I want to throw my thoughts into the penny fountain regarding this whole Kendall Jenner Pepsi thing.
I’ve seen a lot of the ‘why they mad it’s an ad ya’ll need to relax it’s not that serious there are children dying in (insert country here) but ya’ll mad about Pepsi.’
People don’t seem to understand, or don’t seem to want to understand how much media drives a narrative. Those pictures we see from Syria and other war torn countries, those videos of people bleeding and dying in the streets? That’s media telling us their story. We’re not there, we don’t know, and so we are being told. If the only news or images or commercials we saw coming out of Syria was kids playing jump rope and handing law enforcement beverages, we would assume all is chill in Syria.
So when a big corporation like Pepsi puts out an ad with a popular model handing a white cop a beverage with a winning smile, having a good chuckle at a protest, that’s telling a story. A story that just isn’t true. Because for the most part, people aren’t having chuckles at protests. They’re there because they’re angry and they are trying to make change happen.
And yes, we know, not at all cops are racists murderers. But, right now, the truth is that many white cops have gotten away with murdering black men. And people seem to keep wanting to give cops the benefit of the doubt, instead of addressing the corruption and demanding change. So when a big corporation puts out a message basically saying ‘Ay come on, cops ain’t that bad, give ’em a drink, you’ll see’ then that becomes the narrative. And sure, it’s just Pepsi today. But if we go back to the media telling us what the truth is, we collectively start to ignore reality. Someone who doesn’t experience police violence, who lives in a suburb full of smiles, they see that commercial, they see the news, they see whatever narrative the media is spreading and that’s the reality being projected.
If we let one thing slip through, one company continue to use their money and power to promote their own agenda, we take steps back. And does anybody really think that Pepsi cares about protests or BLM or women’s rights or anything that people are currently speaking out against? Naw. They like that Kardashian money. They know Kendall is popular with their target audience who consumes their carbonated sugar poison. So, they tried to cash in on the current state of unrest in this country, while also trying to cash in on the popularity of a TV personality. They threw in some people of color, some happy music, a few laughs, and shoved it down our collective throats thinking we’d just take it because it’s got pretty people and soda in it. WELP. Jokes on you Pepsi because people are awake, and they’re not. happy.
AND ANOTHER THING. Let people be mad at what they want to be mad at! I, personally, did not feel the same level of internet rage as many did, but I got where they were coming from. People can be upset with any number of things covering a vast array of topics. That’s the MAGIC of the human brain! Just because you think something is trivial and dumb doesn’t give you the right to call someone stupid for being upset with it. Your anger at violence against children doesn’t make you a deeper or better person than someone who is upset with the lack of diversity in fashion. You don’t have to care about the same things to show support to another human being. Or, just don’t say anything. Nobody cares that you don’t care. This is not your conversation, so move along and find one you do care about.
You know what that’s like? When there’s a sports game on, and someone in the room doesn’t understand or watch sports. And all they say is sarcastic remarks about how much they don’t watch sports, or make purposefully false statements about what is happening. (i.e., ‘Touchdown!” when they know full well it’s a soccer game). I used to be that person, and now I find those people ridiculous. Like, we get it you read books and listen to NPR and you are so ABOVE something as trite as sports. Go to another room. It’s okay that this is not your thing.
Anyway. Those are my thoughts. I’m 28 now guys, so I’m very mature, I’m very adult. I even owe the government money for the first time in my life so, you know, watch out. I’m very serious now.
Note: While I do defend the rage machine that is the internet in this instance, I also believe we should take a step back from it occasionally and enjoy a moment of gratefulness, calm and joy.