Friday, May 3, 2013

Tyler, the Creator is a racist

Hey, don't blame me, blame the associated press. They are the ones who called him a  racist.

Really. It all has to do with this Mountain Dew ad you're never going to see now. Here is how AP describes the problem:
PepsiCo is once again learning the risks of celebrity partnerships after an ad for Mountain Dew was criticized for portraying racial stereotypes and making light of violence toward women.
The ad in question was the work of Mr. The Creator.

Where is the racism, you ask? Well, that's an interesting question with no obvious answer. Here is the thing about the ad that got people upset.
The ad was part of a series developed by African-American rapper Tyler, The Creator, and depicted a battered white woman on crutches being urged to identify a suspect out of a lineup of black men.

A goat character known as Felicia is included in the lineup and makes threatening comments to the woman, such as "Ya better not snitch on a playa" and "Keep ya mouth shut."

The woman eventually screams "I can’t do this, no no no!" and runs away. The word "do" is in apparent reference to the soft drink’s "Dew It" slogan.
Think about that for a moment: a black recording artist makes an ad that glorifies sexual violence against white women and the ad is criticized for portraying racial stereotypes!

Yeah, that makes sense. A black man celebrates violence against women therefore the ad is racist. It is even, "Arguably, the most racist commercial in history".

But, again, notice what happens here. Here is the money quote from Syracuse Professor Boyce Watkins,
Mountain Dew has set a new low for corporate racism. Their decision to lean on well-known racial stereotypes is beyond disgusting. This doesn’t even include the fact that the company has put black men on par with animals. The holocaust of mass incarceration and the glorification of violent prison culture has taken a tremendous toll on the black community. Corporations are making it cool for black men to murder one another, while gun manufacturers ensure that the streets are flooded with the weapons necessary for us to complete our own genocide.
Mountain Dew has set a new low for corporate racism? What about Tyler, the Creator? Does he get any blame at all?

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