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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 (31-40):
krysstizzle
by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Gracias!

Quoting Radarma:

 Do you know what "the wine country" is and refers to?

Answer to your question, plenty.

I emphatically disagree with the perception of some to this partiuclar ad campaign. And like a pp already said, this shows how effed up most of us are when it comes to what the hell "racism" even IS anymore.

Enjoy your post.

Quoting krysstizzle:

How many truly small family famers (which the ad is ostensibly about) do you think could afford a brand new truck like that? 

Quoting Radarma:

 Targeting people who "think they are farmers"?

Jeez, op, you go right on with that rope.


 


talia-mom
by Gold Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Most of the ones I grew up with and still live around my family.


Quoting krysstizzle:

How many truly small family famers (which the ad is ostensibly about) do you think could afford a brand new truck like that? 

Quoting Radarma:

 Targeting people who "think they are farmers"?

Jeez, op, you go right on with that rope.




BoysManDog
by Bronze Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 5:05 PM
1 mom liked this

 No, the issue is that the left is consumed by race.  The issue is that someone watched this commercial and looked for a racial quota.  The issue is that this is how the left sees everything, not just this commercial. 


Quoting krysstizzle:

The issue is that over 70% of people who work on farms are brown. 

I prefer to think of this article and its criticisms of the ad (which are certainly stretching, imo, to say the least) can act as a jumping board for the discussion around farm workers. The ad presents a romanticized vision of a vanishing livlihood.

One of the things that caught my eye (after I thought, where are all the hispanics picking the tomatoes?) is that it was overly romanticizing large scale monocultures. That certainly has its own issues. 

Quoting BoysManDog:

 

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.



 

krysstizzle
by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 5:07 PM

That's the issue you see, then.

The issue I see is the invisibility of millions of people that work the fields and pick the food on our plates. That's not simply racial, that's reality.

Quoting BoysManDog:

 No, the issue is that the left is consumed by race.  The issue is that someone watched this commercial and looked for a racial quota.  The issue is that this is how the left sees everything, not just this commercial. 


Quoting krysstizzle:

The issue is that over 70% of people who work on farms are brown. 

I prefer to think of this article and its criticisms of the ad (which are certainly stretching, imo, to say the least) can act as a jumping board for the discussion around farm workers. The ad presents a romanticized vision of a vanishing livlihood.

One of the things that caught my eye (after I thought, where are all the hispanics picking the tomatoes?) is that it was overly romanticizing large scale monocultures. That certainly has its own issues. 

Quoting BoysManDog:


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.





smalltowngal
by Platinum Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 5:09 PM


That ad wasnt aimed at farmers. That ad was to make all the baby boomers feel sentimental about their parents, grandparents, neighbors, etc.  Look at how many people said that commercial made them cry because it reminded them of someone they hold dear. 

Quoting krysstizzle:

How many truly small family famers (which the ad is ostensibly about) do you think could afford a brand new truck like that? 

Quoting Radarma:

 Targeting people who "think they are farmers"?

Jeez, op, you go right on with that rope.




krysstizzle
by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 5:14 PM

That was my point. Apparently saying the aid was created for nostalgia and aimed at people that aren't farmers was incredibly wrong in Radarma's view. *shrug* I thought it was pretty clear who the ad was aimed at.

Quoting smalltowngal:


That ad wasnt aimed at farmers. That ad was to make all the baby boomers feel sentimental about their parents, grandparents, neighbors, etc.  Look at how many people said that commercial made them cry because it reminded them of someone they hold dear. 

Quoting krysstizzle:

How many truly small family famers (which the ad is ostensibly about) do you think could afford a brand new truck like that? 

Quoting Radarma:

 Targeting people who "think they are farmers"?

Jeez, op, you go right on with that rope.





BoysManDog
by Bronze Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 6:30 PM

 Invisible?  Are you kidding?  What country do you live in?  Because here in USA where I live, I can't go a day without hearing about the plight of the illegal undocumented without status soon-to-be-citizens from across the border. 

And if you are concerned that illegals come here to pick our food, perhaps you should also be concerned that the left has created, through the entitlement society, entire generations of people (minorities themselves) who would rather take government handouts than work in those fields even though they are themselves as unskilled.  Until we change that, people will always come here for those jobs because, as much as you might not like it, those jobs are better than what they have in their own countries, and we have too many people who CHOOSE not to work. 

Quoting krysstizzle:

That's the issue you see, then.

The issue I see is the invisibility of millions of people that work the fields and pick the food on our plates. That's not simply racial, that's reality.

Quoting BoysManDog:

 No, the issue is that the left is consumed by race.  The issue is that someone watched this commercial and looked for a racial quota.  The issue is that this is how the left sees everything, not just this commercial. 

 

smalltowngal
by Platinum Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 6:33 PM


The commercial wasn't really about the present though.It was more about the past. Paul Harvey made that speech in 1978. There were a lot of black and white photos mixed in. It was about nostalgia. The Midwest doesn't have a lot going for us and it's wrong to take away one of the few things we have. The rest of the US usually just ignores us except for election time. Ask anyone what they think of when it comes to states like Iowa or Kansas. Now think of something else besides corn fields. :)

Quoting krysstizzle:

That's the issue you see, then.

The issue I see is the invisibility of millions of people that work the fields and pick the food on our plates. That's not simply racial, that's reality.

Quoting BoysManDog:

 No, the issue is that the left is consumed by race.  The issue is that someone watched this commercial and looked for a racial quota.  The issue is that this is how the left sees everything, not just this commercial. 


Quoting krysstizzle:

The issue is that over 70% of people who work on farms are brown. 

I prefer to think of this article and its criticisms of the ad (which are certainly stretching, imo, to say the least) can act as a jumping board for the discussion around farm workers. The ad presents a romanticized vision of a vanishing livlihood.

One of the things that caught my eye (after I thought, where are all the hispanics picking the tomatoes?) is that it was overly romanticizing large scale monocultures. That certainly has its own issues. 







krysstizzle
by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Your second paragraph is a tangent I'm just not in the mood to wander off on. 

There are very few Americans that know about the day to day existence and working conditions of immigrant farm workers. Many of them are not illegal, they have worker visas, fyi.

Quoting BoysManDog:

 Invisible?  Are you kidding?  What country do you live in?  Because here in USA where I live, I can't go a day without hearing about the plight of the illegal undocumented without status soon-to-be-citizens from across the border. 

And if you are concerned that illegals come here to pick our food, perhaps you should also be concerned that the left has created, through the entitlement society, entire generations of people (minorities themselves) who would rather take government handouts than work in those fields even though they are themselves as unskilled.  Until we change that, people will always come here for those jobs because, as much as you might not like it, those jobs are better than what they have in their own countries, and we have too many people who CHOOSE not to work. 

Quoting krysstizzle:

That's the issue you see, then.

The issue I see is the invisibility of millions of people that work the fields and pick the food on our plates. That's not simply racial, that's reality.

Quoting BoysManDog:

 No, the issue is that the left is consumed by race.  The issue is that someone watched this commercial and looked for a racial quota.  The issue is that this is how the left sees everything, not just this commercial. 



BoysManDog
by Bronze Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 6:55 PM
And here is how the government treats small-family farms.  TWO farms will go under, and what about all the "brown" workers?  Oh, well... What difference does it make it at this point?
 
 
RAW DEAL

In December, I wrote for NRO about how the federal government was killing a small, environmentally friendly oyster farm in California.

It was a sad tale of government abuse: The Lunny family had invested everything they had in the farm, and they'd been successful with it. But the Interior Department, the National Park Service, and several environmental groups wanted to see the land the oyster farm was leasing turned into a wilderness area. They were willing to do whatever it took: They used deceptive science to justify the land grab. When the law became inconvenient, they simply ignored it.

And they've gotten away with it.

Yesterday, a federal judge ruled against Drakes Bay Oyster Co. It also denied an injunction that would have let the Lunny family continue to operate until they exhausted their appeal options.

It was never really a fair fight. The federal government threw millions of taxpayer dollars into its legal assault on the oyster farm. The Lunny family, which was simply trying not to go bankrupt, couldn't afford to fight back. They were represented pro bono by Cause of Action, a government-accountability group that stepped up when it heard about their plight.

It was David fighting Goliath, and this time, Goliath won. The ruling essentially ruins the Lunny family. They'll have to kill off their inventory of baby oysters, valued at nearly $5 million. They'll be left with a $300,000 loan and no way to repay it. They'll almost certainly have to declare bankruptcy. And they'll lose their multi-generational cattle farm, which they used as collateral to clean and restore the land for the oyster company.

The ruling is also bad news for their 31 full-time employees, who will all lose their jobs. Fifteen had homes on the farm. Like the Lunny family, they now have less than a month to find a new place to live.

Kevin Lunny, the patriarch and owner, said it best in December: "It will completely destroy us." That's your federal government at work.

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