November 18, 2006

I ran across this post of the “top 10 most racist commercials” of all time. And as I read it, I found myself wondering why many of them merited being included on the list. Has political correctness really gone this far? Or am I just having problems relating because I’m a WASP girl?

#8 — Are Lucky Charms commercials racist because they portray a leprechaun as… well, a leprechaun? Is it a caricaturization of the Irish people as a whole? I don’t see the connection. Leprechauns are legendary figures from Irish folklore and I don’t think that they are intended to represent the Irish people any more than unicorns are supposed to represent horses. Using the logic here, the Norwegian pavillion at Epcot is “racist” because it presents Norwegians as trolls.

#6 — Is the Willie Horton political ad from the Bush-Dukakis election racist because it shows a black criminal? As far as I know, Willie Horton is a real person who committed real crimes. While I am not a fan of any member of the Bush family, I don’t see how this ad qualifies as being racist. If there was a white criminal with a similar case history who was not included in the commercial, then yes. But for showing a black man who was found guilty of multiple crimes? I don’t think so.


#3 — The Kenya Doll, aka Black Barbie. I don’t think that naming the black Barbie doll Kenya was racist, just a marketing strategy.

#1 — Terrorist Volkswagen. Aside from dark hair, beard, and a nice tan, the terrorist didn’t look particularly Arab to me. He could have been Italian for all I could tell. I suppose that if Scandinavians or Africans or Chinese people were known to strap bombs to themselves, they would have chosen someone who looked like a Scandinavian or an African or a Chinese person. But the sad truth is, suicide bombings occur almost exclusively in the Middle East, and are executed almost exclusively by Arab men. Is it racist to present something that is factually accurate?

Well, that’s my little commentary. I had about 3 hours worth of interruptions between the time I started this post and the time that I am finishing it, so I had to try and remember what my original train of thought was, but I never fully recovered it. If there is a gap between #6 and #3, that’s why.



  1. I saw those ads, too, and wondered the same thing.

  2. I agree with you.

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