Maybe it was wishful thinking on my part, but I was hoping we were past all this. Who would have thought that a wake up call that racism is alive and well in America would come in the form of a Cheerios ad? Watch this:
My own daughter is biracial, and I have to say that it’s so refreshing to see a young, beautiful, clearly biracial girl starring in a commercial with her Caucasian mom and African American dad. The ad is touching and sweet, and I have to admit that I wiped away a tear from my eye at the love the daughter shows her dad by the end.
Yet the ad would hardly seem to be daring. In subject matter, it stands out, but it’s still similar to countless other touching commercials that have been created over the years. Yet the ad is groundbreaking when it comes to representing America as it truly is.
Diversity is finally becoming the norm in America. Minorities are becoming the majority, and biracial families are more common than ever. I know because I am in one. My husband is Hispanic, Cuban to be specific, and I am Caucasian. We have a Chinese last name because his grandfather was a Chinese immigrant to Cuba. When I look around, I see more and more couples like me and my husband with beautiful children.
So why can’t people stand to see a biracial family portrayed on TV in 2013?
Even our president is biracial. Yet there is something about seeing a biracial family in a home setting — a couple with two different skin colors and their children — that sets off the haters. The reactions to the Cheerios commercial on Youtube were beyond disturbing. America has come a long way, but not far enough. If my own family had gone on TV, a real family, it breaks my heart to think that this kind of hatred easily could have been directed at us.
Apparently the bigots were educated enough to use “troglodyte” in a sentence, yet ignorant enough to hate the commercial’s little girl on the basis of her mixed race. In the comments (now disabled) there were references to Nazis and genocide. Seriously. In a comment thread for a Cheerios commercial.
Here was one sample comment: “More like single parent in the making. Black dad will dip out soon.”
Hard to believe. It shouldn’t even matter that the couple in the commercial is interracial. The ad is not a “publicity stunt” on the part of Cheerios. They are simply portraying their customers, people like my biracial family.
I really want my daughter to grow up in a wonderful world that will embrace her for who she is, regardless of appearance and racial background. I truly believe that our society is more accepting and tolerant. Yet I need to face the reality that as she grows I’ll need to prepare her for a world that can still be vicious and hateful, as seen through anonymous Internet comment threads this past week.
I sincerely hope that Cheerios won’t back down. We need more commercials, media, and movies that reflect who we are as a society, and who we are becoming.
Biracial families are real families, we are loving, and we are normal.
Don’t hate us, because we are beautiful.