Friday, August 28, 2009

Power to the (White) people!

This is something funny that's been going around the Internet. Apparently Microsoft had run an ad about empowering company workers with the tools they need, and in the US version they had an Asian guy, a Black guy, and a White woman, but in the Polish version of the same ad, the Black guy was photoshopped out and "replaced" with a White guy.

Just how many Microsoft marketing execs does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 

I'm tempted to say that this is one of those things that, had it happened in Korea, the K-blog commentariat would be all over to say how it's a sign of how racist Korean society is and how it discriminates against Blacks. And yeah, that maybe true. 

But really, no matter where, this is all kinds of stupid for a major global entity like Microsoft. Or, had they done it, Apple, LG, Samsung, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Applebee's, WalMart, Costco, BP, etc., etc. They should know better. (In all seriousness, I want to point out that the last thing I see MS founder Bill Gates as, it's being a racist. After amassing a country-sized fortune from some questionable business practices in the past, he is taking his money and trying to improve the lives of everyday Africans, something only a handful of people with appropriate means or influence — like Bill Clinton — have really sought to do.)

Sure, they might have thought that, "Well, there aren't many Black people in Poland, so the original ad would have less relevance to local consumers." Fine, but then why keep the Asian dude? And for that matter, why keep the Black guy's hands? Why not just get all-new "models" that would look like a cross-section of the type of people one would expect to find in Poland? 

And while we're at it, if you're going to have the Black/White guy use a Macintosh, keep the freakin' Apple logo in the picture. After all, Macs do use Microsoft products. I've got the "empowering" MS Office running right now, and soon I'll set up Windows XP on the BootCamp side of this new MacBook Pro I got the other day (long story, will tell later, but it's one reason for the relatively light posting as of late).

Anyway, MS has apologized, but if their troubles persist, I suggest MS call LG pronto. LG has the skills and experience needed to turn that White dude back into a black guy pretty quick.


  1. Pretty lame to photoshop him out; would have been better to just use a white guy in the first place, if they were considering it. But it's about as lame as photoshopping black guys in, and I'm not referring to that Onion article. Flip through Time magazine and all the ads make these companies and their customers look like the model UN. You can't have a fictitious workplace in the popular imagination anymore without an old black guy, a young Asian with glasses, a young hipster Asian, an older white woman, a middle-aged white woman in a wheelchair, an Indian, someone with a Muslim headcovering, and of course the most important piece: a young black woman with huge hair. You know, there are still white people in the US, even if we won't be the majority for much longer. When people talk about diversity---god, I hate that concept---I guess they forget that, well, white people come in a bunch of different flavors, too. Forcing "minorities" in is just as ridiculous as taking them out.

  2. I think you left out the last President Bush. He increased foreign U.S. spending in Africa far more than what Congress had called for.

    I just wish our "elected" leaders would put a bit more emphasis about fixing all the domestic problems first with our tax money.

  3. Good point about George W. Bush, John, although I was specifically thinking of private-sector individuals. When I mentioned Clinton, I meant post-presidency Clinton.

    I wonder what Bush43 is going to end up doing with what may be decades of post-presidential life. Carter built houses for the poor, Clinton has his uber-helpful foundation and (along with Bush41) tsunami relief, Ford played golf, etc.

  4. Brian, forcing diversity on a non-diverse population may be lame in many cases, but preparing a population for increasing or looming diversity is not exactly foolish.

    I know a few people in diverse-whether-you-like-it-or-not Orange County would be better off if they would accept it and embrace it instead of railing against it. (Here, too).


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