I was writing this post for my BabyCenter blog today but my dear friend Stacey-Ann beat me to the topic. I was actually kind of glad because I can lift the filter a bit more here. You know, be a little more blunt about this topic without the backlash from less-understanding readers (ya’ll get me, cause you read me more frequently). For instance, this wasn’t the headline I had in mind for my other blog.
Every once in a while someone will ask me and my husband what our parent’s thought, about us dating and getting married. “Did they care that you’re black/ he’s white?” It’s a question many interracial couples hear.
“No big deal,” I tell them. Really, it was 2004, and we’re all past that, right?
People say they don’t notice color or race, or anything of that sort. “I’m colorblind,” I always hear. As if it’s awful to notice we’re different. It’s ok to notice that we aren’t the same. We are different. The problem lies when you see simple differences like skin color, as a bad thing.
Cheerios recently debuted a commercial featuring an adorable biracial girl talking to her white mother and black father. I didn’t catch the commercial on TV, but I saw it online and thought it was charming. Did I notice the interracial couple? Sure. Seeing them portrayed in a mainstream advertisement makes me smile, because if advertisers are more comfortable showing interracial relationships, maybe that means society is getting used to it too. Yea, sure, that’s what I thought.
I’ve heard people say if you want to lose faith in humanity, read the comments on YouTube. People can hide behind the computer screen with a made up username linked to a fake email address and say whatever rude, degrading or racist remark they want to say. Unfortunately that was the case, even with this cute Cheerios commercial.
Commenters lashed out and called it “disgusting” and said that it made them “want to vomit.” That’s just the beginning. The comments got so bad that they had to be disabled on the video. Comments out, but Cheerios says the commercial stays.
Camille Gibson, vice president of marketing for Cheerios, told Gawker, “Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios ad. At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families and we celebrate them all.”
Since the news has been buzzing about the controversy surrounding this very non-controversial commercial, many have come out in support of the brand. People are thanking Cheerios for showing diversity in their advertisement, and standing by their decision. And I’m standing by Cheerios and all of their delicious (honey nut) goodness.
And let me tell you something anonymous racist internet commenters. You make ME want to vomit. You suck. And I pray that I don’t know any of you in real life. Because if you act one way to my face but then are so much of a closet coward that you have to spend your evenings spitting disgusting bigoted remarks over the internet where no one can see you, we’d need to have a serious coming to Jesus.
So this time an advertisement gets some criticism for showcasing a mixed family. Truthfully, it doesn’t surprise me. But someone has to break the ice. I’d bet by the time my biracial son and daughter are older and dating, seeing families like ours, and kids like them, featured in commercials will hardly get a second glance. And no one will even think to ask what their parent’s thought about them dating someone of a different race.
Does it surprise you that people responded negatively to a commercial featuring an interracial couple?