Believe It Or Not: Interracial Families are Normal!

I stopped in my tracks when I noticed the beautiful little girl in the new Cheerios commercial. I thought to myself “aww, isn’t she cute.” Then I noticed the white woman in the commercial, and I turned up the sound on my TV. Is that her mom? I wondered… then it all made sense when they flashed to the sleeping Black dad on the couch covered in Cheerios. I hit the switch on my DVR so that I could watch the entire commercial again. I started clapping, so pumped to see such an adorable and positive depiction of an interracial family on my television.

Here is the video if you haven’t seen it:

We regularly give Cheerios to the boys as a snack between meals, and my husband enjoys various iterations of Cheerios for breakfast. I’m not a big fan of cereal beyond oatmeal, but I’ll tell you what: This will always be a Cheerios house now.

So when I woke up this morning and thought I’d go find it to share on this blog and also my Facebook page, I was surprised and disappointed to find all of this crazy controversy surrounding the commercial! They have disabled the comments on the youtube link for the commercial because there have been so many racist and negative comments about it! Really? Really???

Interestingly, I’m not angry or sad that there was such a harsh reaction. Really, I can’t help but chuckle. In this day and age, with a bi-racial president and a lot of very famous celebrities of multi-racial heritage, one really must wonder what rock people are living under. Why is it a surprise that there are couples out there who are of different races? That those couples are capable of creating children? That those children would be eating Cheerios and encouraging their parents to do the same?

I do think that it is interesting that there are some people who are actively wondering if there is some sort of “interracial agenda.” That there are people who think that we are “shoving” multiculturalism “down people’s throats.” While it is true that I’ve seen progressively more people of color and even integrated groups of friends and families in television shows and commercials, there aren’t always a lot of Black/White interracial couples on television (let alone with obviously bi-racial children). Certainly none of the commercials give the message “YOU MUST LIKE US. WE’RE EVERYWHERE!!!” Though, I mean, we are. And, I mean, you should. We’re pretty cool people, you know!

But let’s say for a second that there is an agenda. That, for some reason, a mastermind of marketing has actively decided to bring multiculturalism into every home. Why is that a bad thing? Why is it bad to view the world as it is, with families of multiple colors participating in normal activities? That there are people who choose to live integrated lives? That people choose to love a person for so much more than the color of their skin or their cultural background?

Why is it so bad to see multi-racial families as perfectly freaking normally? What do you expect us to be doing?

I’m not aiming this post at White people, because it’s well documented that Black folk still have a crazy huge problem with interracial marriages, too. Indeed, I’m still angry at a major publication for unabashedly posting bullshit and propaganda about interracial relationships in the name of garnering views and readership. I know that there is still a subsection of society that has a problem with seeing me, my All-American White Boy husband and my sweet little bi-racial boys. I’m grateful that only a small amount of people have chosen to personally speak to us about it, but you’d think that people would get over themselves by now.

So I’m grateful that Cheerios decided to put out a positive image of families like mine. Thank you for choosing to go against the grain and normalize families that may be rare but certainly deserve the dignity of recognition. Every family in America deserves the opportunity to be spoken to. Some families have had the privilege of being the sole example of “perfection” for a very long time–I’m grateful for the opportunity to get a little of that spotlight.

So thank you, General Mills and Cheerios. Thank you to the marketing team that created that ad. Thank you for decided that give my family the dignity of recognition. Thank you for giving us a much deserved “commercial legitimacy.” Thank you for choosing not to yank the ad despite the multiple disparaging comments. My husband, sons and I are grateful.

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Believe It Or Not: Interracial Families are Normal!

  1. Racism would disappear if people weren’t desperate or starving-it’s just the symptom of fear not the cause. I’m so damn white that I glow in the dark, and my ‘race’ both shames and impresses me. I have learned that ignorance has no color; but it has a direct correlation with, and interdependency on, said fear. Fix suffering and uncertainty, eliminate fear. Cultivate unity. Not necessarily in that order.

    And what does it say about the people protesting this commercial, who don’t find odd, all the commercials with humans sexually attracted to animals and objects? Those freak me the h*ll out.

    I can’t eat cheerios anymore, They give me migraines. This makes me sadder than people who hate breakfast cereal.

    • Why do I have a feeling that you are going to be among my favorite readers? 🙂

      Racism is stupid and yet it seems to make the world go ’round. This particular “controversy” really WAS surprising. Who can possibly get mad at this little girl and this adorable family??

      Multiculturalism is here to stay, ya’ll! I’m so glad to see commercials like this!

      • haha thanks!

        what’s weird is that there are plenty of multiracial commercials on tv-have been for some time. why this one? why now? i think somebody’s got a stick up their tea party.

  2. I may be being a little cynical, but do you get the feeling that ‘cheerios’ are just cashing in as well? The mixed race family have been around for aeons and, yes, they finally have the recognition of being normal, but you won’t get ‘cheerios’ using an indian family. We’re normal too. Been around for a while as well. But all you’ll get are a load of ‘apus’ or at best, a doctor in a white coat. The media still have a long way to go! Just saying… :0)

    • I do believe that Cheerios benefited from the controversy, but I’m actually not convinced that they sought to garner this kind of press. I don’t think that anyone would have anticipated the reaction that this ad got. And, as it has been pointed out, there have been multi-racial families in ads before. That being said,

      I do agree with you that there are other cultures that have not been featured in “normal” ways–Indian families being one such group, which makes me incredibly sad because I think that Indian families bring a lot to our country, our communities and our culture. The way that our media chooses to portray “other” communities is frustrating and backwards. That’s why when I see positive portrayals like this, I stop to applaud it. They’ll only continue to “push the envelope” if we, as consumers, encourage them to do so.

  3. Racism is everywhere and I am afraid it always will be. There simply are too many people who have no intention to ‘get over themselves’. I’ve raised two girls between two cultures and two religions. It was more than just a bumpy ride :-(.

  4. Hey, I like Your blog 🙂
    I live in Germany, but I spent one year as a foreign exchange student living in the US (back in the 90s). My host family was white. One day I was talking to my hostfather’s father and he was voicing opinions about interracial couples. I did not want to be impolite, so I did not say anything, being a guest in his home and thought, old people sometimes are like that. But later when I discussed this with my host father, I was very surprised to learn that he agreed with his dad. (His best friend was black, so I was expecting him to be somewhat more openminded…) So, I am not really surprised that there still are a lot of rocks lying around nowadays. (I wasn’t even staying in the south…)

    • Thanks for stopping by! Thank you, also, for choosing to spend some of your time here in The States! I’m also surprised about that conversation. I want to be optimistic and say “well, that was the ’90s, so it was different,” but I know in my heart that that is simply not true. The taboo around racial mixing, I think, will be persistent for a long time. I hope, however, as the taboo fades, that people will stop, look around, and realize just how beautiful the world is when we choose to integrate at the most micro of levels: the nuclear family.

      I hope that you like my blog enough to return again soon! I love being able to discuss with folks around the world! I think that your perspective would be ESPECIALLY interesting to know!!! Thank you for taking the time to stop by!

  5. This kind of thing always amazes me. Have we really not moved past this kind of thing by now? Are we really still this unabashedly prejudiced?

    Apparently so, and that’s pretty depressing. Where I’m from (Nova Scotia) I haven’t personally experienced many racial issues, but I’ve noticed this kind of attitude when it comes to religion. The province is overwhelmingly Christian and there are a lot of strong attitudes. I personally had several morons chastise me for having a legal wedding (my husband and I are atheist) and one particularly idiotic fellow told me that my daughter is going to go to hell because I never had her baptized. I’ve also known multi-cultural couples who were looked down upon because “You should have forced him to convert before you married him!” and couples who were treated as though they have mental problems because they taught their children about more than one religion.

    It’s something that will always flabbergast me, this need people have to judge each other’s lives. Do I tell you how to live? No? Then bugger off out of my life!

    Back on topic, good for Cheerios for representing a beautiful family for exactly what it is…a beautiful family and nothing more or less!

    • This is very interesting–because I feel like religious mixing doesn’t come with the same sense of taboo here in America like racial mixing does. I’m sad that people would have the audacity to say such things to you. As much as my husband and I don’t go looking for trouble, there are very few instances where someone has had the balls to come up to us and say something.

      I think that we as a species believe in loyalty and solidarity in ways that are deeper than we care to admit to. We like same: Same foods, same drinks, same hair style, same outfits…everything the same. It makes us feel safe. Breaking out the mold in any way feels radical and scary, and when we’re scared, we lash out.

      That doesn’t excuse stupid behavior, obviously…

      I’m so glad that you are here and commenting on my stuff! Thanks for choosing to contribute to my little community!

      • Oh yes, I definitely agree. Humans are a very funny species that way. We’re all about advancement and exploration in some ways, but in other ways we’re scared to death of change or anything different.

        I do understand that fear…it’s ingrained in us instinctually as a means of survival. But you would think that as a society, in all the ways we’ve advanced, that we would have moved past such things as skin color and spiritual beliefs.

        As for the guy who told me my daughter would go to hell…I asked him how he thought that was supposed to scare me when I don’t BELIEVE in hell. You can be sure that set him off!

        (For the record, I don’t go looking for trouble either, but sometimes people question me on certain things and I refuse to lie just to avoid a confrontation).

        I’m glad to be here, by the way! I love connecting with like-minded people…it happens so rarely!

  6. I saw the commercial and I thought “Awwwww!” Of course, I thought the same thing when I saw that oh so adorable JC Penny ad with the two dads and their lil one.

    I remember when I started dating my last beau, and he asked me when he was going to meet my extended family and I had to say “never” because they were racist (he’s biracial) and I felt like such a jerk. Fortunately, I had the old chestnut “They are old…and Catholic” and that seemed to be some kind of Band-Aid.

    Families are families, let’s enjoy them. My single parent family was likely considered taboo 50 years ago. Let’s just enjoy that people in this world love each other and good for Cheerios for showing a normal family.

  7. We are one very white family but I too am grateful. I do not want my son to grow up thinking that everyone looks like him. I love that the two elementary schools he has attended so far (and he’s only 7) have both been filled with kids of all different backgrounds. I love that if I ask him for a description of one of his classmates to figure out who he’s talking about the color of their skin is never the first thing he mentions and if it is mentioned it’s only because it helps his physical description. I know my son is only young but I hope he carries this approach throughout his life because I know it will benefit him by allowing him to make decisions about people based on things that matter.

Thank you for contributing to the discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s