A moment of humilation
Leave it in the ring
I've been getting e-mails lauding Michael Steele's latest commercial.
People are calling it clever and I just shake my head.
Clearly, the ad is designed to appeal to white voters. And of course the people commenting on the ad tend to be white.
What they don't see is how Steele uses his hands. In most ads by black pols, they are very caretul to limit their movements. Why? Because of clowning. The way Steele moves his hands is reminicent of someone dancing and that makes black people angry because of sterotypes.
Now, Steele needs to convince whites he's not going to harm them, but his ad agency's approach indicates that the people who did it weren't black. Here's why: in one section, Steele is crouching and moving his hands, and that looks like he's about to dance.
Maybe the first two or three times it won't grate, but after a while, people are going to ask why is he tomming for the camera. Well, black people will. What may seem cute to white viewers may be seen as insulting to blacks.
Why does that matter? After all, white politicians have ignored black voters for years.
Well, Steele isn't white.
Steele has to be able to go into black audiences and be respected. All it takes is one moment of humiliation, one snub on camera, and his campaign his damaged. A moment of humiliation can define a black conservative as nothing else can.
When Clarence Thomas was invited to speak before a Maryland junior high school, half the parents demanded the invitation be withdrawn and many did not have their children show up. The disrespect was palatable and open.
Alan Keyes was spit on and attacked when he marched in a parade in Chicago.
JC Watts' father said black people voting for Republicans is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.
Once you have a moment of humiliation, you are defined.
If people think Steele is clowing for a white audience, then he will have a moment of humiliation before a black audience.
posted by Steve @ 12:58:00 AM