May 25, 2008

Someone's little princess is hungry...will you help?

At my place of employment, we are currently participating in a food drive because we of course need to give back to the community that has provided so many suckers who want cheap websites throughout the years. In order to encourage us to donate food to this drive, numerous posters have been posted around the building with sad looking people and messages about how we need to help feed them. I noticed yesterday that, as far as I could tell, every person featured in these posters is white. I'm not really a racial equality activist sort (not that I don't think racial equality is important, it's just not an issue I personally get worked up about often), but I felt for a moment outraged that there were no other races featured on these posters.

I later realized, however, that as noble as my outrage may sound, they reason I even noticed was this: In my subconscious, I was just surprised that the hungry people aren't mostly Hispanic and black. Those are the poor people aren't they?

So apparently I'm the racist here.


Rachael said...

Well, actually, while as a percentage of the population of each ethnic group, Hispanics and blacks tend to have a higher percentage of their population classified as "poor" (a vague term that varies study to study and area to area) than percentage of whites, overall, the numeric value of people classified as "poor" is largely white, simply because whites make up a larger proportion of the population. And, considering the fact that you live and work in the Provo/Orem Utah area, a vastly white area, it might be assumed that the vast majority of the hungry you are aiming to help are, in fact, white.

If that made any sense at all.

Anonymous said...

That's kind of surprises me because I feel like usually public relations people go to the extreme in representing a variety of ethnicities in ad campaigns. Did you ever see the episode of Scrubs where Dr. Kelso wants Turk to appear in all the promo materials for the hospital because he is black? But I think Rachael is right to point out that regionally, your area probably does have a white majority, whereas in Los Angeles, for example, a diverse representation of ethnic groups would actually reflect the community. And I don't think that you are racist for having that subconcious reaction, either. Even if numerically there are more whites living below the poverty line, I feel that the media presents it as a problem for minorities. Which, of course, is probably a problem in itself...