Advertising, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Media, News, Opinion, United States, Wordpress

Is Norfolk Southern Ad Racist?

keepingthelightson

If you read this blog with any regularity you will be familiar with my advertising hobbyhorse that I like to take out of the stable and ride from time to time. My gripe today is with the Norfolk Southern railway ad that plays on many main and cable networks. I am as pasty white complected as they come, but this ad strikes me as racist. Let me explain.

So the white guy did all the important things while the black guy just maintains things as they are until, one assumes, the white guy gets back to work the next day.

In the ad, titled Just another day, two NS employees are chatting as they change shifts at the end of the day. A white guy who is going off duty, and a black guy who is about to start his shift have a friendly talk. The black guy asks the white guy how his day was. The white guy then tells him the important things he contributed to by seeing that the train ran smoothly including delivering cars and electronics, stocking grocery shelves, and providing food for the nation. The white guy then asks his black colleague what he will be doing during his shift and he replies “Nothing much, just keeping the lights on”.

So the white guy did all the important things while the black guy just maintains things as they are until, one assumes, the white guy gets back to work the next day. Couldn’t the black guy have done the important stuff? He gets to have a nice easy shift, maybe he’ll have a nap or two, then the white guy can do all those meaningful things again. Maybe I’m just too sensitive.  

 

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Crime, DCMontreal Commentary, History, Hugo Chavez, News, Opinion, Politics, Review, Teaching, United States, Venezuela, Wordpress

Racism And Corruption: Deep Roots

Selma_Poster

This past weekend we rented the film Selma. The movie documents the events around the famous 1965 march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, the state’s capital, in protest of voter registration finagling. Racist hurdles were systematically put in place to make it essentially impossible for African Americans – then called Negroes- to complete the voter registration process. The South had been ‘officially’ desegregated the year before, but when it came down to the grassroots nitty-gritty, individual government employees flouted that act by imposing their own methods to determine if a person could be registered to vote. Asking questions that were impossible to answer seems to have been very popular when it came to denying registration.

Both racism and corruption have roots that are deeply embedded.

Flash forward fifty years and how have things changed? We no longer use the word Negro, but African American. And while one would like to believe the voter registration process has become more transparent, allowing all eligible African Americans to vote, there can be no doubt that racism still plays a role in society. What will it take to finally eradicate this wrong? Education would be a good place to start.

Not unlike the deep-rooted culture of racism in parts of America, a similar situation exists in many Latin American countries regarding corruption. In Venezuela, a country I am familiar with as it is the birthplace of my significantly better half, common day-to-day existence often involves corruption. A police officer pulls you over; it’s a shakedown, you can pay him off and go on your way, or you can take the high road and challenge the accusation and end up having your car impounded and wasting hours or even days trying to get it back. Most people just succumb to the system in order to function.

It will take perhaps several generations to effect the sea change in attitude toward corruption that is required. That is, once a decision has been made to make such a change. But corrupt governments have little interest in this.

Both racism and corruption have roots that are deeply embedded.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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