Friday, January 8, 2010

That elephant in the room, Racism, is raising its ugly head again

Lordy loo, give me strength!
Poop is hitting the fan over a current TV ad for fast food which was posted onto Youtube.
Now, the ad in question actually pokes fun at a sole white bloke surrounded by dark-skinned people who are barracking, singing and dancing for their West Indian cricket team which is beating the crap out of the (traditionally white) Aussie cricket team. 
Well, I hope they're beating the crap out of the pissy Aussie cricket team, at any rate.

The theme of the ad is "In awkward situations share this food" with the white bloke sharing around the fast food to 'break the ice' so to speak.
But, as it was posted on Youtube some in USA are now squealing that it's racist,  'perpetuating a stereotype that African Americans eat a lot of fried chicken'.
Umm, hello?
It wasn't directed at African Americans.
It did not depict African Americans.
I do not know of any cricket team which features African Americans.

This bloke may have summed it up perfectly
Brendon O'Connor, an associate professor at the University of Sydney, told 9 Network News that the association between fried chicken and ethnic minorities was a distinctly US issue: "They have a tendency to think that their history is more important than that of other countries."

And that sweeping statement is, to me at least, far more racist but seemingly (on the surface) factual than the uproar over the black face skit or this ad. Many Americans are genuinely interested and knowledgeable in the history and culture of other countries, it is the loud-voiced minority who taint the whole population as insular, backward and blinkered.
Which brings me to the next hot potato - that of the attacks on Indian nationals and the murder of one young Indian man recently.
I think there's a mix of both racism and opportunism about these attacks; these students usually get the crap jobs to earn money, working the crap hours no one else wants..remember the (then newly arrived) Greeks and Italians doing the menial work back in the 50s, 60s and 70s, working 2 or 3 jobs back-to-back to give their kids a good chance? Soon to be replaced by the Vietnamese doing the shit-can work?
These Indian students rely on public transport to travel at night to and from work to pay for over-priced, over-crowded rental digs, to pay their parents back or to repay a loan taken out for their studies.
What no one is willing to say out loud is that old adage "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"
Invest heavily in the police with both money and realistic laws and there will be a huge decrease in these crimes on both Indian nationals, Aussies, men, women, boys, children, LGBT community and everyone else under the sun.
Mandatory sentencing for attacks on coppers. What a joke, no immediate sentence for bashing a cop tells the dickheads it's a free-for-all.
Zero tolerance on ALL CRIMES. Body searches for knives is a breach of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights? Bull. Those knives are a breach of the human right to live, breath and expect to travel unmolested.
Have a properly funded, properly numbered police force with the laws to back them up and the sentencing to follow through with a message that play time is over and this BS will NOT be tolerated anymore.


  1. They're trying very, very hard to make Australia the de facto 51st state.

    For the record -- I don't see the connection between West Indians and the American South stereotype. Could they have used another combination? The ad probably wouldn't have worked with a lone Aussie surrounded by rampaging rowdy NZers. The East Islanders would have ended the ad demanding to know whether you lot have cooked up our national emblem in the bucket ... :)

  2. The rate the insanity is spreading, Lisa, I would not be surprised to hear Rudd has signed us over to China/Florida/Russia or as Hogwarts newest holiday camp!

  3. Hogwarts Holiday Camp, eh? If KFC are doing the catering, those messenger owls had better watch out ... ;)

  4. "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones" comes to mind!

    Take Care,

  5. "It is the loud-voiced minority who taint...." everything. Why the heck can't we all just get along? Take things at face value a bit more. Stop reading innuendos etc into every little thing..See things, TV ads especially as the entertainment they are meant to be. Except those infomercials of course. There's nothing entertaining about those interminable beggars. (buy me, buy me, buy me..)

  6. Methinks Brendan O'Connor got it right.

  7. LOL Lisa !

    Spot on, Peter ;)

    Cos there's always some sad nutter wanting to create drama to spice up their miserable life, River.

  8. Yep, Amanda, nailed it clearly and succinctly ;)

  9. Ask anyone in Melbourne if there are enough police and they will say no, there are not. Did you read Miranda Devine's piece about New York that I linked to yesterday. In England, pairs of Bobbies walking quiet suburban streets. Patrolling on foot.

  10. Leaving the racial issues aside, I wouldn't touch KFC with a barge pole. Full of hydrogenated fat that, once in the bloodstream, you can't get rid of. Nasty stuff. Probably explains why your stereotypical American is so massively fat and bulbous with an equally enormous chip on their shoulder.

  11. Just read it, Andrew and I remembered I used to use public transport late at night, alone, all through the 80s without any worry - there were plenty of other commuters, the stations were manned, cops were readily available so most behaved.
    And we've gone backwards.
    This is 'progress' ?

    I hear fishermen refuse to use it for bait as it drives the fish off, Brian.

  12. Ha Ha, in our daily paper today someone wrote in suggested an alternative ad, with one lone Indian surrounded by a mob of beer drinking Aussie yahoos, he buys them all a couple of meat pies so that he can watch the cricket quietly while the yahoos are stuffing their mouths. sounds like a good idea to me. two or even three ads showing opposite points of view. Every one wins, no-one is slighted.

  13. Oh, there is a whole blogpost or two in the response to this!!

    One West Indian woman said that Fried Chicken is exceptionally popular and the scenario depicted in the ad would be quite effective.

    I am far more offended by the Nintendo DS ad on at the moment which depicts all mothers as stupid houseworking slaves and children as prodigies who need not lift a finger to belittle her.

  14. It's ridiculous. Some people need to pull their heads out their backsides.

    I mean, I don't go around crying racism every time an Oirish joke is told. Though it could have something to do with the fact that I am usually the one telling the joke.

  15. It made the news over here. I was astounded, how the connection was made was beyond me. Seems the world is too PC these days. Some people have too much time on thier hands if all they can do is nit pick on what ads really mean...(that is aimed at the people who thought this ad was poking fun at one particular race eating a lot of friend chicken).

  16. Applauds.

    I had a lot to add but most of it has already been covered.