Monday, May 6, 2013

Mountain Dew, Mountain Don't?

So, I finally saw the infamous Mountain Dew commercial. You know, the one with the battered white woman, and the line up made up exclusively of African-American men plus 1 talking goat. This story has caused quite an uproar in the Black community. This commercial has been called racist, and insensitive to battered women, an plain old not funny.

After watching it a few times objectively I can understand how this spot can be misconstrued as racist and an insensitive jab at women, but I am not at all offended, and I actually find it funny.
The fact of the matter is, if the victim of a crime, whether they are black, white, green, or brown describes their assailant as black, white, green or brown, the line-up is going to reflect the victims description of his or her assailant. To imply that this campaign is racist would be the same as saying that no African-American men have ever been in a line up's because they fit the description given by a white women. Besides that, when the goat looks at the woman and says, "Snitches get stitched', I cannot stop laughing.
I have never been a fan of labeling something racist simply because it exposes an unfortunate reality. The bottom line is the fact that these things do happen. I believe that in this case accusations of racism are solely attributed to the fact that some of us do not want to acknowledge reality, or are so far removed from it that we have forgotten what it is like to live life being young and black in America. I have never understood the need to sweep some of our experiences as African-Americans under the rug, and then scream foul when they are brought out into the open for public consumption in any way shape or form. It is utterly ridiculous. I do concede that it is incredibly wrong to stereotype us as a people, but some stereotypes are based on facts.
This campaign was created by a young African-American man who's creativity reflects his experiences. The real travesty lyes in the fact that there seems to be little or no concern for what this young man has had to go through growing up being both black and male in this country. That is the real issue. This commercial is a direct reflection of his reality. To object to this is a hyper-sensitive example of putting the proverbial cart before the horse. Those who have described this commercial spot as the most racist thing that they have ever seen have obviously never seen "The Birth Of A Nation", which is both way more offensive, and still on You tube.
 I am sure that we can all agree that there are quite a few things that are far more important. Things like.......the fact that the unemployment rate among African- Americans is still above 10%.
Some of the people in this category can barely afford to sustain themselves or their families, and are not at all concerned with how Pepsi, (the parent company of Mountain Dew), chooses to promote it's caffeine filled, carbonated, sugar water. We need to realize, recognize, and understand what is really important instead of putting so much energy into things that are of little or no significance  at all.

By the time Pepsi removed this ad from the internet and apologized to those who were offended, they had already accomplished their goal. Generating millions of views, and getting millions of dollars in free advertising in the process. 
This was a major coup for Pepsi Co., and a major waste of time for those who have chosen to be preoccupied with frivolity.


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