It was only two weeks ago that the Internet was ablaze with backlash over a Cheerios commercial featuring a biracial family, followed by an outpouring of support for the ad. While such topics tend to burn brightly online and disappear just as quickly, photographer Michael David Murphy hopes to make a more lasting impression with his response, a website called "We Are The 15 Percent".
There, Murphy and his wife Alyson West are collecting photos of interracial couples and families to share with the world. "According to the 2008 census, 15% of new marriages are interracial. And yet, it still feels rare to see something like the Cheerios ad represented in mainstream culture," it says on the site's "About" page. Murphy and West aim to change that with this project.
"We're not just reacting to negativity, we're boosting representation, elevating the conversation and hopefully giving context that reaches beyond Madison Avenue. These families exist; we eat breakfast and walk our dogs and love just as hard as families in other cereal commercials," he wrote in email to HuffPost.
The couple behind the site has faced their own share of "sneering" when out in public together. Recently at a park, West was asked if she was her 1-year-old' daughter's babysitter. But most of the time, Murphy says they go unnoticed, "just the way [they] like it."
And enthusiasm surrounding "We Are The 15 Percent" has been overwhelming, Murphy says. They have received hundreds of submissions. "Just like us, [these families] are proud to see representations of their normal. We're glad and grateful we can help produce that, even if it's just one little site on the Internet."