It really never crossed my mind to even talk about this ad because I thought it was self explanatory and beautiful. I felt so moved that a company as large as Proctor and Gamble even “saw” me. I felt like even if you can not relate to the themes in this ad, everybody should have an understanding for it. Silly me. Apparently P&G has received a great deal of backlash from white critics and an enormous amount of support from blacks, this is a clear representation of our America. This add gives a peak into conversations that black American mothers and fathers have with their children ev-er-y-day.
I wish people knew the fight black mothers have with their daughters to get them to want to play with black baby dolls. Black little girls put t-shirts on their heads so as to pretend they have long flowing hair because their tightly coiled hair isn’t said to be pretty. Why? Because they don’t see themselves represented when beauty is discussed.
I remember that day my sister and I were leaving for class and an older white man in a really large old station wagon pulled out in front of us and yelled “Nig*@r Bi*ch@s" as he drove off. Maybe we would have sat in the car and cried, missed our classes for the day because we were angry, or even chased him down to fight if we weren’t taught to not let that word have power over us. Instead, we just laughed at his ignorance and continued on to Music Appreciation class because Dr. Chambers was far more intimidating than him.
A really good friend of mine is an Auditor and was leaving a church that he was auditing when he was pulled over by the cops. The church was in a "rough" neighborhood, he had out of state tags, he was wearing a suit and tie; none of which are reasons to justify what happened next. After a very brief discussion, the officer asked my friend if he had any drugs or weapons in the car. My friend said no, then the cop asked if he could search his car. Why??? Luckily, there was another officer with him that made sure the situation did not escalate. In case you are wondering, no, my friend, a black male, did not have any drugs or weapons in the car. Perhaps if my friend was not warned that sometimes it’s not about how well you’re dressed or whether or not you’re a good driver, he would have handled the situation differently.
You see, the list goes on, and on. “The Talk” is a depiction of my everyday life, and the lives of some of my closest friends and family.
Critics said the advertisement was divisive, anti-white, and inappropriate. Well, if I could, I would ask those same critics where they were during P&G’s “Like a Girl” ad. Was it anti boy? Did it "divide" boys and girls? Do boys now feel inadequate because of it? It has become a normal thing in today's society for white people (specifically) to feel threatened when a conversation is being had that doesn't include them.
If you are white and reading this blog, please note that IT IS OK to not be included in every conversation. That does not mean black people or other races hate you, or want to become superior to you. When people say "Black Lives Matter" that doesn't mean your life doesn't. We (black people) know that we wouldn't be where we are today without the help of white people. Every conversation, advertisement, product, T-Shirt, Slogan, Movement... that doesn't include you doesn't mean you are being devalued. It simply means... you are not included, or perhaps you are a part of the problem. Unless you want to join the conversation or movement to support it, or come up with a solution, then you should just sit this one out.
For example: I am a healthy individual, if I hear of a meet up for breast cancer and nobody invites me, I won't be offended. Now, if I happen to hear about the meet up and want to know what I can do to raise awareness, then I can contact them and join the movement. Otherwise, my thought should be "cancer is awful... I'm glad they are doing something about it". An inappropriate response would be, "I can't believe those breast cancer people are excluding all of us healthy people in their meet up! Just because they have cancer doesn't mean we don't all get sick at one time or another".
You see how ridiculous that sounds? That's basically what you are saying when you say "All Lives Matter" or you refer to the P&G advertisement as "Divisive".
To all of you that want to boycott, P&G is a monstrous company and there is no way consumers will be able to boycott without being dirty, smelly, and toothless. P&G is well aware of this which is why they were just the company to do it. They see racial bias towards their black consumers and they don’t like it, so they spoke on it. Instead of criticizing them, other companies small and large need to open their eyes and do the same. I think the ad accomplished its goal to share the black narrative and get people talking about it.
Job well done P&G, thank you for speaking up for me.
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