The Blogosphere and the Super Bowl
Posted by Jack Stephens on February 7, 2008
Some reaction from progressive and anti-racist bloggers:
Look at us. We’re mad, we’re talking about the damn ad, and now they’ve got another story about their company in the New York Times. Hell, they didn’t even have to hire an ad agency. With the announcement that they’re pulling these ads, there will now be legions of folks who flock online to watch the commercial and see what the fuss is about. All this, and now you’ve got a lot of people suddenly aware of a no-name company nobody would’ve given a crap about in the first place. Nobody’s sorry about anything here.
Of course, the stereotypes and jabs aren’t always so blatant, though they can be just as unsettling. True, there are people who do think a Ghandi-like Indian accent or a Chinese “ching chong” are hilarious, but, the sad truth is, they are missing the point. When a stereotypes are repeated, those stereotype do become the norm and a frame of reference for a person’s entire cultural group and ultimately it becomes more difficult to avoid the stereotypes and clichés from our current racially biased system.
Understanding racial cues is very important, because depending how we interpret these cues will shape our opinions towards members of racial and ethnic groups. When commercials like these air, they tend to make explicit references – either by visual or auditory cues – to race, which then trigger racial thinking by activating past information held within our long-term memory about that racial and ethnic minority group. In other words, racial attitudes are primarily based on personal experiences, salient facts or events.
While there has generally been some backlash against SalesGenie for their slew of offensive commercials, nobody dares mark this as racism within popular culture. In fact, it seems that in most analyses the ads are only seen as “cultural insensitive” or “inappropriate.”
I’m sick of nobody calling these sort of media portrayals as they are, Racism!
Also, there is something disturbing in the fact that they thought it was ok to stereotype Asians in this commercial because I would doubt that they would do that for African Americans and Jewish people. They know if they did this to other groups, there would definitely be a backlash. It just tells you that it’s ok to be racist against Asian Americans in this nation and we saw it on display in the biggest television event of the year. I just shutter to think how many millions of people watched that and just laughed and thought nothing of it. We got a long way to go in this nation on the issue of race.