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Racist Ass Ads and a Series of Questions

Updated: May 22



I often wonder if it's worth it.

When I see these racially and culturally insensitive advertisements, I can't help but wonder if it not responding is the best response; I mean they know what they are doing, right? Right?! If no response isn't the best response, then what is? After having seen multiple ads removed by multiple companies issuing apologies, one would conclude that they've learned their lesson or from the lessons of others, but yet the same "mistake" is continuously made; so what gives? My guess would be that it falls into the vein of "no press is bad press," and it makes the rounds on its own because the ad goes up, the demographic that is negatively impacted becomes alerted/outraged, the ad comes down but by then everyone knows about the new car, the new beer, the clothes, etc. So what must one do in order to make sure that those responsible for such insensitivity never do it again? What must one do to make sure they pay? Does one boycott? Does one publicly shame? Does one cancel? Does one say "screw your party, I'm throwing my own"? Does one do all of the above? It's often said that "they never learn," but after so much of the same thing, I can't help but wonder if they have learned and then some. I mean, if you could commit such an egregious social crime, apologize, in some way profit from it and keep your business going...c'mon.

Do these ads make non-racist people, racist? Does the backlash of these advertisements show the everyday racists or the culturally insensitive person the error of their ways and helps them to see the world differently? Will the outrage cause these companies to stop this practice? Is the answer putting out every fire? Is the answer letting the city burn because you're busy building your own? In the pilot episode of my series BRUH, Charles says to Jackie when confronting a situation of accidental blackface, "What is there left to say that hasn't already been said?" Jackie doesn't know, Charles doesn't know and I sure as hell don't.


Photographers:

Giorgio Coen-Cagli

Fabio Bruschi


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