Sometimes an ad is simply an ad. Yet, less than 24 hours after Dodge ran a two-minute commercial during the Super Bowl, race hustlers were already banging away, calling the ad lily-white, exclusionary and intentionally prejudiced.
Featuring photos of farmers, with narration from Paul Harvey, the advertisement was supposed be a tribute to American producers — and it was.
But the race police, never missing an opportunity to be offended, descended quickly. For example, Alexis Madrigal, a senior editor at The Atlantic, wrote the following: “The ad paints a portrait of the American agricultural workforce that is horribly skewed. In Dodge's world, almost every farmer is a white Caucasian … I decided to count the race and ethnicity of the people in Dodge's ad. Here's what I found: 15 white people, one black man, and two (maybe three?) Latinos.”
Regardless of the precise demographic breakdown of U.S. farmers, at what point would all those directly or indirectly accusing Dodge of racism be satisfied? At what point would the Dodge advert be considered inclusive and acceptable?
• Five whites, four Latinos, three blacks, two women, and two Native Americans? Would that fly?
• Four mixed race men, three Latinos, two blacks, two whites, two gays, and two Jews? Would that pass muster?
Neither option would work; someone would still complain about exclusion.
Madrigal concludes his piece: “Obviously, a Dodge ad isn't on the level of the government's deportation programs or the long-time cognitive dissonance of American immigration policies. But it's the kind of cultural substrate in which our laws and prejudices grow.”
The Dodge commercial “isn't on the level of the government's deportation programs?” What sort of a ridiculous concession is that?
Not surprisingly, Dodge is not the only company accused of Super Bowl bias. Volkswagen is getting hit with “Jamaican racism” charges and Arab-American groups are going after Coke, both controversies centered on racial bias.
The Dodge Super Bowl advertisement was quality because of the hard-working caliber of the American farmers it portrayed; not their color or sex. Sometimes an ad is simply an ad.