Thursday, February 26, 2009

6487: Culturally Clueless FAQs—Number 9.

Question: During my gazillion decades in the business, I have never witnessed a single instance of racism. People are hired for their talent. Period. How can you possibly accuse me of being a racist?

Answer: On Madison Avenue, racism is such a polarizing concept. And it seems as if calling someone a racist is the offensive equivalent of using the N-word.

Yet most veteran adfolks insisting they’ve not seen one example of discrimination also admit they’ve not seen one minority in an executive position. There’s something screwy going on here.

We could split hairs by opting for terms like exclusionary or culturally clueless. Additionally, you could read MultiCultClassics’ inaugural essay to identify the various types of bias. Some might argue the global dilemma is not race-related at all; rather, it involves outdated and limited recruitment practices. But ultimately, whether the mess is rooted in faulty processes or blissful ignorance or hardcore hatred, the end result remains the same. Everyone recognizes the dearth of diversity. Plus, liberals and bigots alike are quick to admit, “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

So get to work. Put aside the CSI equipment and quit worrying about the causes. Stop labeling each other with nasty presumptions. Move beyond obsessing over the mistakes that got us to this place.

Focus on generating and executing solutions instead. It’s time to realize creating diversity demands, well, diversity. Everyone must collectively commit to laboring together.

Change and progress should not be so difficult to achieve. Unless, of course, you’re a stone-cold racist.

Change has come to America. But it took a detour around Madison Avenue. While citizens have adopted phrases like “post-racial,” the advertising industry operates in a pre-Civil Rights time warp. Whenever the topics of diversity and inclusion appear, ad executives consistently display stunning ignorance. MultiCultClassics has sought to address the issues in the past. However, the matters have evolved along with society, despite Madison Avenue’s retarded development. As a public service, this blog will answer a series of Frequently Asked Questions to enlighten the asses… er, masses.


Anonymous said...

I think deflecting criticisms about diversity by saying "talent is all that matters" is total bullshit and deeply insulting to multicultural professionals. First of all, given what a sorry state our industry is in right now, CLEARLY "talent" is not all that matters. I also think we've all worked with plenty of dumbasses in this business. Secondly, saying "talent is all that matters" implies that multicultural professionals don't have any.

I am embarrased that the industry I work in is so clearly out of touch. Especially when i hear horseshit like "talent is all that matters."

I am a white guy, and I've worked at an agency for the past three years where most of the staff and management is multicultural. I can say that it really is a wonderful experience to work with people from "different backgrounds" and as a creative, i can say that it inspires better work.

Anonymous said...

They haven’t seen racism because they haven’t seen anyone of a different race around their shop.

Don’t know who that question up top was from, but that ain’t what I’ve seen. And the hiring based on talent myth has got to stop. Lotta people with talent right now looking for work.