There has been a bruhahaha over the Duncan Hines Cupcake Glaze in the past few days.. I missed most of it because I am snowed under, not with the lovely Currier and Ives flakes but with assignments out the wazoo.
I wasn’t going to get involved in this, I dislike this type of thing but I prefer to stay out of all of it. Not because I am afraid of backlash but because so many people say it so much better than I do. I am not black so my point of reference is not the same.
However, I am human. And I have been left out of groups, bullied, and made fun of just like almost everyone else in the world…and I wonder… why?
Why do we need to feel superior to other people?
The Duncan Hines Glaze thing was a poor choice by someone in advertising for sure. I doubt that it was intentionally done but none-the-less it was… callous and thoughtless at best. You can read about it and see the video on my friend Courtney’s blog, Coco Cooks. Her view of it as a black woman is more insightful than mine could be.
I do know, however, that the media counts on questionable advertising to cause brand awareness and viral campaigns. You may not realize it but the furor over the commercial has created more links and information about Duncan Hines in people’s lives than had the commercial run during the superbowl. While they may have pulled it you can bet someone in advertising is popping champagne that they bought with their fat Christmas bonus this year.
We accepted the California Raisins….why wouldn’t we accept this?
A few years ago there was an outcry among homeschoolers (I am part of that group of people) because a city decided to do an emergency preparedness test and used the scenario that a group of homeschoolers violently attacked a school with bombs and weaponry. I was furious… It was during the time when it seemed that every woman that harmed her child in some way was touted on the news as a homeschooling mom. When I told people I homeschooled I could see the desire to call Child Protective Services appear in their eyes.
I have a big family. I can’t tell you how many times I have had people verbally assault me in real life as well as on the Internet for having eight kids. I could link you to posts where the comments would literally blow you away with the hatefulness.
Even amongst food bloggers… There are the bloggers that use commercially prepared products and those that prefer fresh, local, and organic. While I have not seen a post cutting down those that choose to use prepared products per se I have seen many that insinuate that those who don’t use them are snobs.
I have come through the hardest year of my life… a year where long term relationships crumbled…a 30 year marriage and a 22 year friendship were gone in a matter of a couple of weeks. I have had Internet friends send me flowers and cards and money and encouragement while people I have loved and trusted for decades have literally walked away with backs turned.
And if I have learned anything at all it is this. Being excluded sucks. Being the target of someone’s humor no matter what direction it takes or whether it is meant badly…. sucks. And we have all done it. ALL of us have. I did the Sandra Lee parody post…and it was just to get across a point..but you know what? I didn’t need to do that. And I was wrong. It is deleted.
Whether you are white or black or hispanic or oriental or purple with polka dots…whether you eat organic or not…whether you homeschool or send your kids to military school..whether you breast feed or bottle feed..whatever… we can disagree without exclusion. We can disagree without cutting communication.
And we can stand together and let marketing departments know that there are better ways to sell a product than to stereotype ANY group. Let’s face it…it wasn’t just the black stereotype in this… The white cupcake couldn’t sing on key until it had been hit with the glaze and had black characteristics. Why not?
And herein is my issue. Either it is never o.k. to parody other races or it is always o.k. It isn’t o.k. to parody one and not the other. It was one of the reasons I refused to go see White Chicks in 2004. How can a black man pretend to be a white woman in a comedy without there being racial jokes?
I have probably taken this way beyond what it needed to be. But let’s think about things. Let’s love people…let’s be encouraging…let’s uplift eachother. Let’s be friends. Let’s overlook small offenses and create an outcry against the big ones. Let’s be careful in choosing what we consider to be small or big.
So, no… I can’t understand this from Courtney’s view point as a black woman, a woman of color. I can only understand it from the point of view that people hurt people…and they should stop.