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New Cheerios commercial receives racist backlash

guest columnist

Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Updated: Monday, October 7, 2013 22:10

Kara Melver

Kara Melver

“Mom, dad says Cheerios is good for your heart. Is that true?”

 

This is a slogan we have all heard before and associate with the famous, heart healthy cereal, Cheerios.

However, recently there has been a controversy regarding the race of the adorable little actress making the statement and her interracial mother and father.

 

Why all the fuss? Well it seems that Americans, as gung-ho as we appear to be about equality and civil rights, still has some major kinks to work out in our opinions about race. The commercial aired in June 2013, and since then has received roughly 4.5 million views on YouTube. The comment board was disabled, and the racist vitriol made national news.

 

YouTube has a reputation for having some of the most vicious and unrelenting comment battles on the Internet, the reason being the total access its viewers have to its content. On Facebook, Instagram or Twitter you must either “like,” be friends with, or “follow” a certain page to be able to view the information. To lash back at the vile comments on the Internet would be futile. Ignorance is bliss for a reason, and you cannot argue with it.

 

Although Cheerios disabled the comments, a new video was posted by a different user and received the same insanely vicious and ignorant responses.

 

“Wow, what a disgusting little creature,” one commenter said. “Hideous, hard to look at. It needs to wear a bag over its head so no one else has to look at it. Half-breed coon monster.”

 

Not only was the biracial child targeted, the acting parents were as well.

 

The father was criticized for being at home with the family, in assumption that he did not or could not keep a job. 

 

“Lazy, entitled, criminal mentality,” another comment read. “And to make it worse they’re proud of it. Proud of something they should be ashamed of.”

 

All that from taking a nap on the couch?  The mother was labeled a “slut” for sleeping with a black man and was also attacked by black women for “taking their men.”

 

Luckily, there is a light at the end of this embarrassing tunnel of idiotic negativity. A group of children of various races between seven and 13 were asked to watch the commercial and give their opinion on it. Not a single child could understand why there was a problem with the race of the child or her parents. They even had their own opinions as to why it was stupid to judge someone by the color of their skin.

 

Even more encouraging is a report by the 2010 U.S. Census that found “mixed race marriages in America have grown by 28 percent over a decade.”

 

As a biracial person who has experienced racism from white people, black people, and even other races, I find comfort in the fact that today’s children refuse to feed into the bigoted beliefs of the past. It shows the progress we have made in the education of our youth and the promise we can expect for the future.

 

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