What Would Henry Louis Gates Think?

If you watch too much TV, and don’t skip commercials through your DVR, you’ve probably seen the Brinks/Broadview Security commercials. They have pretty much the same pattern: Young, attractive white female is at home alone or with a small child. Man tries to break in, woman screams, alarm goes off, man runs away, security company calls and says the cops are on their way.

If you’ve seen a few of these, you’ll have noticed that all of the criminals are male. I don’t find this particularly offensive, since the majority of break-ins are committed by men. A realistic commercial is probably more effective. If Betty White tries to break in the commercial might be pretty funny, but it won’t sell security systems.

Going by this report on burglaries in California in 1998 (came up first in my Google search and I’m too lazy to find something more comprehensive or recent), 35% of burglaries are committed by white people, 80% are committed by males.  So, if it’s okay to depict the burglars as male in the commercials because 80% of actual burglars are men, wouldn’t it be okay to have must of the burglars in the commercials be racial minorities, since they committed 65% of burglaries?

You can bet there’d be an uproar if they ran the commercials with minorities.  It’d probably be even worse if they had a woman breaking in.  I’m sure the feminism blogs would be blowing up with complaints about stereotypes of women being neurotic psychopaths.  I’m surprised we haven’t already heard people whining about how all the security technicians are male and how that just reinforces the view that women are weak and need men to protect them.

delicious | digg | reddit | facebook | technorati | stumbleupon | savetheurl Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply