Maybe the folks over there at Cheerios thought they'd show an adorable little girl, with her white mom and her black dad. They'd draw attention to their all-American cereal with a modern day American family. Maybe, they thought, a few bigots would come out, but on the whole no biggie.
Surely, they didn't see their sweet little ad spot as intense racist roach bait, bringing the nutjobs scurrying out of their putrid little nests to find some juicy nugget in which to sink their vicious little teeth.
As a black woman married to a white man, and the mother of two adorable kids, I was disappointed but not really that surprised. While we are nothing special here in what we affectionately call Mulatto Heaven, aka, Hyde Park, Chicago, home to our mixed-race president and countless other families, when we vacation in Michigan we realize what a rare breed we are.
We attract a lot of attention.
Often stares erupt into smiles, and exclamations of, "Oh your family/children are so beautiful!"
But sometimes they don't.
Sometimes people have almost crashed their cars for gawking. A few men have looked stonily at us - their ill thoughts almost palpable. I'll say it now, and I'll say it again, anyone who scowls or and goes to that place of Jim Crow/mongrelization crap at cute children doing nothing but being themselves is a sick motherfucker.
But then again, for every loser so cowardly, so misguided as to the source of his or her own failures as a modern human being that scapegoating and antiquated racial theories remain as their only excuse, there were millions of people who saw nothing more than a sweet little girl and her family -- who saw this commercial as either entirely ordinary or encouragingly progressive.
We should think of those people and celebrate how far we've come, not be brought down by the rabble on social media.
So you scored big time, Cheerios! A twofer in showing us our location on the road to racial tolerance, as well as attention to your cereal. I sincerely hope you and other brands will continue to show that in one family there can be different colors. Maybe even dare to show gay couples with children, because apparently children really yank a bigot's chain. And if you do these things because of profit, as opposed to some greater good, more power to you. Maybe that will show "them" that the free market actually favors diversity. It is imperative that big, multi-national companies like General Mills keep putting out the bait to either coax out the vermin, hastening their demise, or send them outmatched, scurrying back to their squalid dens.