If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble. ~Bob Hope

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The fine line between demographics and stereotypes

So, I happened to finally go through some of my coupon mail today. Not like the junk that comes from ValPak but the onslaught of coupons which come as a result of my grocery store stalking me.

Now, I am not one to have a hair trigger sensitivity about things but I couldn't help but notice the one set of coupons. In case you weren't aware, this month is Black History Month. This particular store put out a mini mag for the month complete with obligatory MLK picture.

I never really read the articles or whatever but I couldn't  not notice the coupons..chicken, ribs, Aunt Jemima, hot sauce, relaxer. So, I get it it's Black History Month and you want me to be aware that MLK sacrificed his life so that we could all pretend Patti LaBelle actually spends time in her kitchen making gazpacho and saute. (I doubt it.)

The thing about demographics is that this little mag is coming here and somewhere there is complete analysis of this zip code, this address that would indicate that there is a very slim chance anyone here needs relaxer. I wonder if they got this same flyer in the 17 or 08 zips. I guess I am sensitive to that here in the two-nine because in the demographic file I mentioned it probably indicates that I am an uppity white girl with a penchant for Starbucks and Pilates. It is offensive on some level that the coupons offered in this flyer are stereotypically racist to an extent. It's like a Mother's Day flyer with discounts on Midol and Pamprin or a NASCAR themed flyer of half off Moon Pies.

I guess, it is just very shocking to me that a large chain store could get away with something as early 60s as advertising like that.

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