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Culture Jam Assignment
This is an ad featured by the French Organization Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l’Antisemitisme (LICRA) who are against racism and anti-Semitism. The ad shows newborn babies lying side by side in beds at the hospital. While the Caucasian babies are shown in diapers, the coloured baby is shown dressed as a janitor or cleaning lady of some sort. The text reads: “Your skin colour shouldn’t dictate your future” and while I do like the message behind this ad, two things come to mind when I see it. Firstly, I believe that while racism is very much alive and it is extremely important, arguably now more than ever before, to fight for the acceptance of all races, genders, and identities, I dislike that our perception of racism is being reflected on babies who are and should not be subject to the corruption of the world. It is inevitable that as people grow from child to adult, their race, gender and identity may have some effect on the kinds of opportunities that may come up (it also might not); but as an infant, these factors should not play any significant role in determining and predicting their future lives. While this ad is arguing precisely that, it plants an image that probably wasn’t there prior to seeing this and I think there could be a better way to present the same message.
This is my culture-jammed version of the ad. In this image there are four babies all of different races, all dressed in a diaper and the text reads: “Will the colour of our skin depict our future?” As opposed to the first image where one baby is clearly being singled out for the colour of their skin, I’d like to hope that when people see this they would see them all as babies with equal opportunities. Their skin colour should not affect how people determine what kind of careers they will end up with or what kind of people they will be. We are in a generation where opportunities are endless, especially in this privileged part of the world. It is important for people to be reminded that we are all the same and there is no time when this is more visible than as infants. With everything happening in the world today, the glaring racism and prejudice that has become more apparent with the new American presidency, it is vital to battle hatred and discrimination with love and acceptance. Through this ad, I hope that if we can look at babies in their most innocent and un-tainted form and answer the question that no, their skin colour will not determine their future and that as they grow older, this will hold true.