By Hwaran K.
Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States of America, wrote in the opening of the declaration on independence, “All men are created equal” (“the Declaration of Independence: the want, will, and hope of the people”). In my view, I believe that we all live in an unjust and unequal world. Then, what is the specific example to prove my view? The following examples are exact evidences why all men are not created equal.
Typically, Asians, Middle-Easterners, and Africa Americans had been victims of racism for a long time. Unfortunately, racism is still an unsolved problem in the present time. You might be asking what racism is. The term is the belief that people of some races are inferior to others; it comes from diverse ethnic backgrounds, cultural values, and the physical appearance, especially the color of the skin. As long as racism is existed in a society, the statement, “All men are created equal,” is not true.
In case of United States of America, African-Americans are the main target of racism in the field of occupations, sports, and advertisings of mass media. In this article, I will address racism in advertisings, the most severe of the three examples.
The following examples support how blacks are miserably treated as an inferior class of people in advertisings. In particular, their physique, appearances, the skin of color, and inferior status are used.
Even though racial discrimination against black people has dramatically decreased in modern times, black people were extremely discriminated in advertisings in the past. In other words, it was very prevalent that black Americans were inferior class to white Americans in the past time. According to the article “Racism in advertising: 50 shocking examples,” advertisements made fun of black people’s physique. For example, black people were depicted as being extremely and ridiculously ugly in watermelon advertising: (1) watermelon shell resembles their large skull; (2) the color red part on the inside has connotation of their large lips; and (3) the cheap price is implicit in the low class (“Racism in advertising: 50 shocking examples”). Sure, the advertisement distorted and exaggerated the black people’s physique.
But wait! Do not be too surprised yet for the above example because more severe examples of racism in advertisings are following.
Secondly, black people were treated differently because of the color of skin in advertisings. For instance, most of soap advertisements delivered an extreme message; black people also can be clean and white if they wash by the soap (“14 of the most racist old ads”). In addition, sensational phrases, “the soap makes me white or you can bleach a Negro” used in the soap advertisements (“14 of the most racist old ads”). Since African Americans’ skin color is black, they were mostly described dirty people in the advertising. Honestly, all people, no matter the color of their skin, they should be treated equal. Nevertheless, a great number of advertisings degraded the black color of skin.
Next, white Americans were portrayed as the strong like wealthy and sophisticated people; however, black Americans were depicted as the weak like servants or waiters in advertisings. As a matter of fact, different social status between whites and blacks was prevalently seen in restaurant advertisements (“Racism in advertising: 50 shocking examples”). In detail, white people who were socially superior ordered food to a black servant. Have you ever seen White people were being subservient to black people? Never did it happen in any advertisement. Always, African Americans have been considered less desirable.
To sum up, in today's, as mentioned before, racism in advertisings is not as severe as in the past, but the social problem of racism is still existed. Especially, black people have been used ridiculously in advertisings: (1) their appearances are exaggerated like big lips and skull; (2) an ugly face is frequently used for comedic effect; (3) the black skin color is considered dirty; and (4) the character is always either a servant or poor person.
Truly, black people and white people are completely different from the color of the skin and physical appearances. As a result, blacks have been considered socially inferior.
I am not sure whether or not there is a way to escape from the vicious cycle of racism in advertisings. It is no exaggeration to say that a great number of social minorities suffer from severe racism in a society. I hope the solution of racism will be happen miraculously.
Bulson, Neil. “14 of the Most Racist Old Ads.” Guyism. N.p. 8 March. 2012. Web. 15
“Racism in Advertising: 50 Shocking Examples.” Owni. N.p. 12 March. 2011. Web. 14
“The Declaration of Independence: the Want, Will, and Hope of the People.” US History.
N.p. 4 July. 1995. Web. 18 October. 2013.