Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Aren't We Over That Kind of Thinking Already?

I'm trying to figure out how anyone can state with a straight face that the new Harold Ford ad is racist. The YouTube link to the ad is above.

The commercial, which is quite amusing, pokes fun -- among other things -- of Ford's attending a Playboy party last year, which certainly seems to me to be fair game for voters wishing to assess Ford's moral character.

Now the NAACP and others are coming out of the woodwork crying "racism" because the ad ends with a white woman, who says she met Ford at the party, asking Ford to call her. This supposedly "plays to pre-existing prejudices about African-American men and white women" and is "a very serious appeal to a racist sentiment."

What pre-existing prejudices? How does this appeal to racism? I thought our country was so past that kind of thinking.

We live in an era when the most popular program on television is populated by diverse characters who include a black/Asian couple and a black/white couple. And it's just...normal. Not even commented upon, that I can recall. They're people. Which is as it should be. And which is how the Ford ad should be viewed.

I suspect this is only an "issue" in the eyes of politicians who want to make it an issue; it causes me to wonder uncomfortably if the politicians or NAACP members may have some racist feelings deep down themselves, if that's what automatically pops into their heads when they watch the ad.

I suspect the Republican candidate who has made a negative comment about the ad has been pushed to do so by political correctness, as Ford is obviously going to try to use the commercial as some sort of racial wedge to divide voters.

On the other hand, we've also got YouTube video of Ford's father possibly calling pro-life demonstrators "crackers." (There is some dispute over whether he may have said "trackers.") Isn't that racist? Hmmmm.

5 Comments:

Blogger Robin B said...

Laura:
Earlier this year I directed a play and requested permission from the publisher to change a scene that included a "minstrel" show. Not wanting to offend or risk offending, we changed it. When the kids wanted to know why and I explained to them my understanding of a "minstrel" show and what "blackface" was, the practice of blacking one's face to act "black", including thick southern "negro" accents, the puzzled looks on their faces was priceless. It was at that moment that I knew we have changed. There is a generation of children that not only haven't heard of something like that, but literally couldn't comprehend the point of it. They were aghast. We HAVE changed. There are some who just can't let it go!

8:51 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

What a great story!! Thanks for sharing that.

As I continue to read articles about how racist the commercial is to show a white female asking a black male to call her, I've been wondering, is California really that different from the rest of the country, or are the people complaining stuck in the past? I was shocked that even Mort Kondracke on Brit Hume's show thought the ad appealed to racist sentiment. Mort said: "miscegenation here, is what they're doing -- race mixing and all that kind of stuff. I mean, I think that they went over the line." Maybe it's his age coming through, but his attitude frankly seems racist to me. Good gravy, on our street we have an "interracial couple" who live four doors down from us, and know many other couples of varied "mixed" ethnicities. Our neighbors would probably be insulted by those who view "race mixing" as racist.

I'm glad the "younger" generation are as you describe!

Best wishes, Laura

9:20 AM  
Blogger Robin B said...

It may really be a "California" thing as you say. I was going to mention it in my earlier post, actually. I'm just not sure about it.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

I just watched the ad. It does not seem racist to me. I didn't even know that Harold Ford was black, although I can assume that. I don't care what color he is, or the color of the women he dates. Does anyone care?

Vote for Harold Ford! (LOL)

12:51 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

LOL. Glad to have your opinion as well.

By many accounts Ford is a nice guy, I just don't agree with his politics. (You would probably be very excited to be at my daughter's university today, Barack Obama is visiting, grin.)

Best wishes,
Laura

1:06 PM  

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