“We’re nice to everyone Maddie, cheapest but that doesn’t mean we have to be friends with them.” This was a saying my mother often told me during my childhood. Although I didn’t quite understand the meaning behind it at first, malady as I got older, visit this site I quickly caught on to what she was inferring.
I grew up in Dalton, Georgia; a super small conservative town you all have probably never heard of. I had friends of all races, and never once did I consider the possibility of someone being judged by something as trivial as their skin color. When I was in fourth grade, I moved schools. It was scary because I didn’t know anyone, but I quickly became best friends with a girl named, Ivett. Ivett and I called each other every night, and everyday we would share our lunches. One day she had asked me to stay the night at her house over the weekend. I remember being so excited to run home and ask my mom; I just knew she would say yes because she had let me stay with all of my other friends frequently. However, when I had asked her, she immediately said no before I could even finish my sentence. I was crushed; I cried and pleaded to at least hang out with her for a day, but she said no to that as well. When I asked her why, she simply replied, “…because she’s Hispanic Maddie.” I was baffled. Who knew the color of one’s skin was so important to some people? I had finally understood the inference behind my mother’s saying.
Since President Trump has been elected, my heart is constantly heavy; it seems as if every “closet racist” has come out of hiding. In February, a white supremacy couple from Douglasville, GA was sentenced to 13 years in prison for shouting racial slurs at a black child’s birthday party ( http://nypost.com/2017/02/28/couple-gets-prison-for-terrorizing-black-childs-birthday-party/ ). This is a prime example of how Trump’s election has provoked others to use racial, demeaning terms and actions towards others. How could we go from such a caring and well-respected president, to a man who refers to women as “nasty” and immigrants as “rapists and drug lords”? This man is supposed to be a reflection of our country and who we are as Americans. The goal for us should be to move forward, yet it seems we’re only going backwards.
I grew up in a Southern-Baptist church were everything was by the book. The second commandment of the Great Commandment states, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Many Trump supporters are indeed Christians but are also the main ones spewing hate towards anyone who is slightly different them. If you ask me, that is the complete opposite of “loving thy neighbour as thyself.” Now, I am not saying every Christian that supports Trump is a racist because that is not true, but I have come into contact with many fellow Christians that encourage discrimination towards others. We are told to live through the image of God, and incorporate him into our everyday lives. Yes, we are human, and we do sin, but would God want us to discriminate against his own creations?
Within the first few months of this year, I found out very quickly racism does continue to live in this world. It seems like every time I log onto social media, or turn on the news, some sort of racial occurrence has taken place. No matter how long I’ve tried to deny it, and see the good in others, it is still alive and flourishing throughout our nation, our community, and our neighbors. Racism has even taken a toll on my own family as well. I am the only one in my family who isn’t a Trump supporter, which has repetitively led to arguments. During the election, my mother even threatened to kick me out of the house if I did not vote for him. In addition to that, her and my grandmother often use terms such as “Build that Wall” and “MAGA” while my boyfriend (who is Mexican-American) is present! My grandmother has also asked him if he has a green card or visa, when she has been reminded many times that he was born in Nevada. My family has been very quick to make assumptions about him, solely because of his skin color and heritage.
Whether we choose to partake in the actions of our president is on our own, but we also have the choice to stand up, and be the voice of this nation. All it took was one man turn our country into turmoil, but it’s going to take all of us to bring it back in the right direction. We have to come together, fight for equality, and the restore the very thing that makes America special, our diversity.
Written by Maddie Knight
Twitter and Instagram: @maddieknight20
Like a lot of people, click I’m guilty of waking up and checking my socials.
Today was no different; however the topic on everybody’s mind was Pepsi – namely their brand new ad staring celebrity model Kendall Jenner.
The ad starts with the second youngest of the Kardashian/Jenner clan doing her thing – modelling. Whilst the photo shoot fans are blowing on high and the photographers flash is going crazy we see a rainbow of protesters walking by – black, ambulance white, viagra sale female, gay, Muslim…. every demographic that springs to mind was covered.
Now as this rainbow army marches by, the star of the ad, Kendall comes to a realisation whipping off her blonde wig- purposely smearing her lipstick off in the process and in essence frees the realness to join the protestors.
Like all good commercials everybody was laughing, joking and feeling the photoshopped love and Kendall was straight in on the action. Up until this point I was neither wowed nor offended by Pepsi’s efforts to create awareness of their drink but things quickly go down from there.
Initially, I wasn’t too sure what comical, tear jerking or legendary moment Pepsi were going to try to recreate to further propel their brand and so I leaned in to try and anticipate what comes next.
Unfortunately, like the drink… it wasn’t to my taste.
Shockingly, Pepsi had elected to use the current narrative of police brutality as a gimmick for pushing their drink.
The Ad ends with Kendall offering the icy beverage to an officer in the line-up, magically diffusing the tension between protester and police once the officer takes a sip of the drink.
Out of context, this advert is not offensive or insensitive. However, taking into consideration the excruciatingly well documented cases of police brutality, rioting and protesting surrounding discrimination- and in particular racism- over the last few years, it’s no secret that a can of Pepsi is not capable of amending the injustice felt by millions of people of colour from those that are meant to ‘protect and serve’.
I have no personal issue with Kendall Jenner, unfortunately she elected to be the face of a tone-deaf ad, that makes light of the struggles that minorities in the US and Europe face on a daily basis.
America’s history of police brutality is no secret. From the Selma to Montgomery Marches in 1965 through to the riots of Charlotte in 2016, people of colour have always used protest as a powerful tool to showcase and amplify those suffering at the hands of the law.
Taking a platform which is used to highlight the plight of an entire people and reducing it to a marketing strategy laughs in the face of those whose only hope of true liberty is born of having a unified voice and a right to an opinion through protest.
On behalf of those of us that don’t get to make light of the pain and suffering experienced, and that are STILL facing discrimination over their culture, ethnicity, struggle, sexual orientation, gender, class or religion I only have one thing to say to PepsiCo and its in house creative team, and it’s this:
DO NOT USE MY STRUGGLE AS A MARKETING STRATEGY. IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT POLICE BRUTALITY, DO SO IN A WAY THAT MOVES THE CONVERSATION FORWARD AND NOT WATERS DOWN OR BELITTLE THE EFFORTS OF GENERATIONS DEDICATED TO PROGRESSION.
Written by Natasha Kamanga