I was watching ESPN with my son and a commercial for Red Stripe. the Jamaican beer, came on. There is a Black man who is at a bar with a White man and they are dancing. The Black man is smooth and fluid and the White guy looks uncomfortable and awkward. Then the Black man says, “Red Stripe and Reggae helping our white friends to dance for eighty years.”
How offensive and racist is this? “Jeff,” you say, “this is cute and funny and just playing on a well known stereotype.” You don’t think so, really? Let’s flip it around. Let’s suppose there was a White guy who dressed up as an employee of a movie theater and a Black guy trying very hard not to yell out during the screening of a movie and the white guy looks at the camera and says, “Ushers and public service announcements, helping out Black friends shut up during the movies for fifty years.” Funny? Cute? Or is it racist?
Ok, how about this, there is a White cop who has an Asian woman pulled over onto the side of the road and he is writing her a ticket. He looks at the camera and says, “Cops and driving schools helping our Asian friends get the hang of driving for forty years. Hilarious!
Now being a fairly insensitive right wing extremist I have to tell you that I thought the Red Stripe commercial was not offensive. After years of being sniped at by the Clinton’s and Kennedy’s I’m a little thicker skinned that that. I did find it a bit banal but not offensive. But could you imagine the uproar if an ad agency green lighted either one of my ads?
I am also amused by the changing reactions of Mr. Barrack H. Obama. It seems that President Bush took a wide pot shot at him but loosely implying he was an appeaser of terrorist. First he was angry, then it was no big deal, now he is upset again.
If I were Bush I would go on national TV and say, “I didn’t mean say appeaser, what I meant to say was , Ass kissing, cut and run specialist, intellectual light weight, socialist/Marxist apologist, oh, now you are wearing a flag lapel pin flip flopper. But appeaser, no! But of course I am just dreamer and Bush hasn’t shown any spine since about three weeks after 9/11 so we know that won’t be happening.