We have all seen this new “controversial” VW commercial, that persons are referring to as “racist” and “offensive”. But in case you haven’t, see below.
The truth is, the fact that it’s getting so much negative attention is just really grinding my gears. So here’s what I think about it.
Here’s a quote from an article in the Huffington Post that I found quite interesting:
“Some U.S. critics have described the pregame Super Bowl ad from Volkswagen of America as offensive and culturally insensitive, apparently seeing the commercial that hit the web on Monday as an echo of segregation-era depictions of white people posing as happy-go-lucky black folk.”
First of all, why are white Americans finding this commercial offensive? Secondly, why are they reading so much into it? These folks have gone as far back as the segregation-era on this thing! Come on man, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks didn’t go through all that trouble for us to be fussing over a Super Bowl commercial! But then I think to myself, as I usually do when situations like these occur: Maybe these white folks are feeling guilty for all the ills of slavery and segregation, and thus feel the need jump to claims that this simply entertaining commercial is in fact racist, just so that they can declare themselves as non-racist. Think about it.
Now, to all the Jamaicans who find this commercial offensive: News Flash! Jamaica is a brand! Yes, like Tommy and Gucci and Chanel. Ok, well maybe not in that literal sense, but you get the idea! As terrible as the state of our economy is, Jamaica has a lot going on for itself. Case in point: Usain Bolt, Bob Marley, our food, our one-time bobsled team, our beaches, our ATTITUDE. So tell me now, do we get offended when any of the previously mentioned things are used internationally? I didn’t think so. If I can recall correctly, we were all over the moon with joy when we saw the grand amount of non-Jamaicans sporting our colours and waving our flags at the London Olympics last year. Might I ask how much different this case is with this commercial?
Let’s turn the tables
Jamaicans are famously known for mimicking accents. As the yuletide season has recently passed, I’m sure many of us were witnesses to this fact via the ever entertaining Greetings from Across the World…..or whatever the name of the programme is. If you go down to Negril, Montego-Bay, Ocho Rios, or any other popular tourist destination right NOW, and present yourself as being a foreigner, not even so much a white foreigner, I guarantee that you shall receive the latest twang from any Jamaican you may come in contact with. In fact, a friend of mine shared a commercial on Facebook (see below) that so wonderfully depicts our “sell out” nature. And I ain’t never heard nobody making a fuss about it or saying it’s offensive. So let me ask again, what’s the problem here?
Get over it!
At this point I would just like to urge all those who have taken offence to take the timeless advice of a very extraordinary man: get over it! There was no need for this thing to be blown to such negative proportions. Right now this is an enormous tourism boost for the country and I can only hope that Jamaica capitalizes on it.
I know that many others can agree with me when I say that as much as I hate to hear our accent so terribly butchered, it gives me a sense of pride that out of all the hundreds of countries in the world, they chose the Jamaican accent to imitate.
It’s a simple little commercial. With people mimicking the accent of a simple little country. So what is the problem, mon?