This, friends, is a historic time for accidentally insulting black people. Usually our black comrades must wait for the occasional slip of tongue from a B-list celebrity in order to be victims of accidental racism, but things are changing. Today is a brave new world in which there has been a flurry of unintentional racism in advertising.
Not one, not thirty, but seven high profile incidents occured involving the creation of racially offensive ads recently. Of course, no one really noticed outside of people who spend lots of time on YouTube and various internet forums, but, needless to say, these incidents have sent a charge through the black internet nerd community. I know this, because I talked to both of them, and they were totally PISSED.
Which I guess is another important reminder that just because there are a lot of people and many of them have more money than you, that doesn't mean they aren't all complete idiots who can't see the most obvious things when it's repeatedly shoved in their face.
Capcom released a new, longer, trailer for their game Resident Evil 5. Just like number 4 in the series, it features a big muscular guy with lots of guns fighting a horde of savage killers. Their problem was that they set the story in Africa and so created a 3 minute clip of a white guy shooting hordes of brainless black people wielding primitive weapons. In the context of the series, this is not racist at all. Outside of this context, it's a 3 minute clip of a white guy shooting hordes of brainless black people wielding primitive weapons.
The black community's response was immediate. Prominent members of black society released well reasoned statements. Some black chick's blog complained about it or something. No one else noticed or cared, but lots of white folks on the internet kept arguing about it anyway.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.