Soapbox Issues

An Open Letter

To the American media:I am writing to you in reference to your ridiculous claims about one of our ads being racist. First and foremost, you may want to check the definition of racism. I thought I’d help you out by letting you know:

1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.
I borrowed that definition from here if you would like to check it out.
Now, based on the definition, can you please explain to me how that ad is racist?? Just because ‘Mick’ decides to give the West Indian cricket fans a bucket of KFC does not indicate he thinks he is superior to them nor is it discriminating against them. Instead, if you wanted to do your research, you would realise that:
a) KFC has fried chicken. Period. So any ad of theirs shows people eating fried chicken. Whether they are black or white or brown or whatever.
b) If you bothered to view the other KFC ads for this summer over here, you would see that ‘Mick’ offers the same fried chicken to white people as well.
c) If you bothered to do your research, you would see there was a reason to use what you term as ‘African American’ but we refer to as West Indians in the ad…we were playing a cricket series against them. But then, you ignoramuses probably have no idea what cricket is. If you did, you would realise there are a lot of coloured people playing the game and currently we have had the West Indians and Pakistan touring our country.
Now, I’m not saying we are a land of saints (I am well aware of our flaws and our history). But my point is, neither are you. In fact, aren’t you the same country where the Ku Klux Klan originated and still exists? Didn’t your ancestors take over the land that rightfully belonged to the Native Americans and rob them of their rights? Just because you have an African-American president at the moment does not mean you are past being racist yourselves. All you are doing is being hypocritical.
We could say that you are being discriminatory against us if we wished to because you obviously do not understand our form of humour. We take the piss out of people. In other words, we make fun of everyone and everything. And yes, some of that includes being politically incorrect. But you know what? We know how to take that. We know our faults.
We could also say you were being discriminatory against the West Indians. You refer to the ad as racist because it apparently portrays the stereotype that African-Americans eat a lot of fried chicken. Well, West Indians are not African-American. They are not part of your country. Referring to them as African-Americans is like referring to a Chinese person as Japanese (and is supposedly racist as well!!)
And if you really want to pick a battle, what about your television shows? The Simpsons for example portrays Apu the Indian in a stereotypical and derogatory manner by showing him with 8 children and thereby implying that all Indians have that many kids. If you think our ad is racist, what about Apu’s character? What about the stereotypical presentation of Raj and his family in the ‘Big Bang theory‘? I have never seen these as racist even though I am of Indian ethnicity but hey…if you think showing black people eating fried chicken is racist, why not take it to another level, eh?
Finally, we did not put the caption “What’s a white guy to do when he awkwardly finds himself in a crowd full of black folks? KFC has the answer.” You guys did that! Our caption had to do with the cricket! Which again, you don’t get.  Did you know that people who are quite racist themselves are more likely to see forms of racism in innocent behaviours and actions?? It’s a form of defense mechanism used by human beings (and not just for race issues)
So, next time, before pointing fingers, I would encourage you to do your research. I would also encourage you to look at your own backyard first. You mind your own business and we will mind ours. 
Rationally speaking,

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  • Clarissa
    8 January 2010 at 2:42 am

    Hear hear. I was shocked when I read/heard about what had happened!!!

  • Titaxy
    8 January 2010 at 2:57 am

    😀 news to me…didn’t know about this 🙂

  • Epskee
    8 January 2010 at 3:01 am

    Well said! I couldnt believe this when I saw it. Bloody yanks thinking they are the be-all and end-all of the entire universe!

    Stand up Windies, and say you’re offended at being called ‘African Americans’.

    For gods sake, you dont see an Aussie taking offence at being offered a bloody Vegemite Sandwich by a Pommie, do you?

    America – grow up. Your embarrassing yourself (again).

    Sheesh. Just because your skin is coloured doesnt mean your opressed, or African American, or offended at being offered a peice of chicken.

    Im South African – I could teach you all a thing or two about racism. And this aint it.

  • Cate P
    8 January 2010 at 3:02 am

    Bravo, I was outraged at their outrage and you have captured everything I have wanted to say, and then some.
    Spread the word!

  • Nu
    8 January 2010 at 4:06 am

    A bold letter I must say ! And I appreciate the way you have brought it up with all the supporting facts and data…

    Clap Clap Clap !

  • Psych Babbler
    8 January 2010 at 4:28 am

    @ Clarissa: Thank you! Yeah when I first heard it a couple of days ago I found myself thinking “They can’t be serious!” But turns out, they were! Been thinking about this since then!

    @ Titaxy: Hehe…thought it made big news there from the sounds of things. What was your take on the ad anyway (if you saw it rhough the link)

    @ Epskee: Welcome! And so very well said!! I would like to say it’s political correctness gone mad…but I don’t even think it’s about political correctness! 😛

    @ Cate: Thank you…and will do my best to spread the word! 🙂

    @ Nu: Long time since you visited! 🙂 Welcome back… and thanks for the lovely comment!

  • livemorenow
    8 January 2010 at 4:29 am

    *shakes head in wonder*

    The US-media machine displays its ignorance once again.

    great response!

  • Shahid Mukadam
    8 January 2010 at 4:34 am

    I agree with you…..This ad wasn’t racist!!, even I wondered why it was termed racist in the first place……so I am sure this will pass


  • Freddae'
    8 January 2010 at 4:34 am

    Please know that the American media is far from portraying the real essence of American’s. I’m sorry for any offense caused anyone. MSN certainly doesn’t represent me in anyway.

  • soin
    8 January 2010 at 5:10 am

    next they will say you cant call a black and white photo by that.idiots.everything is racism.whats wrong in calling a black person black either ways?free

  • Rachana Shakyawar
    8 January 2010 at 5:20 am

    @ PB

    Quite an information PB!
    You got strong way and a stronger words and examples to display the truth!
    Cheers to your effort.

    Keep the Spark Alive..
    Bwt: Happy New Year2010.

  • Antarman
    8 January 2010 at 5:31 am

    Congrats on writing a hard hitting post: You have said everything in a very rational way.

    and about racism or exploitation or greed whatever, we have today yankess had earlier, its only development which brought the changes. any of thosese earlier Roots or I am reading one of Ken Follet now.

  • Anonymous
    8 January 2010 at 9:06 am

    I agree with you. I blame the American media. The American media didn’t say that it was a cricket match between West Indians and Australia. All they have ever said was look at this white guy he is so uncomfortable with all these black people around. Let me give them some chicken. Too easy. Maybe if the American media told Americans what the kfc ad was about they would not have reacted the way they did.

  • Magali
    8 January 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Woo! You are angry! And I understand why.
    Here’s my two bits on the underlying matter-
    America & Australia are very similar in many ways. Both were underdeveloped lands with very primitive, tribal inhabitants. Both were found by ruthless British colonizers who raped, robbed & mercilessly killed most of the original inhabitants & enslaved the rest (I am guessing that they tried the same thing wit India, our being such a rich land. But they failed because were were too smart/too many for them).
    Anyway, after the Britishers took over the new lands, they promptly did their best to dissociate themselves from their mother country. Change their customs/accent etc. (America did a much better job at this, Australian accent still kinda resembles the English one)
    Both countries then became whatever they are today with immigrants. America maybe having more than enough, but Australia has such a low density of population & so much vast uninhabited & undeveloped, they still need a lot more!
    So I really scratch my head when either America or Australia try behaving racist. What right do they have? Now if one was accusing the few remaining native Americans & Aborigines of being racist, that would be a different matter altogether!

  • Nu
    8 January 2010 at 3:26 pm

    I know!! Have been busy in nothing 🙂 You know what I mean…just on reading / writing break it seems 🙂 But now gearing up 🙂

  • Sidthegnomenator
    8 January 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Interestingly enough, this uproar has come about due to Americans doing two things they are especially good at: seeing themselves as superior to everyone else and sticking their nose in where it is not welcome with only half the information required to understand the situation.

    When the West Indians complain about this ad, I’ll take notice. Until then, p*** off US.

  • GregoryJ
    8 January 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Well said. I agree with you completely. I have had my own words for the media often times.
    If it makes a difference or not, I’m white, male and American.


  • Richa
    9 January 2010 at 10:02 pm

    I kinda put link to your post on this site:

    Hope you don’t mind…

  • Mahmud faisal
    10 January 2010 at 2:56 am

    I agree with you PB

  • Titaxy
    11 January 2010 at 4:50 am

    i;m with you Psych…these people just have to make a big deal of things like this…i dont understand why…truly, like you say, they don’t know the background behind why it was made the way it was..they just come out blurting racisim and stuff for nothing..

  • Psych Babbler
    11 January 2010 at 10:18 am

    @ JAcintah: Yeah…they think their history is more important than anyone else’s and think it’s the same!

    @ Shahid: Hoping it will pass…but the debate is still going on for some reason…

    @ Freddae: I apologise if the letter came across as attacking all Americans. I was aiming it at the media and I guess the people that think that way.

    @ Soin: Welcome back! Long time no see. You’re right though…they probably will take it to that extreme soon!

    @ Rachna: Thanks! Hope you have a great year ahead!

    @ Antarman: Thank you. And yeah, they had racism too but the problem is they are now overcompensating for their past and forget that the rest of the world did not have the exact same history as they did.

  • Psych Babbler
    12 January 2010 at 12:25 am

    @ Anonymous: I agree. Media world-over loves to sensationalise and I guess the American media figured…what better way to do it than leave out the fact that West Indies were playing a cricket series around the time the ad was created. I have spoken to some West Indians and they don’t see it as racist because again, they understand cricket!

    @ Mags: Yep I am really angry! I think it’s more so because for some reason, America thinks it’s history applies to the rest of the world…when it does not! That to me, is a superiority complex which by the way, is what racism is about! They don’t know cricket. They don’t understand what it’s like to be in the crowd during a cricket match. I mean, if India or England or NZ were touring around this time instead of the Windies, we would have had the exact same ad with Indians doing ‘Balle, Balle’ or the Barmy Army representing the English crowd…

    @ Kirby: Exactly!!! They think their history is more important and forget that not everyone has the same history. And by the way, so far, no West Indian has had a problem with it.

    @ Gregory: It’s the media. World-over. Loving to sensationalise. Hate the way media manipulate people into believing things!

    @ Richa: Lol! No worries…thanks for the publicity! 🙂

    @ Mahmud: Thanks mate… 🙂

    @ Titaxy: Yeah…it is a bit extreme and like I said, if that’s racist, then so is Apu’s character on the Simpsons!

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