I am going through some writers block and blogger burnout issues right now, but sometimes shit just comes to me out of nowhere and when I least expect it. This morning I am trying to watch the Wimbledon finals (which was a great match by the way) and in the middle of that sucker, one of my boys calls me to rant about the Geico caveman commercials. "Yo field, don't you think that shit is racist? " So easy a caveman could do it. You know what they are saying right?" "Ahhh no player I don't" "That the cave man is really a brother. What they are really saying is that the shit is so easy that even a black man can do it. Yo field I am telling you man that's some racism going on there, you ought to blog about that shit."
I hate to disappoint my Sunday morning caller, but I won't be blogging about that. I do, however, want to thank him for making me think about something that's always kind of bothered me. No, not the Geico commercial--- I actually think that shit is funny. But race and television commercials. Why is it, for instance, that there is always a black couple or person in damn near every television commercial? As if there is some race screening committee reviewing those bad boys before they can get on the air. Honestly, I find that shit a little unsettling, and I think it gives a false reality of race relations in America. " Oh field, you are never satisfied, if there were not enough black people on television you would be talking about the lack of black people represented in that medium. Us white folks just can't win with you people." Mmmmm, I honestly have to think about that one for a minute. Would I bitch and moan, or would I not? If I lived in the fifties when the only black folks I would see in print was on Ebony, or some national figure in Life Magazine, or the only black people I saw on television was in a freaking Tarzan movie, would I have been bitching and moaning? Yep, color me a hypocrite, because I probably would have been bitching and moaning big time.
I guess "Charlie" is in a tough spot with this one. I don't know, I just think they (The advertisers) go over board with the; we gotta stick a black person in here shtick. Two yuppie couples out on the town with no other black people in the sight. But of course one of the couples is a black one. Hey, you just can't go out on the town without your black friends. Guys out on a camping trip downing some brews before the bear comes out of the woods, yep, there is the token black guy running away (in the lead of course) with all his white pals. High class wedding reception in the Hamptons, look around a little.... there they are, the token black couple, sipping champagne in the back ground.
Hey, before you calling me a "racialist" [like that word?] I am not the only one with these issues. Apparently it's a problem across the pond; and white bloggers have noticed it when they feel that white men have been unfairly portrayed in commercials as well. So this is some deeper shit we are talking about here. Commercials are made to sell products to people, and if advertisers feel that sticking a black person in a commercial will help the product they are pushing sell better, well, that might actually say something good about us. On the other hand, if they are only doing it to be PC, and not get Jessie and Al on their ass, well then it really doesn't mean shit now does it. Especially if it doesn't effect the sales of the product.
One thing that has always bothered me is all the Cadillac, McDonald's, and beer commercials on television when there is a black awards show, or a movie about black people. Not to mention the all black cast in them. Why don't they stick some white tokens in those commercials? Do they think black folks wouldn't buy the products if they did? Or don't white people go to McDonald's?
Honestly, they need some new blood or some folks grounded in reality making all those big advertising decisions. I don't know what the problem is, especially since that shit looks so easy that I bet even a cave man could do it.