapping for the hero at the end of their "Live Bravely" spot. If I ever get to the point where I can afford an Audi, I'll probably get one just because of that commercial.
Yes, I can be easily influenced by good and respectful advertising. Tide showed how it's done and Audi was a close second for me. VW's ad did not work for me, although several of my African American friends and fam were not offended by the ad at all.
Still, VW knew that a lot of people would be offended by the ad and chose to air it anyway. And a lot of people were put out. But the feelings of black people do not matter. If it's funny to white people, it should be funny to everyone else too. I suppose that's why we're still putting up with Seth McFarlane after all these years.
Lately I've been traveling to Indiana a lot to visit my daughter at school. I also work in Kentucky. In either situation, I'm surrounded by white people. I find the white people of Indiana to be friendly and racists while the people in Kentucky tend to be downright hateful.
Of the two, I much prefer the Indiana variety. I worry less about being lynched driving down dark roads in Indiana than I do in Kentucky.