Bravo to General Mills for its new Cheerios commercial:
It’s not grandstanding, it’s not in your face, but it’s brave: bi-racial families are so common today that the absence of them in TV commercials could only be the result of a conscious choice by Madison Avenue and Corporate America to avoid offending even those few who should be offended. And TV ads have great cultural force in molding norms, expectations and standards. Some company with a major product needed to take the plunge, and General Mills did it.
I wonder how long it will take them to have a same-sex couple in a Cheerios ad.
As to the angle most of the media is taking on the ad, which is the negative feedback General Mills has received from a relative few die-hard racial purists, it’s akin to creating hysteria over shark attacks. Focusing disproportionate attention on the crazies who post racist rants on cereal sites (Who reads cereal sites?) seems like a continuation of the Left’s (which includes the news media, of course) strategy of painting the U.S. as stubbornly racist, and to keep pushing this, rather than the Jumbo-worthy obvious reasons (“Elephant? What elephant?”), for President Obama’s governing problems.
“Vitriol Online for Cheerios Ad With Interracial Family” shouts the New York Times. This and dozens of headlines like it are misleading to the point of dishonesty. There’s vitriol about all sorts of nonsense online, written by fools, zealots, nuts and trolls, every day. What is this vitriol newsworthy? It’s only newsworthy if it tells us anything about the public and the nation, and it doesn’t. Last I checked, the favorable vs. unfavorable response to the ad on YouTube was running 11 to 1, with about a thousand Rip Van Winkles, Klansmen and nuts expressing disapproval. I don’t think the fact that less than 10% of the nation still finds inter-racial marriages objectionable is shocking. If 10% of the country is racist, I think that shows remarkable progress: I doubt that racism can get much lower than that anywhere without brain-washing and concentration camps. The media focus on the negative remarks, hardly scientific measures of anything, isn’t just saying the glass is half-empty, it’s suggesting that a glass that is almost full is virtually empty. No wonder the President is being hounded for all these scandals he knew nothing about! Cheerios makes a heartwarming commercial starring a bi-racial little girl, and those racist conservatives are up in arms about it!
“Backlash greets Cheerios ad with interracial family” shouts the Washington Post. Ridiculous. How about, “Still some racists out there, but overwhelming praise for new Cheerios ad”?