Racist Super Bowl Ad? Jamaica Embraces Controversial Volkswagen Commercial. Are PC Liberals over sensitive and Race obsessed ?
KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Jamaica is embracing a controversial Super Bowl commercial that depicts a white office worker from the U.S. Midwest feigning the Caribbean island's lilting patois accent to display a cheerful, upbeat outlook.
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. Jamaica's population is predominantly black.
On NBC's "The Today Show," Barbara Lippert, editor-at-large at mediapost.com, said she believed the commercial was racist because it was "just saying that black people are happy." New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow said during an appearance on CNN that the advertisement was like "blackface with voices.
"But the charged reaction has met with puzzlement in Jamaica, which has very visible white, Asian, Middle Eastern and mixed-race minorities that also often speak with the local accent.
The island's government has endorsed the commercial, which shows an ebullient white worker from the U.S. state of Minnesota trying to cheer up glum colleagues with a Jamaican patois accent because he is so happy with his Volkswagen. At the start of the commercial, he paraphrases the lyrics to late reggae icon Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" as he tells his co-workers: "No worries, mon. Everyting will be all right."
See Votes by State