Cheerios, the Church, and Diversity

I posted an article called “Cheerios, the Church, and Diversity” reflecting on the racist reactions sparked by a commercial for the popular cereal brand.   Here’s an excerpt from the article originally posted on the RAANetwork blog.


Who would have thought a Cheerios commercial could spark racial rage? A recently released ad for the classic American cereal featured a White mother, a Black father, and an interracial child.

The Commercial and Its Comments

The child asks the mother if she’s sure Cheerios are good for the heart and when the mom replies that they are, the child trots away with a smile.  The father, who is napping on the couch, awakens to a chest full of Cheerios piled near his heart.

To the credit of the advertisers, the ad doesn’t make a big deal about race.  No one  mentions color by name and the scenario isn’t presented in such a way that it highlights the bi-racial child or the different races of the parents.  In all respects, this is a typical Cheerios commercial featuring a typical American family.  The only problem for some is that they aren’t the same color.

The company eventually had to turn off the comments on Youtube where the video had been posted due to obscene and racist comments.  An article on Adweek described some specifics by saying, “And then you have the YouTube comments section, which predictably has devolved into an endless flame war, with references to Nazis, ‘troglodytes’ and ‘racial genocide.'”

The Adweek article goes on to say, ” At what point will an ad like this just seem normal?”

The Increasing Popularity of Interracial Marriage

Their question is a valid once since interracial marriages have been sharply increasing over the last three decades.  According to a Pew Research study released in 2012, “marrying out” has more than doubled since 1980. The executive summary states:

About 15% of all new marriages in the United States in 2010 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another, more than double the share in 1980 (6.7%). Among all newlyweds in 2010, 9% of whites, 17% of blacks, 26% of Hispanics and 28% of Asians married out. Looking at all married couples in 2010, regardless of when they married, the share of intermarriages reached an all-time high of 8.4%. In 1980, that share was just 3.2%.

Read the rest of the post here.

One thought on “Cheerios, the Church, and Diversity

  1. I think it’s hard for a lot of “white” Southerners to accept “black” men could ignore, or confront and move passed, the issue of racial history in the region in choosing a wife. It’s not limited to the American South and I don’t condone close-mindedness, but to try to understand the issue, since apparently there is one, the idea is something like deep down, there is a kind of score settling (in marrying a “white” woman). I understand this is archaic, and that it would not make evolutionary sense for me to, say, marry someone like my dad, but as a Southerner I can tell you it’s still awkward to see “white” women with “black” men, still a feeling they were somehow unable to meet up with the “right” “white” man, and so on. That supermodel who married Seal … I love her. Write about her. I understand people do not love for the sake of example-setting, but she is a good example of … Of what? McCain’s son is perhaps a better example of … Of what? Do you think perhaps it’s best not to talk about it? I mean, a bunch of hillbillies commented on a corporate YouTube video. I’m not feigning genteel. I genuinely wonder if some things aren’t best left unsaid. Hate crimes are prosecuted in the United States, and “inter-racial/ multi-ethnic” marriage is legal.

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