By Conrad Rook.
Even the most casual observer of television entertainment must have noted a significant change in the complexion of the people we see populating our television commercials over the past year. If one were to judge by contemporary television programming, an observer from another planet would have to conclude that not only are Blacks the majority of the population, but that they are the overwhelming majority — easily over 80%. They would also have to conclude that most Black “families” have a father in the house (not true), have a mother who is home at all times with the kids (not true), and that Blacks comprise the majority of the shrinking “middle class” (not true).
Just watch 10 TV commercials in a row; I guarantee that 8 out of 10 will show a leading or dominant Black figure in those commercials, with Whites, Asians and Hispanics as highly subordinate from a percentage or occupational basis. It’s really quite unmistakable. Despite living in a country where the majority of the population has been, and still is White, for some reason the television commercials beamed into households across the country now predominantly feature Black men and women, and other “people of color” as the main or only characters in the latest crop of television commercials.
While there is no reason not to have “people of color” represented in television commercials, a welcome change which actually started a few decades ago and which can be considered as a simple reflection of society, the recent shift in commercials depicting the preponderance of Blacks displacing Whites, along with a smattering of other minorities has been noted by more than a few media commentators.
This increase in Black screen presence is more than a bit surprising. Despite the fact the Black people only represent 13% of the U.S. population, the overwhelming preponderance of “minorities” featured in these ads are Black men, women and children. The skewing of television commercials to feature and highlight Blacks even more than Hispanics, a more significant and numerous minority, violates a basic tenet of advertising, which is that advertisers usually target their ads to their core audience, the majority of which are still, statistically, White; and whose predominant minority audience is Hispanic, not Black.
Then how to account for the fact that Hispanics, who currently comprise more than 16% of the U.S. population, appear far less often in current television commercials than Blacks, who comprise 3% less of the same population? If one would expect some form of consistency, or to use the favorite expression of our current thought leaders — Equity — and assuming that advertisers wanted their products presented by a representative number of people of all ethnicities, then Hispanics should be much more visible than Black folks; but that is simply not the case.
See for yourself. Watch an evening of television and keep a note pad handy when the commercials come on. Count how many Blacks are the main, the only, or the leading characters in current television commercials; then compare that number to Hispanics, then to Whites. It will soon be clear that Blacks are represented on television commercials far out of proportion to their overall population in America.
Of course, I’m not the only cultural observer who has noted this new phenomenon. Commentator Jacob Fraden in The American Thinker recently wrote an article about “disappearing White people” from television commercials, and pondered just what that significant shift in our culture may portend.
It is true, of course, that commercials reflect the thoughts and values of the time in which they are created — that’s why you can go back 30 or 40 years, watch old television commercials, and clearly perceive the cultural milieu current at the time of their birth. Since that’s the case, then what are we to make of this new crop of commercials that not only feature Blacks as the numerically and socially dominant ethnicity, but also illustrate mores, values and cultural shifts that are actually unrepresentative of the real culture from which they emanate?
This shift in tone and color is impossible to miss or dismiss. White people, especially men, are no longer present or entirely subordinate to the main Black characters. Moreover, advertisers seem to truly enjoy illustrating families composed of mixed and blended races in preference to highlighting cultural groupings of the same ethnicity. If Whites appear at all, it will usually be a White woman with a Black male or other male “person of color.” Seeing a White male with a Black woman in any sort of romantic setting is as rare as spotting an Albino in Africa.
This new crop of commercials seem to have emerged from the bowels of the elitist “think tanks” that line Washington DC, in their quest to shift and re-shape the culture and values of American television viewers. If advertisers are simply trying to “celebrate diversity,” then why are they focusing so single-mindedly on Black characters rather than representing other “people of color” like Hispanics, Asians and Indians more frequently? Or, as famed mass media social commentator Marshall McLuhan has proven with countless examples, it seems that advertisers are really aiming to direct and drive change and shifts in cultural values, rather than simply reflecting them. If so, then for what purpose?
From my perspective, I would have to say McLuhan’s observations — that advertising is used to create new cultural values (as advertisers did when they introduced women to smoking cigarettes) — appears to be much more the case, since it is quite obvious that the current crop of television ads do NOT accurately reflect American society, or even Black American society or culture. What they do reflect is a wish list from the factory of The Woke. The new, Black dominated advertising trend draws from a cultural grab bag story-boarded by Social Justice Warrior/Practitioners of Madison Avenue advertising agencies. They have created a new world they would like to see on television by attempting to transform the world in which we live to the way they would like to imagine it to be.
As Jacob Fraden states in his article on disappearing White people from advertising, “White actors now appear to promote health insurance, gold, loans, and some medicines. Moreover, if a White person appears in a commercial, he/she is usually old, sick, a freak, or at the very least, an appendage to a Black partner. If there’s a doctor on the screen, he’s usually Black, while the patient is usually White. Caucasian young men appear in only 4% of the commercials!” I disagree with Fraden’s analysis in only one respect: I would put the percentage regarding the appearance of Blacks in the new TV commercials far above 50%; I think a more accurate figure would be closer to 80% or higher.
The question that must be addressed, then, is why are advertisers directly contradicting the most elementary dictum of advertising, in direct opposition to their own financial interests, by skewing their commercials towards an audience that is far less numerically significant than the majority of viewers who represent that audience and market? Or as Fraden puts it, for what reason are advertisers placing advertising in media with “… content that displaces and degrades its biggest market segment?”
Good question; and I think I know the answer. These ads are created, mostly by Whites, with an overwhelming sense of suppressed White guilt, inculcated and nurtured by decades of subversion thru our elite “Ivy League” schools and colleges. These Ivy League graduates then create commercials to assuage the guilt that was planted and cultivated by crops of Marxist influenced instructors whose thrust in every course was that White America was guilty of systemic racism at every level. So, in order to “level the playing field” and create equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity, the creative geniuses who ventured out to those Madison Avenue advertising agencies felt it their obligation — as newly minted Social Justice Warriors — to portray a world in which Blacks are happy, successful, productive, positive, cheerful, and in positions of power and authority.
Naively, these new advertising tyros think that by modeling a reality that shows Black success and virtue, they will thereby nurture, guide and inspire an entire new generation of Black men and women to attain these roles and enjoy the economic fruits of their productive labor. Ironically, thru the Law of Unintended Consequences, they may actually be creating the exact opposite of what they hope to achieve thru their fantasies.
Ironically, I think that the “woke” bleeding heart “progressive” ad agency types who push this agenda have no idea of the harm they may be causing. No doubt they think they are fostering “positive” role models for Blacks by elevating the image of Blacks in the minds of Black viewers as well as “Whitey.” It makes them feel like “Social Justice Warriors” because they are “sticking it to The Man” (who is, of course, White) altho I would be willing to bet that 90+% of them doing the “sticking” ARE White.
What these advertising agency wunderkind may be too naive to understand is the overwhelming anger and resentment they may be creating — NOT just in the White Community but more importantly in the BLACK Community they think they are elevating! In their simplistic passion and arrogance, these advert creators are messing with The Law of Unintended Consequences!
Altho they may wish it were otherwise, the vast majority of Blacks are poorly educated, are NOT middle class, do NOT speak fluent, flawless English, live in subsidized public housing, do NOT associate with Middle Class Whites, Hispanics or Asians in their spare time, are NOT professionals, do NOT own their own homes, do NOT drive new cars, do NOT have perfectly behaved children, and have little to no hope or aspiration to do anything else but feed their cravings and addictions, blindly act out their impulses, or watch endless hours of television ads which tease them with a lifestyle they do not live and cannot aford. Yes, I know that these are sweeping, disturbing generalizations. Please, someone, prove me wrong statistically!
I, like you, understand there are good Black people. I welcome them, like them, enjoy them, and consider them to be my fellow countrymen. I know there are Black professionals who contribute just as much as any Asian, Hispanic or White to our society and culture. Yet just look at the crime statistics — the OVERWHELMING number of crimes of violence or property are committed by Blacks FAR OUT OF PROPORTION to their overall population, and it has only gotten “progressively” worse over the last two years. Now why may that be?
I have a theory. Perhaps seeing all these successful Blacks on TV ads, as well as mini-series and TV shows, only rubs their poverty, lack of success and lack of opportunity in their faces. Perhaps those commercials subconsciously enrage them because they see no way out of their poverty or powerlessness. I would even venture that the majority of Blacks consider the successful Blacks they see on TV ads are SELLOUTS to “WHITEY.”
All the geniuses on Madison Avenue may be doing is creating a generation of angry, wanna be gang bangers, who see theft and violence as their only means of escaping the lack of material goods that poverty and “Whitey” have imposed on them to keep them on their plantation. All these do-gooder bleeding heart Liberals may actually be doing thru portraying happy, prosperous, successful, middle-class Black folk is creating another generation of angry, pissed-off, racist, violent PREDATORS!
It may be that these White, “woke” advertising agency imbeciles are simply too blind, too arrogant, and too filled with hubris to even begin to understand the repressed rage they may be cultivating in Blacks and Black communities. They have turned their backs on their own race to shame and punish them, thereby virtue-signaling their “wokeness” to each other in order to make themselves feel useful and worthy while they carefully and cautiously slink back each evening to their fortified condos, to live yet another day in the urban hell holes that their mentality has created. How ironic!
As Sir Isaac Newton postulated so many years ago: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite re-action.” The people who run our advertising agencies, and the schools and think tanks who populate them, have yet to learn or even consider that what they may actually be doing by pandering to Blacks, albeit always with the “best of intentions,” is to create and foment the festering rage played out in the “smash and grab” atrocities and violence against ordinary citizens and businesses that we see on our television screens during the evening news every single day.
May God save us from the end results of that other karmic law, the law that Liberals so frequently trigger in their quest to rid themselves of the misplaced guilt they feel over the lack of Black success, social progress and economic advancement… May God save us from the Liberal tyranny of “Good Intentions.”
Copyright 2022, Conrad Rook, All Rights Reserved.
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