You might have seen it, but not on TV: an ad for Cheerios, depicting a bi-racial couple, linked here. Cheerios has stirred-up somewhat of a storm–with comments of support and those of asininity. Remember that Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, as well as June and Ward Cleaver, have all passed-on. Also, those types of couples really don’t exist anymore. Capiche?
Co-mingling of sexes, races, nationalities, religions, etc. has been going on for millennia. A hundred years ago, Americans were scared of Irish marrying into their family and, then, the same fears were extended to each successive national immigrant group.
My wife of some 41 years is a Filipina which, by itself, makes our children “Mutts”. And, then, add in my German, Irish and Welsh heritage…and Oy Vey! Also, we have friends who are mixed races, mixed nationalities, mixed religions and…same sex. Whatever works, huh? Bob Dylan was right, “…the times are a’changin’.”
I really do commend Cheerios, and it’s parent company General Mills, for coming into the 20th Century. And, Saatchi and Saatchi, as well for having the guts to be realistic. Generally, large companies prefer not to take risks; however, they had the forethought to recognize that society has already evolved quite a bit in this form of Common Sense. In essence, Cheerios is just no longer trying to market to 1950’s America.
Cheerios, along with Saatchi and Saatchi, has raised an issue that does need to be addressed. Racism is still very much present today in America. Perhaps it is more subtle than in years past; however, it still rears its ugly head much more than I would wish.
Lastly, I wonder if there is a certain directional emphasis to this racism, which is generally not brought up. Chances are that, if this were a White-Asian couple, would there be the same vitriol in the commentary. I think not. But, what about a White Man married to a Black Woman? Personally, I just don’t think that it would. That might, however, cause a negative reaction in some Blacks.