Thursday, April 07, 2016

make it stop

hello there

This shall be one of them more serious posts that I do from time to time, hence capital letters and mostly appropriate grammar rules. Move along if not interested, the usual nonsense shall return soonest.......

Here’s an advert for kids clothes. It is, look you see, pretty standard stuff – some child models stood around in entirely unnatural for children poses, angled to show off the clothing for sale in the best light possible.

I believe that the clothes are being sold by someone called Gap, and that hideous woman with an inexplicable level of fame, Ellen Something, is involved.

It’s pretty standard stuff, really, except apparently it isn’t. This rather dull advert has been withdrawn under some rather distinctly First World controversy because it is, I quote, “passive racist” in nature. If you are struggling to spot the racism, it’s the pat where an older, taller white girl is posing with her arm above the shorter, younger black girl.

If we assume this isn’t an ingenious marketing ploy to ensure the advert gets a far wider distribution than it would (anything to do with Ellen that’s not Finding Nemo related certainly wouldn’t be on my radar), this has got to stop. Going around attributing racism in instances where it patently does not exist serves to devalue tackling actual racism, deflects away from real instances of racism and ultimately makes racism a worse problem or issue in the long run.

Things to consider……
  • As far as I can see the whole backlash kicked off on that Twitter or Twerker thing. Twitter is not a moral compass. Twitter is not a measure or gauge of public opinion or the view of the majority of society. At least 10% (arguably more) accounts on it are fake “bots” made and sold to swell “follower” figures. It’s transient and disposable – whatever kicks off and gets everyone using it all excited one day is forgotten as soon as the next day. It makes no sense at all that Companies use it as a guide to make executive decisions, it only makes sense that low common denominator tabloid newspapers use it as a source for stories.

  • We are scarring a generation. If every image created and presented gets connotations attributed to it like this instance, children of today will grow up terrified if not petrified of creating something for fear of it being dismissed – and them harshly judged – for it being something which it is not.

  • Saying this advert is racist is effectively saying it’s racist for black and white people to stand together unless they are all the same height and they all pose the exact same way.

At best this is a prank complaint that has gotten out of hand, or as mentioned a very devious way to spread the advert far and wide. At worst this is the epitome of entitled, self-absorbed First World keyboard warrior work or a very deliberate attempt to polarize people and push them to the more extreme wings of sociopolitical thinking. In any or all of these case, just please make it stop.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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