Do you ever notice there are people who just WANT to be offended? Like they're waiting for someone to say anything (even the most benign comment) so that they can go off on them? I guess this is nothing new. It's why we have the phrase "a chip on your shoulder."
I knew a girl like this in elementary school. In fact, she made us all so nervous that we were going to say something wrong that I don't even know how to write the story without possibly offending her. So I'll just put it like this: we couldn't even say the color of a shirt if it was the same color as her skin without her saying, "You talking about me? You got a problem with ME?"
I feel like that girl represents all the people who are offended by the VW Superbowl ad. Take a look if you haven't seen it yet:
So this "ad expert" was on The Today Show and she said the spot was "so racist." I just don't see that at all. I think it's a stretch to say that anyone could be offended. The expert also said the guy in the ad was "talking black" which sounds more potentially offensive to me than the ad itself.
Here's why I don't think it's offensive: The happy guy is talking in a Jamaican accent. He's happy. He's got the island mentality. So VW is saying people who live in Jamaica are happy. They're positive. They look on the bright side of things. And Jamaican people should be offended?
Let's say they had the guy doing a German accent (which might actually make more sense). And he was still happy but he was drinking beer and polka dancing. Then is it racist?
How about Italians? They're happy, living the dolce vita, right? So what if the happy guy had an Italian accent and drank wine and ate pasta? Is VW still offending people?
So those of you who are offended, ask yourself two questions:
1. If I apply this to other groups, is it still offensive?
2. Am I REALLY offended? Or do I just think I'm supposed to be offended?
Okay, that's three questions. And if you're still offended then I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. If you choose to get vocal about your angst towards the ad, though, you know who will thank you? The folks at VW who just sold a bunch more cars.