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The Whitewashing of the American Farmer *superbowl commercial*

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This should be a good one ;)


The Whitewashing of the American Farmer: Dodge Ram Super Bowl Ad Edition



Maybe God did make farmers, but why'd Dodge only show us the white ones?


Dodge Ram turned heads with its high-production value remake of a Farms.com YouTube video, featuring conservative radio broadcaster Paul Harvey's voice laid over beautiful photographs of Americans farmers. 

The arresting images combined with the crackle of what everyone immediately recognizes as old audio made everyone at our Super Bowl party stop and watch. Dodge, I'm sure, had good demographic analysis of their audience, so they knew they could go godly with the message and encounter little backlash. So God made a farmer, and also the advertising agencies who will use him to sell trucks. Quibbles aside, I'd rather have this kind of Americana than GoDaddy's bizarre antics. 

But there's a problem. The ad paints a portrait of the American agricultural workforce that is horribly skewed. In Dodge's world, almost every farmer is a white Caucasian. And that's about as realistic as a Thomas Kincade painting. 

Stipulating that visual inspection is a rough measure for the complex genealogical histories of people, I decided to count the race and ethnicity of the people in Dodge's ad. Here's what I found: 15 white people, one black man, and two (maybe three?) Latinos.

I couldn't help but wonder: Where are all the campesinos? The ethnic mix Dodge chose to represent American farming is flat-out wrong.

It's true that whites are the managers of 96 percent of the nation's farms, according to the USDA's 2007 Census of Agriculture. But the agricultural workforce is overwhelmingly Mexican with some workers from Central America thrown in. The Department of Labor's National Agriculture Worker Survey has found that over the last decade, around 70 percent of farmworkers in America were born in Mexico, most in a few states along the Pacific coast. This should not be news. Everyone knows this is how farms are run. 

And yet when a company decided to pay homage to the people who grow our food, they left out the people who do much of the labor, particularly on the big farms that continue to power the food system. You want to tell a grand story about the glories of working the land? You want to celebrate the people who grow food? You want to expound on the positive 'merican qualities that agricultural work develops in people? Great! What a nice, nostalgic idea!

Now, did God make Mexican farmworkers or only white farmers? Is the strength and toughness that comes from hard work God's gift to white people only? 

To borrow Ta-Nehisi Coates' phrase, the way this ad whitewashed American farming leaves Mexican farmworkers and their children "excluded from the process of patriotism," even though many identify as American. Almost 75 percent of foreign-born cropworkers have been in the states for more than five years. Hell, more than half of the farmworkers surveyed by the Department of Labor have been in the U.S. for more than ten years. These are members of American communities and prospective citizens. 

Contrast the advertisement with what you get from Lisa Hamilton's Real Rural project, which documented the lives of people living on California's farms and in its small towns. It's a better portrait of reality, though no less stirring, as you can see in the portrait below.

Obviously, a Dodge ad isn't on the level of the government's deportation programs or the long-time cognitive dissonance of American immigration policies. But it's the kind of cultural substrate in which our laws and prejudices grow. 
bart-slide-01.jpg
by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:09 PM
Replies (11-20):
ethans_momma06
by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:20 PM
4 moms liked this


Again though, farmers are the ones who own the farm. NOT the workers. Workers are 'farm hands' or another job title.

It really is interesting to me, that people cannot bear that white people be shown as the majority EVEN in a field where they ARE the majority! When it comes to racial issues... we as a society are totally effed.

Quoting krysstizzle:

96% is the number that are owners. The majority of workers are not white. 

And yeah, everyone except for like 3 people were white. 

Quoting ethans_momma06:

Soooooo

In an ad that shows a job (farmer) that has a 96% "white" demographic (article stats) they used a majority of white people - and that's a problem?

It's not for a second like everyone in the commerical was white.




krysstizzle
by DeepThought on Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:20 PM
2 moms liked this

He really does have a wonderful voice. 

Quoting sherry132:

Because my life is too short to care. I didn't even notice the people or the trucks in the add, I was listening to Paul Harvey. 


ethans_momma06
by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:21 PM
3 moms liked this

Laugh all you want.

Farmers vs. the people working for farmers, are not the same thing. This ad, was not geared towards people simply "working on a farm".


Quoting krysstizzle:

lol

Quoting ethans_momma06:

And, they would be called 'farm hands' or such, not 'farmer'.


Quoting krysstizzle:

Even small farmers typically employ immigrant workers. 

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

I think the ad was more about family run farms where they work the land themselves.

It wasn't about corporate run slave lands with immigrant workers...







Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:22 PM
3 moms liked this
Maybe on the pacific coast like this article suggests but I can tell you that's not the case in the midwest. My dad has always ran his farm on his own (with family help).

Same goes for all the family run farms in and around my hometown. Family owned and family ran.


Quoting krysstizzle:

Even small farmers typically employ immigrant workers. 

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

I think the ad was more about family run farms where they work the land themselves.



It wasn't about corporate run slave lands with immigrant workers...


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krysstizzle
by DeepThought on Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:23 PM

I'll be back! Have to do a meeting right quick (I'm not posting and running, promise!)

stormcris
by Christy on Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Had to come back and add something that occurred to me...

The idea that 96% are white is interesting considering that now all urban homesteads are considered farms under the current laws. I am curious as to what "farms" they are taking into that 96%....only corporate farms? I also wonder considering that GA and other places employees prisoners to pick fields if they should have been shown in an ad where they are unable to purchase the product.

smalltowngal
by Platinum Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:28 PM
1 mom liked this

I live in a small farming town. It's 92.5% white only. Some of the larger, family farms might bring in migrant workers for 3 months of the year but the majority don't. My next door neighbor doesn't. Actually, there are a lot of hs kids that work on farms around here. The majority of that commercial looked like it showed northern crops like corn and wheat. You don't usually hire migrant workers for those crops. Everything is done by machine. The only people that really bring in migrants workers are those that grow things like tomatoes, cucumbers or cabbage.  

Quoting krysstizzle:

96% is the number that are owners. The majority of workers are not white. 

And yeah, everyone except for like 3 people were white. 

Quoting ethans_momma06:

Soooooo

In an ad that shows a job (farmer) that has a 96% "white" demographic (article stats) they used a majority of white people - and that's a problem?

It's not for a second like everyone in the commerical was white.




BoysManDog
by Bronze Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:34 PM
5 moms liked this

 

Really?  THIS is what we have become?  Hey, I didn't see a single white person in the half-time show.  Should I complain about that?  I don't see any white people in the BET awards.  What the hell is that about?  I don't see a lot of white guys on basketball teams.  Racism, for sure.  I see commercials on tv that have only, yes ONLY hispanic people in them.  This should not be allowed.  White people, after all, use soap, too.  Racists.

Can ANYONE on the left watch, see, experience ANYTHING without injecting race into it and, therefore, separating Americans in the process?  This thinking is noxious and destructive.  We can see this now with the "immigration debate."  If a person is against ILLEGAL immigration, he is automatically a "racist," and we cannot even have a sane conversation about this anymore.  What other country in the world has open borders where folks can just walk in and become citizens?  Where the LAW ABIDING people who live in that country are treated like the criminals for suggesting that laws be enforced?  Yeah, keep counting the colors in commercials, leftists. 

Anyway, to borrow a new favorite phrase, "what difference does it make?"  When the left has its way, the death tax will also put the nail in the coffin for many family farms, and those nasty white guys won't have their farms or need anymore government-motors trucks.  Mission accomplished, libs.

Radarma
by "OneDar" on Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:36 PM
4 moms liked this

 Do migrant workers buy $50,000+ work trucks?

They are, after all, selling a product.

Hey op, you know what else I noticed during our superbowl? Lemme tell you what I noticed...the representation of black people was abundant. From the field, to the newscasters, to the performers, to the majority of commercial breaks starting with a spot that featured AA people in the lead roles.

For all we hear, here on this very board, about "how hard it IS to be a minority in America, and how most of us just need to 'walk a mile in their shoes'...." don't you find the abundant representation a wonderful indication of what MSM and the heart of America is **really** about? That, of course, not being to "keep the black man down" mindset.

I found that interesting, and reassuring, despite the many attempts here to show how racist and systemically oppressive the majority is.

But yeah, back to your bash the white farmer ad campaign. :/

krysstizzle
by DeepThought on Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Ha, meeting cancelled! 

Anyway, back to topic. 

I actually don't entirely buy the issue that this article brings up, first and foremost. I think Dodge's intent is to sell vehicles, which they're trying to do throught sentiment and nostaligia of a way of life that is falling to the wayside (unfortunately, imo). So of course their demographic is not going to be migrant farmers, who make up the majority of people working on farms in the U.S. by quite a bit (70% or so), or even actual small family farmers. They're targeting people (probably white) who think they're farmers. Or would like to be. 

So I do find the article criticizing the ad in and of itself a bit of a stretch. I mean, who's surprised by marketing strategies these days?

I do think a good point was brought up, though. Farm workers are overwhelmingly brown and almost an entirely overlooked group. 

Also wanted to add, while I'm sure most family run farms in the mid-west are both overwhelmingly white owned and worked, it's definitely regional. In New Mexico, most small farmers are Hispanic or NA, both owners and workers. I think place and size both affect demographic.

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Maybe on the pacific coast like this article suggests but I can tell you that's not the case in the midwest. My dad has always ran his farm on his own (with family help).

Same goes for all the family run farms in and around my hometown. Family owned and family ran.


Quoting krysstizzle:

Even small farmers typically employ immigrant workers. 

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

I think the ad was more about family run farms where they work the land themselves.



It wasn't about corporate run slave lands with immigrant workers...



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