Principled Profit: The Good Business Blog

Musings on the world-wide movement for ethical business, frugal marketing, and how honesty, integrity, and quality combine with deep relationship building to create business success. By the originator of the Ethical Business Pledge campaign and award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First and five other books

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Fascinating article on multiracialism in TV ads

I'm old enough to remember when TV ads were nearly entirely populated with white people. Now, according to this longish Associated Press story, TV is where many Americans actually "meet" people of different colors and ethnicities. Now, according tot he article, it's Society that lags behind Television.

Well, it may be true in some sectors.

But I grew up in New York City and still visit there frequently. Riding the subway or living in the city's diverse neighborhoods, the reality of our multicultural country is all around you (unlike Los Angeles, where my perception is that almost the only people who take the subway are people of color--whites must drive, I guess). I think there's been a huge shift to explore other cultures--maybe not in ways that are all that meaningful, but the isolation breaks down at least a little bit even every time a person from the majority culture eats at an authentic ethnic restaurant--which, in my childhood, usually meant Chinese, and now might be Mexican, Afghani, Indian, Thai, Arabic... That we rub shoulders across cultures at universities, in the workplace, in hospital waiting rooms...and of course, on the Internet.

Yes, there is a class of people who is wealthy and uses their wealth to isolate themselves from the hoi polloi--but that's nothing new--look at the royal courts of Europe in, say, the 17th century.

Oddly enough, I now live in a village with almost no ethnic or racial diversity: Hockanum Village, a small hamlet of about 200 people, nearly all of them descended from Britishers who settled here between 1743 and 1850. As a Jew, I'm exotic here. And though the village name comes from a Native American tongue, I know of no neighbors who claim that ancestry. It is the most welcoming place I've ever lived.


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