Thinking Critically About Race: A Lesson 4 White People Pt. 1

There’s an advertisement out right now for Chase credit cards, which features a well-dressed, well-groomed black man filmed in glossy black and white. He’s talking about what he’s going to do with his rewards and he says, as he adjusts the lapel and seem of his coat, “I’m gonna take all my ladies out to a nice dinner.” Now, seconds later, there is a shot where he is greeting his daughters, with an implied wife to follow. However, this is how deep racism goes in our country, because whoever wrote that ad had to have known that they were playing with the Black man as pimp stereotype the way it was set up and delivered. Now, an even deeper part of the problem lie in the fact that it is, on one hand, positive to have Black actors prominent in an advertisement to continue conditioning white people to their existence and supposed equality, but, on the other hand, why can we not put this man in a role that doesn’t skid back and forth across the line of sickly implicit racism? The next ad in the series is a quaint, no-fuckin-worries-in-my-life White woman talking about getting her dog a doghouse. How come the Black man isn’t in that ad??? A big part of what makes this really horrible is the fact that the creators of the ad rely on the fact that you, the viewer, won’t necessarily think about this consciously, but that it will make your implicit, inherent racism more virulent and more acceptable. Thus, it will also make it less visible to the uncritical mind. Just chew on that shit for a while and think…


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