Sunday, December 12, 2010

Racist Cupcakes? Really?

Today's story about a company caving into complaints about nothing (instead of standing their ground because they did nothing wrong) involves...*spins wheel*...Duncan Hines amid complaints that allege that their commercial for what appeas to be some sort of cupcake frosting is...*spins wheel*...racist.

Before I even get into the ridiculous incident which sparked these ridiculous cries of racism, I have to bring up the point that I always bring up when this happens (and it happens far too frequently). That point being do these people making these claims actually think that Duncan Hines and the makers of this commercial are racist? Do they actually think that Duncan Hines and the makers of this commercial decided this would be a good idea because it was racist? Do they actually think that the makers of this commercial and Duncan Hines thought that the best way to express their racist views was under the guise of trying to sell cupcake frosting? Really? Because if you do think that this commercial is racist and if you do think that any of these things that I just listed are true, then you need to wear a helmet at all times. And not just one of those skull cap helmets, either. I'm talking full noggin, full facial covering helmet. And possibly a suit of armor as well. You are a soft, soft individual. So soft.

Since Duncan Hines was cowardly and, instead of standing up to these morons shouting "Racist cupcake makers!", they have pulled their ad from YouTube. I wanted to include the ad first, have you watch it and then tell you what the problem is that some people wanted to have with it. (Naturally, there's no telling just how many people saw this as a problem. These days, it could have been one. Who knows?) But since the ad isn't there anymore, I'm just going to past the link to it here. So, do me a favor. Watch the video, but don't read anything in the article that accompanies it just yet. Just watch the video and then continue reading. Fair enough? (Come on. I rarely ask anything of you other than to just read my drivel on a daily basis and pass the link along to everyone you know and random strangers. You can do this for me just this once, right?

::: waiting ::: ::: waiting :::

You're back! Nice to see you again! OK, so now you've seen the video. Did you see how it was just oozing and dripping with racism? Did you see how all of those cupcakes were calling each other the N-word? Did you see how the black cupcakes had to sit at the back of the bus? Of course you didn't! Partly because there wasn't a bus, but mostly because there WAS NO RACISM!

I turned to the good folks over there at the New York Daily News to find out what the dealio was. Turns out, there are people out there that think that those cupcakes actually resemble (wait for it) people in blackface. ::: blink ::: ::: blink ::: Wait. I thought that they looked kind of like the claymation California Raisins dudes. Were those racist? They weren't, were they? Nah. I'm pretty sure they weren't. Almost positive. OK, soooo...what now?



Correct. Blackface. I was seriously confused. I still am. They really don't look like they're in blackface to me. Let's look again. Here's a cupcake from the commercial:


And here's "World's Greatest Entertainer" (as he was dubbed back in his heyday) Al Jolson in blackface:


Yeah, I still don't get it. I decided to check other sites to see if there could be any rational light shed on this and sadly, there was not. I did learn of a blog called Racialicious which delved into the subject lightly. And by 'delved' I mean that there were more comments than there were words in the article itself. And those people need my helmets! Holy canoli, I was stunned. Sadly, sadly stunned. The only legitimate point that someone over there made was that the title of this ad was "Hip Hop Cupcakes". There wasn't really any hip-hop involved in the thing, though. I guess if you mention hip-hop, it automatically means that you must be talking about black people? I wonder if there would have been all of this to-do about it if they had simply called it by a different name?

It's chocolate frosting or chocolate glaze or something chocolate on white cake cupcakes! If anything, wouldn't that be a harmony of black and white, coming together in harmony for the sake of all that is delicious? Why is it racist? That's right. It's NOT! Oh, but one person opined "Clearly there are no minorities in the board room where they work on advertising at Duncan Hines." Hmmm. Interesting assumption. And not surprising since you also assume that it's clearly a concerted work of shouting racism across the baked good airwaves. What if there ARE minorities in the board room where they work on advertising at Duncan Hines? Then what?? Is it still racist in your mind, oh-wee-little-commenter? What's your race? It's almost as if it would make you feel better if people actually were racist. It's such an odd thing to want, especially considering how against it you claim to be.

I cannot tell you how angry made-up racism accusations make me. Just because I am white, that doesn't make me a racist. I am tired of defending my non-racism. I am tired of mentioning that I have plenty of friends who are not white. I am tired of hearing the black vs. white argument, as I don't see that there is one within my circle of existence. Yes, I realize that it does exist out there, but how much of that is a continuation of the apparent desire to make SURE that it exists with asinine claims of blatant racism against entities such as the makers of freaking cupcake frosting?!

Screw you, Duncan Hines. You know it's not racist, so why didn't you just say so and let the commercial keep running up on YouTube? Why aren't you releasing statement that declares how angry and incensed you are at any accusation that your company ran a racist commercial? Why aren't you standing up for yourself for what you know is true? I've said it before (and unfortunately, I'm still waiting for it to happen), but I guarantee you that the first company to respond to accusations like this in the manner that I've suggested will be hailed as the retail messiah from sea to shining sea. If Duncan Hines had stood up to these accusations, I would have bought Duncan Hines products for the rest of whatever and I would have recommended them to everyone I know at any given opportunity. Now? Well, now I'm buying Betty Crocker. She hasn't proven herself to be a corporate wussy yet.

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