Any time you do one of these public-service ad campaigns aimed at teens, it’s going to come off as pretty cheesy and stupid. Though I’m not entirely convinced it is racist. Unless you’re implying that only Hispanic kids get hooked on pot – but even then, I think it’s a stretch to say that’s what this ad was going for.
I’m open to discussion on this, though.
According to this, people are upset about a billboard aimed at discouraging teens from using marijuana, particularly Hispanic teens. The billboard in question is in Yakima, Washington, and looks like this –
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But a few Hispanic teens complained that the “Hispanics are cool by default” message was racist –
But when Mickey Ruiz, 17, of Yakima saw an image of the billboard, she told the paper it was stupid and offensive to those of other races.
“I get it, but I don’t understand what pot has to do with any different race,” Ruiz told the Herald. “I think it’s pretty lame, honestly. If people are trying to take out the whole race thing — like only white people being on billboards — then at least make it more diverse instead of trying to pinpoint one race.”
“I understand that it’s targeted toward Latino youth, but at the same time, I feel like it’s implying that we’re the only ones who smoke weed,” she told the Herald. “I think I’d just laugh if I was driving down the street and saw it.”
She also told the paper that pot’s “cool” draw is “not a thing anymore. If you’re bragging about smoking weed, it’s like, ‘You’re lame.’”
The dumb thing about the uproar, though? The ad was designed by a Latino-owned ad agency AND focus-group tested with Hispanic teens –
But the billboard wasn’t created in a vacuum. In fact, the marketing contractor Idea Marketing — which is Latino-owned — listened to about 60 Hispanic middle and high school teens in the Yakima area who said they wanted a message that specifically spoke to them, the Yakima Herald reported.
“Doing a lot of the prevention research around marijuana, we have learned that strong cultural values and a connection to the community really protect youth against initiating marijuana,” the contractor’s President Patricia Lepiani told the paper. “So basically, since they feel so proud of being Hispanic, we wanted to find a positive angle about being Hispanic.”
And how did that “cool by default” line resonate with focus-group teens? “All of them had a smile on their faces,” Lepiani told the Herald.
Soooo… what you’re saying is that some Hispanic kids liked the idea and some didn’t? You mean that people who share the same ethnic background can – GASP – have different opinions from each other? That not every Hispanic person has to think the exact same thing as other Hispanic people do? That they’re all individuals with their own ideas and viewpoints?
HOLY COW THAT’S… perfectly logical and sensible. Someone alert the Democrat Party – I don’t think they’ve ever been introduced to that concept before.