Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tasteless Chicken & Tasteless Ads [oh racism!]

In the midst of all our discussions on white guilt, I fell onto the politics of white meat! This is an Australian ad for KFC. Is it racist? I don't know. Is it offensive? Yes, it fucking is! (I never use the f-word on my blog. I do it only when I am very, very pissed or just appalled to the point where I just feel like effing between every single word.) I feel offended by it: Am I over-reacting?


Tia said...

You are not over reacting. A sneaky ad agency would have replaced the white guy with an asian one, to be politically correct. But that wouldn't have reached out to the audience that it is supposed to: white australians. Thus it is disturbing and racist.

Beth said...

NOT overreacting. My jaw dropped when it started and I gasped and recoiled when he said "too easy"-and goodness knows I'm used to being shocked.

Anonymous said...

Wow.  Yup.  That's fucked.  Though, at first I found the assumption that a white person would feel awkward surrounded by people of colour to be a very interesting statement on how white people are affected by their own racism, because it's a teeny-tiny-wee-little step towards implying that a white person has something at stake in terms of dismantling racism, that it's not simply something they ought to do for the sake of people of colour... But then appeared the suggestion of fried chicken as a route to friendship, and I wanted to spit on the screen, so there you go.

I don't find it particularly shocking, considering the casual racism I heard and saw all the time when I was in Australia last spring.  It was explained to me by the (white Australian) father of a friend that Australians could be of British, Irish, Scottish, or Dutch-descent, and everyone else should just get over it because "we need to draw the line somewhere".

Have you ever heard of Kev Carmody? His music has been the soundtrack to my recent round of schooling and I'm reminded of his song "Thou Shalt Not Steal" anytime I hear anything about white hegemony in Australia:

(Annnnnd I can't believe it's only monday morning and I've already used the word "hegemony"...  Way to start the week right!)

Peaball said...

This ad is incredible (honesty about being racist being my qualifier). if it been NOt Fried chicken it would have still been offensive but it just ups it a notch.

What I found fascinating is the way it's assumed we will only identify with the White character. No other reactions or facial expressions are relevant. It almost seems like the joke is that this may be a cricket match but it can be as scar to be around racialized people as being captured by headhunters or something (I recall a Franz Fanon line about all the colonial images of tom toms and savagery being evoked in the simplest uncomfortable encounter with the 'other')

good post. I was just talking the other say with a friend about my own nervousness with people of colour and how I'm scared of my own whit privilege to the point that I don't think they would want to be my friend or relate to me. Just my own confession to add to the mix. I get too easily paralyzed by over analyzing what is rarely analyzed at all (by White people)

Anonymous said...

Gross! You are definitely not overreacting!