MSNBC and Reince Priebus had a little skirmish around the time of the Super Bowl. It had to do with a questionably accusatory statement released on a tweet by an employee of the cable news outlet. In that twitter remark, the staffer implied that Republican right wingers might not be happy over a new, interracial commercial for Cheerios, to debut during the big football event.
Via Talking Points Memo:
Last year, the cereal brand Cheerios released a commercial that featured an interracial couple and their biracial daughter. The racist backlash against seeing a black man with a white woman was so severe that Cheerios had to disable comments on its YouTube account. During the Super Bowl this year, the brand double-downed on its efforts to be reflective of a diverse nation and released a second commercial featuring the same family.
So based on history, the staffer made his/her comment. Phil Griffin, the head of MSNBC apologized in print and over the phone with RNC Chair, Priebus. He also fired the employee. I'm not sure why Griffin felt this was necessary as history had spoken on this issue. But being the man he is and feeling it was in everyone's best interest for the network not to appear insensitive by painting all right-wing conservatives with the same brush, Griffin did what he did. Sadly, Priebus wasn't quite so gracious in his handling of the apology. He accepted the actions, but with strings and a stern warning attached, "We'll be watching you."
If only that were true -- maybe the troubled GOP would learn a thing or two.
Well, the Super Bowl comes and goes, and there were some rumblings about the inter-racial family once again, but nothing like the last time. There was more of an outrage over America The Beautiful, just a song, not an anthem as many have claimed, sung in different languages. Somehow, the self-stamped, true-blooded Americans were outraged that the song could be co-opted for singing (respectfully) by anyone other than a card carrying American citizen. I'm sure many of those same folks might take offense at Obama singing this song as his origins are still fodder for many right-wing discussions and accusations.
So, getting back to the racism issue and the TPM article -- there's a bit more to this undercurrent. It seems that there are levels of implied tolerance.
The American public seems more willing to accept (or ignore) seeing a black woman with a white man than a black man with a white woman.
So how's that match up with society as it really is?
According to reports, black men have a higher rate of interracial marriage than black women, which means it’s more common, and yet it also launches more racist backlash.
Backlash? By whom? Who has the right to criticize?
While bigots focus on tearing down the significance of the family in the Cheerios commercials, advertisements featuring white men with nonwhite women are overlooked. Commercials with white men coupled with black women don’t cause nearly as much disagreement as the inverse.
How interesting. So race and sex are intertwined when it comes tolerance. What's okay or "allowable" for one combination is seen as more offensive for others.
Maybe it’s because white men are seen as improving a black woman’s life, saving her from black men who are more interested in dating white women, if various statistics are to be believed.
I have to say, I don't believe this kind of thinking is coming from liberals. If this is the conservative way of thinking, who votes the conservative path? Mostly Republicans. And which branch or wing of the GOP holds racial feelings the strongest? If you ask me, it's the Tea Party.
So this brings me back to the MSNBC apology that the interracial Cheerios ad might have been offensive to right wingers. Well add a sexist angle to this as well. Racism is wrong on every level. But when you add sexism to the conflagration, watch out. Hatred is being fanned, and not by any one group -- though if you look at the statistics, you can see where it's festering the most.
GOP, you want to bring more people to your party, especially women, immigrants and people of color? Maybe start taking some responsibility and speaking out against ignorance. Reince, instead of feigning hurt, look into the accusations leveled at you and address them from within. Obviously when criticized from outside the party, the Republicans drop to the fetal position and sob they're being picked on unjustly. Look around you GOP. Where are your women, your people of color, your immigrants? They're under the Democratic and Independent tents seeking shelter from your rain.