Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Coke Ad and Reverse Political Correctness: "We Won't Call Them Frothing Racists."

The American wrong wing has been screeching about so-called "political correctness" since that fateful day in the early 1990's, when, between tooth-spitting fists to the jaw, a gay man had the temerity to tell the skinheads who were beating him: "You know, I prefer not to be called a faggot." Ever since then, the long-running 'political correctness' cultural meme has infected our media, our college campuses, and certainly every neuron duet of a meeting of conservative "think tanks."

Most of us know the score on this by now, but to those who need a reminder as to how the wrong wing quote "thinks" unquote, the basic jist is this:

"It's utterly appalling that some of those others (wink, wink, you who I mean) don't like it when we call gay people faggots and dykes, refer to black people as niggers, Spanish-speakers as wetbacks, Asians as chinks and ching-chongs, and so on. Our God-given right, nay duty, to refer to "those people" by the most denigrating and humiliating names we can think of - as opposed to difficult, syllable-y, less pejorative $10 words like African American, Hispanic, Asian American, or gay - is the most important thing in the sphere of all human existence. And to even hear one peep of complaint that perhaps we ought to call "those people" (wink wink) . . . you know . . . "what it is they like to be called," or even "something less crudely insulting," is itself he greatest affront that has ever come about in the history of humanity; because THAT smacks of 'political correctness,' which is naturally worse than Hitler. And importantly, by the way, don't you dare call us racist, because we have a black friend."

Of course, even the best efforts of these mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, hairy-backed, Neanderthal GOoPers ultimately trend towards the predictable stench of failure. Thinking people have mostly moved towards the more accommodating practice of referring to folks in terms that aren't inherently insulting; and - thank you Universe - most Americans have at least come to the realization that being a fucking racist or homophobe makes you a Capital-B Big Capital-A Asshole. Most.

Yet the pushback against so-called 'political correctness' has been real, and in particular, our corporate traditional media has been receptive to the complaints of those who prefer living in the 1800's; very receptive. It has gotten to the point, now, that now matter how obviously despicably racist someone acts, the traditional media Will. Not. Call. Them. Racist.

My most recent reminder of this phenomenon was in the predictable and depressing online backlash to the Coca Cola's Super Bowl Ad. If you're an American reader of this, you probably saw the ad, because as the folks at my beloved Gawker put it: "to not watch the Super Bowl will cause friends and coworkers to look upon you with suspicion." I could care less for the sugary soft drink, and thought the ad itself was rather saccharine and schlocky, but the overall message was nice enough. "America the Beautiful" is sung in seven different languages, and features the glowy visages of a broad array of "not-typically-thought-of-as-All-American" people, thus representing the increasing diversity of the American nation in our globally interconnected world, and oh by the way drink our sugar water. Nice enough right? Harmless enough, one might think.

One would be wrong.

The Wrong Wing's "Don't You Dare Call Us Racist" set was predictably apoplectic at the dystopian images of non-whites singing what entirely-to-many of these . . . let's be clear . . . FUCKING MORONS referred to as "the national anthem," in languages . . . gulp . . . "other than 'American.' These "No I'm not a Racist" hairy-backed Neanderthals went absolutely apeshit all over Twitter, making #SpeakAmerican a hotly trending hashtag, as though 'American' were an actual language that people spoke. #boycottcoke became another trending hashtag, and why? Why? These assholes were more pissed-off than Denver fans, because the sugar-water company had the gall to suggest, through a series of glowy images and a familiar song sung in unfamiliar languages, that perhaps America isn't comprised 100% of white people who speak, I shit you not, "American," thus mildly suggesting that a diverse nation might just be broadly categorized as: "good thing."

Nevermind the simple fact that America ISN'T comprised 100% of white people speaking "American." Nevermind the fact that it's 2014. These fucking assholes just couldn't deal with it. It was the proverbial "bridge too far." And by the way, don't you dare call us racist.

And this? This my friends, is what really galls me about the whole thing. You know, my feelings over the frothing racism of the so-called "Right Wing," empowered by online anonymity, has achieved outrage-burnout. My anger-ometer is just broken, on that score. The turd-throwing racism of the American RepubliCons has become so predictable, so banal, so normal, that I tend to just tune it out. But what really gets me, is that these hateful bigots have been screeching about 'political correctness' for so long; they have been shrieking in an all-caps "DON'T YOU DARE CALL US RACIST" for so many years; they have been pathetically glowing about their black friend for so many decades now, that our lapdog corporate media, will NEVER call these bigots what they are: racists!

Just yesterday, I was listening to NPR's . . . and I'm going to use this term VERY loosely . . . quote "coverage" unquote of the Coca Cola ad backlash, and wanted to slam my head into the steering wheel, repeatedly. On the subject at hand, Steve Inskeep interviewed Code Switch's Gene Demby, the latter of whom is an African American whose very job it is to explore matters of race in America on NPR, and what they did they come up with? Did they castigate these racist assholes for being the big fucking racists they are? Did Demby, about whom one might reasonably suspect had some flicker of deep disdain for this racist behavior, righteously take the mic and expose these pathetic neanderthals for exactly the bigots they showed themselves to be? Did the words prejudice, racism, racist, or bigot even show up ONE TIME IN THE FUCKING INTERVIEW?

The answer to all of the above, is the same. No.

Demby made an oblique reference to "Every time something happens in popular culture, in which a brown person does something kind of unexpected, there's this apoplexy on Twitter," without once pointing out that said apoplexy, was . . . you know . . . deeply fucking racist, to Inskeep's golly-gee hemming and hawing. There was a then a brief allusion to some similar backlashes i.e. the Indian-American Miss America, but the remaining 75-80% of the interview focused on the entirely-more-important (apparently) question of "Is this a good way to sell sugar-water, or isn't it now?" And this is NPR, the supposedly "liberal" "people-powered" news outlet!

Are you fucking kidding me?

Naturally, other news outlets couldn't even pretend to slightly address how racist these responses were. ABC's miserable treatment of the story just noted that "Some" [giant bigots were] "objecting" to the advertisement, and that Coca Cola stood by the message, as if the "some" to which they were referring were no more objectionable than "some teachers," "some Illinoisans," or "some White Sox fans." The omission of the VERY BASIC TRUTH that those objecting are RACISTS AND BIGOTS, gives these assholes total cover for their pathetic responses to the ad. And this is simply par for the course.

When the rabid right says: "Don't you dare call us racist," the corporate media just lays down, and says: "Ok we won't." This is reverse political correctness at its worst. No matter how racist some GOoPer acts, the traditional media cannot call it out as such. In case you hadn't noticed, I'm sick of it.

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