Monday, June 10, 2013

Chipmunks and Cats Should Never Marry

A couple weeks ago I was watching television (which means I was also folding laundry) and I saw this Cheerios commercial:

Cheerios posted the commercial on YouTube and it received so much negative feedback that the comments section was disabled. Just in case you were too lazy to watch the ad (I'm not judging), the negative commenters were in a huff because the little girl's mom is white and her dad is black and the little girl is, well you can see, tan.

I don't want you to think that this is going to be post in which I debate the points of interracial marriage.  That sound controversial and aside from an occasional good-natured dig at Utah, I like to use this blog to build consensus, not create controversy. So, no, like any good, wimpy lawyer, I'm going to attack the negative comments on procedural grounds so that I don't have to reach the merits. Here we go: The interracial marriage ship has already sailed. It is steaming across the ocean as we speak, with a crew that looks like a 1980s Benetton ad. The negative commenters really need to find a cause that hasn't already been played out, like preventing chipmunks from marrying cats or making peanuts illegal. Complaining about interracial marriage in 2013 is like living in 1920 and pining for the horse and buggy or living in 1999 and wishing away the Internet. Our president is biracial. Three out of four of Heidi Klum's kids are biracial. Let's move on.

Earlier this week, when I had all but forgotten about the "controversial" Cheerios ad, a friend from high school posted a link to pictures from the 2013 prom at our alma mater. The school started a tradition that the prom attendees walk a "red carpet" (or, as you'll see a path of red carpet remnants) that is set up in front of the high school. Parents and friends can congregate, take pictures, throw red paint at people wearing fur, whatever. I guess that school administrators and parents thought it was a good alternative to the kids going someplace to drink cheap beer, fuzzy navels, and wine coolers. I was curious about what a high school prom looks like these days, so I scrolled through the pictures of the kids. Almost immediately, I was struck by the diversity of the couples. If you needed more proof that the Cheerios family is here to stay, take a look:

I can see that the couple in the background was brought together
by their mutual love of a floral print.
It's DJ Lance Rock from Yo Gabba Gabba!
(and his date). 

This is my favorite couple. I love how his vest
and tie match her hijab.
These kids know that white-Asian
couples are most successful
This couple wins the breaking barriers award for being
both interracial and same sex. 
If you want to check out more pictures they're here and when you're done totally email me because I can't imagine anyone else but me scrolling through prom pictures of people they don't know.  

I know this is one high school prom in a pretty liberal town in a pretty liberal state, but it looks like this is the way things are headed. Here are some actual statistics: Fifteen percent of new marriages in 2010 were between people of different races or ethnicities. A Pew Center Study found that a third of people have a close relative who is married to someone of a different race.

No one could accuse Georgia of being a liberal state, but on the Baby's soccer team, about six out of ten of the players were mixed race. During one game, the head coach (who is Vietnamese-American, and whose wife is white) joked to his assistant coach (also Asian, married to a white woman) that he'd put four of the half-Asian kids on the field at one time. "So, there are like, two whole Asians on the field," the assistant coach responded. Making mixed-race jokes about your kids; another sign that the ship has sailed. 

I showed my born-and-bred southern kids the Cheerios commercial and they all thought it was funny and probably started thinking about pouring cereal on the K as he slept. Then I told the older kids that some people don't like the commercial. "Why?" said the Girl, honestly puzzled. I explained it was because it made some people mad that it showed a black dad and a white mom. "Why? They look just like any other family. That's so silly, just because their skin color is different?" Yes, it is silly. Now cats and chipmunks? That shit has got to be stopped.


  1. Yay for the home state and hometown awesome. I love the kids' response, too. Bravo. Great post.
    (The hijab/bow ties combo reminds me of some great teal cummerbunds from years gone by, too!)

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I think that all prom-attendees are brainwashed into believing that matching the tie and cummerbund to the dress is the way to go. Someone needs to intervene and let them know that you can never go wrong in basic black!