Re-Civilize Yourself: Ashy Ankles, Afros, & Nivea’s Racist Ad

In the beginning of the recession, there were warnings that racist actions would increase dramatically. But goddam, I think we’ve reached the mountaintop. So much so, that promoting a white supremacist agenda in major “liberal” magazines is no biggie.

Surely, someone within the advertisement agency DraftFCB (great thinkers behind the advert), or Nivea’s marketing squad, or perhaps the various publications who ran this photo thought that this might be, well uh, somewhat racially repulsive?

But in the age of “Post Racial” America, racist behavior sells. And is absolved with half-hearted apologies and negroes who are hired to say “I wasn’t offended at all.” Nigg* puhlease.

Once again, it is vogue to be openly, robustly, violently, and ignorantly racist. The twist in this trend is two-fold. On one hand, racism is so rampant that we are becoming desensitized to its social affects and apathetic to those who call it out. On the other hand, there are black people who keep the cogs of racism churning with vehemently anti-black actions and behaviors or turning the other butt cheek to ignore the ideological and bloody poking of oppression and hate.

People have been arguing that this advertisement is art and art is always up for interpretation. Then there are those who really didn’t see racism at all; especially some black folk possessed by the spirit of Clayton Bigsby who claim that they don’t see the reason for all the fuss and feel that these niggers need to hush and stop whining.

So let me put a Swastika on my cooch for a free love campaign and call it my Picasso moment.

I guess with the other ad of the white man holding the caveman face makes it fair-and-square for the German-(cough, Nazi)-based Nivea to be blatantly racist by being self-deprecating.

Nope, doesn’t even come close to equitable distribution.

Because in the US, and as we now know, in the UK and definitely Germany, the white man in that photo will be laughing all the way to the bank with another modeling gig.

And a promotion.

A pass by a patrol officer if he is speeding in a fancy car in the poor section of the city.

A house or business loan.

A country club membership.

A KKK membership.

And a welcome cake in an exclusive white neighborhood where he bought a house for $16.

In fact, he would get a job waaaaaayyyyyyy faster than the brother because a rugged white man is sexy and has reality shows that feature white dudes living off of hippo shit and alligator meat while shooting shit like moose from a helicopter.

Oh my bad, that’s Palin’s Alaska reality series, wrong show.

Hold up. I got one more bone to pick. It is very interesting that this ad is released at a time where black men are openly re-embracing beards and their thick coily manes. A time where black men are not burdened with nasty razor bumps from the pressure of shaving every day to look “professional” “approachable” and “clean” because their hair coils like the number 9. And a time where some are okay that their hair resembles a halo, much like Jesus’ wooly main when it grows to be more than 1 inch.

Of course EcoSoul is tripping. Everybody at Nivea and DraftFCB passed their sensitivity training and diversity workshops with flying colors and have the certificates to prove it.

I mean look at Nivea. They hired Rihanna as a sexualized model for the lotion. You know who Rihanna is? The only beige Bajan from Barbados who bleaches her skin and said on the Chelsea Handler show that she was surprised Australia had “black black” complexioned people.


We gotta do better. For real.