An ad produced by Feed A Child South Africa depicts a small, servile black boy sitting patiently at the feet of a well-heeled white woman while she rewards him with snacks as if he were a well-trained beagle. She even hand-feeds him a treat for fetching her newspaper and delivering it to her in bed. At one point the meek, obedient, house-trained boy gratefully licks her fingers.
As Beethoven’s slow, hypnotic “Moonlight Sonata” plays in the background, the ad’s message is finally displayed on the screen:
The average domestic dog eats better than millions of children.
OK, that’s probably true in many cases, although to be quite frank, I’ve never seen a child gleefully chowing down on Alpo Prime Cuts© Homestyle With Turkey & Bacon out of a can, at least not in the USA. Then again, American affluence is so egregious that our poor people tend to be overweight rather than emaciated.
What’s hard to swallow is that ad execs would be so abjectly tone-deaf to modern sensitivities that they wouldn’t realize the main message most social-justice brainwashing casualties would get from this is, “It’s perfectly OK for Aryan-looking rich white women to treat small black boys as house pets.” How could they not realize that countless ears would perk up to the inaudible tones of “dog whistle” racism? It’s one of those deliciously ugly situations where good intentions collide with extremely bad aesthetic judgment, creating hurt feelings and inappropriate laughter all around.
After a backlash, Feed a Child released the following statement:
The commercial is intentionally emotive to trigger the necessary awareness on this issue to generate engagement and contributions. There was no intention to cause offence.
Maybe not, but you offended plenty of people, and I find your apology completely unacceptable. I demand that the heartless and clueless makers of this advertisement be placed in a crate for a month and be forced to survive on a diet of only three hand-fed Snausages daily.