Um … yeah.

Yes, I’ve been gone a LONG time.  I’ll address that in a moment.  Right now, there’s this:

Really?  Really?

Found this through Curly Nikki who sent me to the Hot Hip Hop Detroit link.¹

I spent a week in Detroit at the beginning of the month.  The relationship between Detroit and its non-white residents is something I have a lot of thoughts about.  Little did I know that Seagram’s offering me the chance to buy my gin with a du-rag needed to be one of those things.

Oh, Seagram’s.  Oh poor, misguided, unambiguously racist Seagram’s.  Apparently this gin is “Urban Elegance” … that’s what I learned by checking out the Seagram’s Gin Live site.  And, as we all know by now and as the ads on the Seagram’s site confirm, “urban” is a way of saying “black.”  Yeah.  Should I comment on their “Gin & Juice” line of pre-mixed drinks?  You know, the eight-mix collection with names that are almost all notably violent or aggressive (Red Fury, anyone?  How about a Blue Beast or some Purple Rage?).  Should I comment on the 2011 model calendar with eleven months of scantily clad black women and one Asian woman, each associated with a drink (at least they didn’t make the Asian woman pose for “Singapore Bling” or “Raspberry Twisted Kamikaze” … I guess that shows something)?

And of course, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission has under its fingernails the dirt of approving this ad campaign.  Really, people?

Ok, so I’m not actually surprised.  In my neighborhood, I am bombarded with offensive ads all the time.  The most offensive of these are usually for alcohol.²  But this giveaway still amazes me.  And it amazes me for a reason that has nothing to do with how disgusted I am.  My disgust is a given.  Let’s think about this from the Seagram’s side of things.  You’re creating an ad campaign for your big fancy client, Seagram’s Gin.  You know they have a whole “Urban Elegance” thing going on … and you think a du-rag has anything to do with elegance?  Do you?  And clearly there’s a crazy-pants, drinks-too-much-of-the-gin staffer at Seagram’s who shares that ridiculous notion.  There is nothing remotely “elegant” about a du-rag, people.   Just know this.  Know it.³

Let’s get back to my righteous indignation.  You know what would be true urban elegance?  If all the “urban” people Seagram’s thinks they’re targeting with this giveaway turned their backs on this crap and shopped for Tanqueray or Beefeater instead.  So much classier than me pouting in a corner (in my du-rag).

¹  Though, I could have found it in plenty of other places. For example: The Milwaukee Drum (and yes, I’d love to get that “Uppity Negro” t-shirt from the sidebar).
²  How happy was I when a Sean Coombs Ciroc ad replaced the awful Captain Morgan billboard I used to have to pass every morning?  I may not be a Diddy fan, but I much prefer his ad to the image of a black woman looking drugged and unfocused as she sprawls on the ground in a bikini, her skin dripping oil.  Every morning for about six months.  Feh.
³  And, while it sounds as though I have all kinds of bad feelings about du-rags, this is really not the case.  I am, in truth, wearing one right now, protecting my curls so I can be all cute tomorrow.  I’m just saying there’s a time and a place for a du-rag, and when I’m stepping out and thinking I’m all the ish, there is narry a du-rag in sight.


10 thoughts on “Um … yeah.

  1. I saw the picture before I saw your text. I had the exact double “really” reaction. I need not say anything else. You covered my feelings to the letter other than to add a sadly shaking my head “Wow!”


  2. I wish I were flabbergasted. I’m not numb (I want to slap some people at their corporate headquarters) but we’re all being hit on so many fronts that my head is in a constant spin. I can only echo the previous commenter’s, “Wow!”


  3. I can add this to my growing of concerns about our direction. It has a spot right next to image of peaceful protesting college students getting pepper sprayed so casually.
    Ah are we returning to the 60’s?
    Welcome back blogger!


  4. j

    and who are the people who respond ‘positively’ to this horror? is there a demongraphic (interesting typo),. a demographic that says, why, yes , please, I’ll drink your gin because I get a du rag and way to be.?

    feh and more feh


    1. I know! I just have to imagine that, even if I were a gin drinker and du-rag wearer, I’d still be completely turned off by this. Clearly, I need to up my urban elegance quotient.


  5. inmate1972

    Okay. late to the party, I know, but the white girl from Detroit (aka Best City on the Planet) is interested in your thoughts about the place after your visit.


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