Do you think that P&G’s latest ad The Talk is controversial? When I first saw the ad. Immediately, I remembered growing up and made personal connections.
People would tell me “You are pretty for a black girl.” “You are beautiful for a dark-skinned girl.” I didn’t understand why I just couldn’t be beautiful regardless of my race. I could tell Sydney that she is a beautiful young lady. I wouldn’t add on even though you have autism. It doesn’t seem necessary.
Another scene is of a mother comforting her son after being called a nigger or some other racial slur. Well, I have had that talk with Harrison about how to react when he’s called that. I also told him, that is not a word that we use or sing in song lyrics. Also, I let him know that if he chooses to use that word. Then don’t come crying to me when someone calls you that same word.
Most parents are more free range than I am. Harrison doesn’t wander the streets. I’m not afraid of him being kidnapped. Well, maybe I am. I don’t want him to be guilty by association of being in a crowd. That’s just reality.
There’s a scene when a mother is talking with her teenage son. She’s making sure he has his ID telling him to be safe. Are people upset because “they” she is referring to are police officers? I tell Harrison if you get stopped by the police while you are walking. Tell them your name and that your ID is in your wallet.
And then I told him keep your mouth closed, be respectful until they ask you another question. So does that make me a bad mother for telling him how to interact with police officers? Police officers even taught him how to interact with other officers during youth police academy. I was just repeating what he already knew.
The final scene is a mom talking to her teenage daughter about what to do if pulled over by police officers. I remember being a young driver being stopped for the first time. I was a twenty year old black girl in a predominately white neighborhood at night. It wasn’t pleasant. I won’t go into the specifics of the interaction.
No matter how sad, hurt and angry I was. I never made any extra comments. I only answered their questions. My parents taught me to respect authority. I knew the less I said the better.
I am teaching Harrison how to handle himself in situations. Remember stay calm, be respectful and call on Black Jesus!(If you didn’t read yesterday’s blog. You won’t get this.)
This is a powerful ad. It causes us all to think and confront situations that we may not feel comfortable discussing. Take a moment trade those actors for Asians, Hispanics, or Caucasians. Parents are trying to teach their children to respect authority, stay safe and not use violence. There’s a full version of the ad, that shows different scenarios also.
That incident that I experienced 25 years ago could have damaged me and changed my outlook. I didn’t allow that to happen. My parents always taught me to be the best I could be and not to be intimidated by anyone. They were not talking about a particular race. They were talking about the world we live in.
What are your thoughts about The Talk ad by P&G?