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Those Things That Separate Us

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.

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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.

Really people?

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?

Answer…He can’t.

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.

Merry Christmas.

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.

8 comments

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  1. Alta

    Good counter argument. :) I think the Duncan Hines thing was unintentional, but it does surprise me no one said anything at the company. I wouldn’t have taken it that way if I saw it on my own the first time, but once Courtney pointed it out, it seems rather blatant. It’s not the worst slight by far, but I do think people need to be aware that some will be sensitive to it. Yes, there is a lot of oversensitivity – and we should choose our battles – I agree – but I also think we should do what we can, when we can, to be sensitive to one another. (and forgiving when we forget to be!)

  2. Coco Cooks

    Nice to get all sorts of perspectivesand raise awareness. We are compiling q list of links of good bloggers who are taking the lead and posting this too . Thanks Marye.

  3. Teresa Wilcox

    That was very well done! I LOVE your recipes and I really enjoy your insight, thank you for sharing this.

  4. Bren

    I agree with you on the White Chicks argument and haven’t seen it. However, I will add the major difference in the two depictions of two races is that white women simply are not subjected to the condemnation that many black people are. It doesn’t make the former, right–it is what it is. Sadly, none of this will be remedied with our public opinion. Execs are excited about the reaction… ;)

    1. maryeaudet

      Bren…I live in a town that is 95% black. I can’t comment on the condemnation that a black woman is subjected to but I can tell you that we are cat called and commented about… we are called crackers..we are teased…we are harassed..we have things thrown at us. I can never understand your point of reference but I can identify with being subjected to scorn.

  5. bellini

    So well said Marye. In a season where we should all be accepting of one another and celebrating our differences it is a shame that we need to mention these things at all. The world needs to be a better place and it starts within each of us as individuals.

  6. The Duo Dishes

    Thanks for sharing your views. As you mentioned, we are all worthy of fair treatment and regard, and so all sides of the table should keep that in mind. If we ask for equal treatment, we have to give it.

    1. maryeaudet

      :) The sad thing is? We shouldn’t have to ask for it.

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