Monday, June 17, 2013

I just don't get it...

I rarely if ever get political on my blog, or online for that matter. And I try to be positive as much as possible (except for my monthly IWSG complain-fest :). But something's been bothering me A LOT lately, so forgive my soap-box moment for today.

Have any of you seen this?


I think it's adorable. But it created quite the backlash from viewers who were disturbed by the portrayal of an interracial couple. So much that Cheerios had to disable comments on its youtube channel. Really, people? Really?

I'm smart enough to know there are very mean people out there with unkind views toward others based on things like race, gender, sexuality, etc., but I also know those people make up the minority. In fact, this commercial received way more thumbs up than thumbs down. But right now I'm feeling really naive, because it never even occurred to me that a simple commercial like this would stir up so much hate today...in 2013.

Maybe it's because I grew up in Hawaii. I read that it has more interracial marriages than any other US state--almost half the marriages there are interracial. Maybe it's because I come from a long line of interracial ancestor couples: I'm Hawaiian, Tahitian, Caucasian, Chinese, and Native American...there was some definite mixing going on there. Or maybe it's because my own marriage along with every single one of my sibling's marriages are interracial. Regardless of the reason, I HAD NO IDEA THIS WAS EVEN AN ISSUE TODAY. Seriously. I know there are extremist thoughts on everything, but enough on this particular subject to generate this much hate? I just don't get it.

The majority of my books feature multicultural main characters, and a few involve interracial couples, including REMAKE, which will be out for the world to read in a year. I know my book is going to upset some people...it deals with some very controversial and sensitive issues, but never once did it occur to me that an interracial romance would be one of those issues. But now I wonder...and it makes me really curious to know what you all think. It also reminds me of this post from a couple years back.

How many of you have written a book with an interracial couple? Can you name some favorite YA books with them? Would you pick up a book that featured an interracial couple on the front of it?

If we do the unthinkable, would it make us look crazy?


28 comments:

Kyra Lennon said...

I felt the same way as you when I heard about all the fuss the advert caused. It is ridiculous that it was even an issue.

Mark Koopmans said...

I'm also inter-racially married, and have never thought it was an issue either, but there you go.

And what do we do?

I know my wife and I embrace both our cultures (Irish and Filipino) and will always be there for our boys when the time comes... if they have questions.

PS... I never knew you grew up in HI. That's cool:) and you are soooo right... there are so many inter-racial couples, so it definitely a non-issue:)

Oh, Hawaii... how I would love to live there... Oh... :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's sad it would be an issue in today's world. I have several friends who fall in that category and I've never thought twice about it. I've lived all over and in several foreign countries and people are just people.
And yes! My second book features an interracial couple.

Cristina said...


it's so sad that in 2013 this is still an issue for so so many people. I just don't get it. As a parent I need to make sure I teach my children that people are people, regardless of gender, race, sexual preferences and so on. Because those who think differently, well I doubt there's anything I can do to change their minds.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I agree, whenever I hear about stuff like this it makes me feel naïve. But I try to remember that some of it is just stupid people that like to stir up trouble more than people who actually feel that way.

Laura said...

First of all, that advert is adorable. I can't believe people have reacted that way, there's no need for it in this day and age.

prerna pickett said...

i don't get it either, people are just so full of hate. I'm also in an interracial marriage my current WIP features an MC who is multicultural. In this day and age that sort of behavior should not have to be tolerated.

Aubrey said...

I think it's a BEAUTIFUL commercial and a gorgeous family!

Honestly the only interacial couple book i can think of that I've read is called TRANSCENDENCE by TJ Omololu. Didn't bother me at all, would be good to see more!

Emily R. King said...

This is still an issue? Wow. How disappointing. What a cute commercial. So sad that they had to take it down.

ilima said...

Kyra-It is pretty ridiculous.

Mark-My daughter was baffled as well, so I know my kids feel the same as I do. So weird.

Alex-That's how I feel, I've never thought twice about it until now.

Cristina-It is so sad.

Rachel-I agree. People can be so stupid.

Laura-It's super cute, right?

Prerna-So glad to hear about your multicultural MC. I agree.

Aubrey-I'll have to check that one out.

Emily-That little girl is adorable. Very disappointing.

J. A. Bennett said...

Um yeah, totally baffled too. What the heck??

Carrie Butler said...

I'm actually writing a book with an interracial couple right now--though, I didn't think of them as interracial until I read this post. I just thought of them as, you know, a couple. :)

Kathryn Purdie said...

Wow, this completely baffles me, too. Very, very bizarre. We always think our generation is so modern and over past prejudices. Guess not. :-(

Robin said...

I hadn't seen the commercial until now. It's super cute. I'm sad it's getting people all in an uproar. Seriously, people.

T. Drecker said...

Wow. And here I thought people were getting past that. How sad.

Angela Cothran said...

I'm with you. I would think this kind of thing would make waves in 1960 but 2013? Weird.

ilima said...

Jennie-I'm so with you.

Carrie-Exactly what I mean. I don't even think about it.

Katie-So. Bizarre.

Robin-It's super cute, right?

Tonja-It makes me feel a little sick.

Angie-I'm glad to see everyone is with me on this one. I thought I was going crazy.

jaybird said...

I NEVER even noticed that the couple was interracial- my attention went immediately to the sweet, beautiful little girl. This is the first I heard of all the hateful backlash. And it's absolutely absurd to me. I agree with you Ilima, with my whole heart. Really people? Really? Why all the hate? That's just so sad and unnecessary.

Melissa Sugar said...

I've never seen the commercial (I don't watch much network television), but, if you hadn't mentioned race, I doubt I would have noticed. My eyes were on the precious little girl. She is adorable. I can't believe that in 2013 this would be an issue, anywhere. I mean, seriously! I live in the deep south (Where some people are still ignorant) and I can't imagine a commercial in 2013 creating a racial issue. Please. Who would complain. You were right to get political, this time. This is ridiculous.

Suzi said...

Pretty much agree with most people. The commercial totally made me laugh, but the controversy is ridiculous. It's so sad that's an issue for some people still. It's just skin.

Marshall Madness said...

Wow! That is a totally cute ad. It's very sad to think there are those who hold so much hate in their hearts. We have friends who adopted two black babies (they are white) and there are those that they come across who give them looks and stares and even family members who struggled with it pretty heavily at first...it astonishes me. I think " would you really rather have that child be alone or in a terrible home situation than with loving parents?" People just don't think.

ilima said...

Jaybird-I didn't notice either. So sad.

Melissa-Thanks. I'm glad to see it's surprising every one else, too.

Suzi-Agreed. It's beyond ridiculous.

Julie-That's so surprising. And sad. :(

Morgan said...

Right???

It's ridiculous. We should SO be over this already. It's so silly!!!

Nicole said...

Sad that those kind of reactions are still out there. Several of my books have inter-racial couples.

Carrie-Anne said...

I've featured a few interracial couples, though I don't believe any of them to date are among my leading, main couples. We just celebrated the 46th anniversary of Loving vs. Virginia, so it doesn't seem like this should even be an issue anymore.

Gabrielle Meyer said...

My first novel is set in central Minnesota in 1857. My subplot contains an inter-racial couple. One is a Native American and one is Caucasian. As I wrote the story, I didn't even think of them as inter-racial. They were just Joshua and Rachel. It's interesting to think people still have an issue with this. I live in central Minnesota where there are very few non-whites. Our biggest issues are if Catholics marry Protestants.

J.L. Campbell said...

I wasn't aware of the fuss stirred up over this ad, but do think it's cute as well. Sometimes, I'm amazed by what goes on in this 'enlightened' age.

J.L. Campbell writes Jamaican Kid Lit

ilima said...

Morgan-I know, get over it people.

Nicole-Good for you!

Carrie-Anne-It really shouldn't be.

Gabrielle-Haha. Sorry, I thought that was funny. Although I can't believe that's an issue, either. :)

JL-As am I.