Tag Archive: race


Marketing for any business operating in today’s harsh business world isn’t easy. Getting the right campaign to the target market is a huge task. Hitting the nail on the head can be a massive gamble. Companies who use the services of marketing/advertising agencies most times are not in control of what the agencies produce. Somehow, companies even accept anything that the agency produces without contesting or even make suggestions to improve on the advertisement. It is sad when companies have to withdraw ads that offend a segment of the target market even sometimes offending the society. Advertisements are not only produced for the intended market. Because they are viewed in the mass media, extending the reach of the ad, the advert may be offensive. Companies however have a huge role in ensuring that the ads that the company has on television, radio, print etc are comfortable and not offensive.

Recently, KGB a company that answers questions that they receive by text messaging released an ad that some people find offensive. Some even want the ad to be pulled. The ad portrays black females in a salon getting their hair done. A female talent in the ad asked the other ‘What kind of hair is this?’ The response of the hairstylists says natural. The discussion there continues with the quest to find out what natural hair means by sending a text message to KBG for the answer.

From the advertising agency and company’s point of view they have achieved their objectives. They produced an ad reflecting the company’s proposition (product), and they used talents which reflected in some way their intended target audience. Success huh?

But the issue is bigger than that. The issue is the portrayal of black people. Culturally, the black race is known for their sense of humour, survival, hardworking attitude, breaking the law etc. Generally in advertisements the black talent would always deliver that punch line of a joke, or be seen eating unhealthy foods like chicken (not that chicken is bad). There are both positive and negative images that are embedded in ads today. These images can be offending; some can be flattering while others can be motivating.

There is certainly nothing wrong with the advertisement of this company. People will find issue with the ad that most of the actors were black. Normally, companies with a huge target market would show diversity in the ad to show that all races accept their product. This advertisement borderlines offensive because it appears to be saying that only black people wear weaves and emphasizes the fact that they cannot explain where it comes from. The believe that black people wear the most weaves may be a lie, but this ad does not make it appealing.

But how did we get here? There are issues within the black community and it is sad that this company is highlighting that flaw to sell their brand. Majority of people believe that black people use weave as a way to change who they really are. They use all the hair products and chemicals to look like someone else. Weaves do compliment and enhance a woman’s features. There is nothing wrong with wearing a weave. There might be a problem when weave identifies your race.

Breaking News

Now this piece will shock some people, especially black folks and some whites. My opinion even shocked me. So before we do anything, let us get the facts.

Background

h_l_gates_jr_medHenry Louis Gates is a competent scholar and primarily known for his work at Harvard University and the fact that he is black. He is all over the media, hosting shows, commenting on issues, even being listed in the Time Magazine among the 25 most influential Americans. This guy is huge at 58 years. At the time of this incident he was on a trip from China where he is filming a documentary.

So, Gates arrives at his rental home in a limo and attempts to open his door. The key turns the lock but doesn’t open the door, it is jammed. There are conflicting reports here, some say he had a key others he didn’t. It doesn’t matter. Apparently this wasn’t the first time. To solve the issue he heads to the back of the home and enters through the door turning off his house alarm system. He then heads to the front door and with the help of his driver they get the door open. In getting the door open, the driver has to wedge his shoulder in the door as is he is trying to force entry to get in. Meanwhile, a passerby who knows there have been increases in break-ins in the area calls the police and mentions what is taking place. At this time Gates is on the phone reporting this matter to the managers of the home.

In no time, American style, police shows up.

Sgt. James Crowley

Sgt. James Crowley

Now, if I were Gates, I would be so nervous police shows up at my house. I am innocent this is my home. After hearing what the police is there for I would be eager to explain the situation, gently not causing any alarm. I haven’t done anything wrong.

No, Mr. Harvard goes in a tirade, yelling and accusing the police officer Sgt. James Crowley of racial bias. The officer recognizes what he is dealing with and asks for identification. Gates said “No, I will not.” Of course, every officer should know his face; he is a diva professor at Harvard. How could you not know who you are talking to?

Gates goes on to say ‘this is what happens to black men in America.’ Now this situation is getting out of hand. Racial issues are brought up. The officer attempts to calm Gates down to no avail. Gates heats up declaring to the officer ‘You don’t know who you’re messing with”. At no point in the official report does it say the officer is rude, uncouth, harsh, or disrespectful to Gates. The report details the vicious verbal attack of Gates against this law enforcement officer.

So he is locked up, mug shot all over the internet, charges dropped later and we all have our opinions.

Now an officer is charged with the duty to serve and to protect. An honest call was made to the dispatcher about a possibly break-in. This officer within his limits has to ensure that this is not a criminal in a home. He must also use his judgement. I would not want to imagine what would happen to this officer if he allowed a thief to get away. He would have looked silly.

Henry Louis Gates is the real racist in this matter. He is battling his own issues of being black. He is the first to draw the racist card and does so in a violent way, having a tantrum with the officer, even though he is innocent. Gates is also wrong for not willingly identifying himself. Dude, you are INNOCENT, YOU ARE IN YOUR HOME. Gates was not arrested for showing proof he lived at the house. I would think that he was arrested on disorderly conduct because of his nasty attitude and racial comments. That is the real issue. His hissy fit gave him an arrest although the police may have been in the wrong. By the way, the police actions are consistent with his traning.

Henry Gates should be ashamed of himself. This matter could have been handled by him much better. But in his quest to stand up for every black man in America, and sell more books he now looks stupid. Of course for many, this is racial profiling. White police officers should not accost black men, because all of a sudden you will be accused of being a racist. Black people should stand up and blame themselves for packaging themselves wrong. They have a terrible history of breaking the law and being cheeky.

Barack Obama was then asked recently in his press conference about his thoughts on the issue. He didn’t minced words to call the police men of the area actions stupid clearly pandering on the thoughts of many black Americans who cry race. The president is wrong here. He normally is credited for his language and oratory skills; on this issue I do not think he handled it well.

Lesson here, cooperate with the police. It may safe you some PR work if your this popular.

Below is the Police Record of what happened.

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