This Is STILL Not Our Country

By Gary Norris Gray
Updated: November 22, 2006
CALIFORNIA—The Past few months the NFL National Football League and the (NCAA) National Collegiate Athletic Association along with, (NBC) the National Broadcasting Company, (CBS) the Columbian Broadcasting System, and (ABC) the American Broadcasting Company and its sports affiliate ESPN along with the Fox Sports Networks have been airing the new Chevrolet Silverado commercial. Singer and song writer John Cougar Melencamp sings
THIS IS OUR COUNTRY
I can stand beside
Things I think are right
And I can stand beside
The idea of stand and fight
And I do believe
There’s a dream for everyone
This is our country
From the East Coast
To the West Coast
Down the Dixie Highway
Back home
This is our country
There’s room enough here
For science to live
And there’s room enough here
For religion to forgive
And try to understand
The other people of this world
This is our country
From the East Coast
To the West Coast
Down the Dixie Highway
Back home
This is our country
That poverty could be
Just another ugly thing
And bigotry could be
Seen only as obscene
And the ones that run this land
Will help the poor and common man
This is our country
From the East Coast
To the West Coast
Down the Dixie Highway
Back Home
This is our Country
The Dream will never leave
And some day it will come true
And it’s up to me and you
To do the best that we can do
And let the voice of freedom
Sing out through this land
This is our country
From the East Coast
To the West Coast
Down the Dixie Highway
Back home
This is our country
This commercial contradicts itself. The new commercial is still a nice sweet and nationalistic commercial but it lacks one key ingredient of this great nation, people of color. Is the new Chevrolet Silverado commercial patriotic — or patronizing and potentially racist? The commercial has many different settings all over this country from Los Ang. to New York. This week’s airing Nov. 19, 2006 version during the University of California at Berkeley- University of Southern California football game in Los Ang., a short 30 second spot, the last in a string of very bad commercials. This one had large barb wire fences with cowboys fixing the fences in each frame. It seems like they are trying to exclude people rather then include people. That was the worst version of this string of Chevy commercials. Somebody must have called Chevrolet Saturday night because Sunday afternoon, Nov. 20th, NBC they added still another version just with football players from different NFL teams not a single cowboy, people of color everywhere. They (Chevrolet and Sports Networks) must have gotten the message.
In the first or early versions John Mellencamp belts out his original tune there are images of Muhammad Ali, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Jr. which are all in black and white still photos are worked into the lyrics of Mellencamps song there are also a few White heroes appear during the anthem, the obligatory golfing astronaut and President Richard Nixon waving to his White House staff from the steps of Marine One, his last day at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. that infamous Aug afternoon in 1974. Chevrolet even includes references to Hurricane Katrina with empty lands full of water and empty houses in New Orleans and the World Trade Center rubble. All are in color as if racism has disappeared. This was the first month of the release of this commercial but with each passing week and passing months and with each new edited commercial became a “WHITER SHADE OF PALE”, and non-ethic. This is very troubling and Americans should address this problem. Despite the song’s lyrics proclaiming, “This Is Our Country,” the spot is virtually devoid of Blacks, Latinos, and Asians, Native Americans or any other minority group. Guess this is still not our country.
I have many problems with this commercial and the frequency of its airing on National Football League Games.
A league that is viewed on weekends by many minority Americans who love the game of football. It seems like Chevrolet is just slapping minorities in the face.
1) This commercial is being played too many times over the past few weeks and my eyes and ears are getting weary of seeing and hearing this commercial. They are many other commercials on television that are not as offensive and that have only black actors or only white actors in them. These other commercials don’t brother me like the new Chevrolet Silverado commercial because it is stating that “THIS IS OUR COUNTRY”, yet we do not see people of color.
2) Many of the actors in the commercial are (white) male cowboy types with very few people of color (one-African American). They are jumping into their new trucks with a smile on their faces driving them throughout the American countryside.
3) Could it be that the Chevrolet Car and Truck Company only speaking to one section of the football audience? Maybe then why are they advertising on college and NFL games?
4) What could be the hidden message Chevrolet and the National Sports Networks sending? Is this part of the “Urban Do Not Advertise List”?
5) Maybe a mailing petition campaign to make the National Sports Network, NFL, NCAA, and Chevrolet Car and Truck Company aware of this problem or,
6) Maybe a boycott of both the National Sports Networks and the Chevrolet Car Company should be in order.
Did Chevrolet make this glaring omission or was this done on purpose? Many African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latino Americans have bought cars and trucks from this company. It might be time for American citizens of color to rethink this practice.
America is a Multi-cultured and Multi- ethic nation. Most of the big industries in America have an understanding of this fact. Most of the big advertising companies in America reflect most sections of our country. Maybe Chevrolet and the National American Sports Networks need to be reminded.
THIS IS OUR COUNTRY (TOO)