Target’s White Bias Ad Campaign – Everyone Take a Breather

Before we go into hyperventilation mode, let me make something very clear to my readers: As a biracial woman in this country, I can tell you that while white bias campaign ads are toxic, they are not the root of the issue. The issue I’m referring to is the fact that our civil rights are still underrepresented in the justice system. I say “the” instead of “our” because it does not belong to us. It was not written for us, it was not made by us. I think we are the last people who would create such a vicious, broken and dishonest system. Just like when they decided we could be set free, we’ll have to fix the problems and pick up the pieces that they created for us.

Target Under Fire For Using White Model In ‘Annie’ Clothing Ads

My fear is that the young model in this ad will be attacked purely because Target were the ones who made the mistake. She is a child, probably with only one quarter of the average adult population’s common sense. I highly doubt this young woman said to herself “I will accept this job as a model to screw over black people”, or alternatively would have thought “I won’t take this job because it feeds into white bias that I want no part in”. If anything, this should be a good lesson for her about integrity, and what certain careers can do for your character in the long term. (Knowing how the child-star culture works though, I doubt she had any choice in the matter).

Getting back to the toxicity of bias campaign ads… My childhood was filled with them. I don’t recall any commercials that featured black children, and if I did see them, probably no more than what I can count on one hand. Couple that with living in a white neighborhood, and going to predominantly white schools, black folk were rare. Anyone with skin darker than mine, was rare. I remember a school I went to in Atlanta, GA however, which was an all black school except for four white kids, technically myself included. It was different for me, being ten years old and not having fully grasped race relations yet. The world was blacker than even I had known it to be, and that’s really something coming from a child who is part Nigerian. So these bias ads, I think they, combined with other factors, do a very good job of misrepresenting what the real world looks like.

I’m certainly not going to sit here and say we’ve come a long way, or that we are better than we were before, because if you consider choking a man to death for selling cigarettes, or shooting a teenager for walking down the middle of the street a better world, you are sadly mistaken. We might not be working the fields, but aside from having flashier clothing/hair/nails, we are the exact same as we were a hundred years ago. And why, in the holy fucks of fucks, are we putting up with it? It’s not like we woke up this morning and for the first time realized that the world is working against us.

Protests, specifically peaceful ones, are wonderful to see. I will not condemn the riots, because as Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Rioting is the voice of the unheard.” Yes, we have been unheard, and a lot of us have given up on ever being heard. But protests are not enough. We have plenty of great minds in this country, young, old and in between, who can enter the system that is unjust, and bring justice the way it should be brought. It wasn’t the lack of hand holding, it was the hatred, inequality, unfairness and evil that broke Martin Luther King Jr.’s heart.

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