Today I’m posting not about something ridiculous from the present day. No, I’m changing it up to highlight an incredibly stupid Alt-Right moment from years back. (Yes, I’m hoping to make this a regular thing.) Today, in our first “Throwback Thursday,” we’ll take a look back to 2004 — a year full of regressive politics (they were the days when George W. Bush was in charge) — when a racy advertisement made racists lose their collective minds.
Over at the immigrant-bashing, white nationalist website VDARE (the website’s namesake, Virginia Dare, was supposedly the first white Christian child to be born to a British colony in the “New World”), Samuel T. Francis (1947-2005) expressed his absolute horror at a commercial depicting interracial romance. His specific target was an ad starring Terrell Owens, a black athlete, and Nicolette Sheridan, a blonde-haired white actress. The ad showed the two in the locker room and culminated with Sheridan dropping her towel and leaping into the football player’s arms.
According to the late white nationalist, by airing the commercial ABC Sports took aim at America’s “moral issues” and “delivered a good swift kick to their dentures on national television.”
Of course, while your average social conservative would be disgusted by the sexual nature of the commercial, the same cannot be said of Francis. “That’s all well and good,” he wrote, “but there was more going on in the ad that no one will mention—race.” The televised pairing of a black man and white woman was simply too much for him to stomach — it was an “intentional act of moral subversion.” Like the infamous Super Bowl halftime show starring Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, the Owens-Sheridan ad “was interracial and brazenly so.” Francis viewed this as an intentional slight to white folks because “the producers could easily have found white actresses who are less obviously Nordic than the golden-locked Miss Sheridan, but Nordic is what the ad’s producers no doubt wanted.”
Indeed, to hear Francis tell it, there was a quite, er, sinister message behind the commercial. That message? “[T]hat interracial sex is normal and legitimate, a fairly radical concept for both the dominant media as well as its audience.” Moreover, this is far from the only ad promoting “interracial sex.” “[F]or decades, interracial couples of different sexes have been sneaked into advertising, movies and television series, and almost certainly not because of popular demand from either race,” he groused.
The bottom line, he wrote, is that a cabal of villains was trying to break down “the sexual barriers between the races,” a “major weapon of cultural destruction” which destroys the “cultural boundaries that define breeding and the family and, ultimately, the transmission and survival of the culture itself.”
ABC Sports last week took careful aim at the “moral issues” that are said to have driven this month’s national election and delivered a good swift kick to their dentures on national television.
The main reaction from viewers and the professional “family values” lobby has been to denounce the nudity and clearly implied sex of the now-notorious ad that promoted last week’s Monday Night Football game. That’s all well and good, but there was more going on in the ad that no one will mention—race.
The ad shows blonde white sexpot Nicolette Sheridan of the steamy “Desperate Housewives” series smooching up to black football star Terrell Owens in the locker room of the Philadelphia Eagles. Then the young lady drops her bath towel and jumps into Mr. Owens’ not-exactly recalcitrant arms.
. . .
It was an intentional act of moral subversion.
. . .
Like the Jackson-Timberlake performance, the Owens-Sheridan ad was interracial and brazenly so—if only morals and taste had been the targets, the producers could easily have found white actresses who are less obviously Nordic than the golden-locked Miss Sheridan, but Nordic is what the ad’s producers no doubt wanted.
For that matter, if you only wanted to take a swipe at morals and taste, you could find a black woman to rip her towel off or replace Mr. Owens with a famous white athlete (there are still a few).
But that wasn’t the point, was it? The point was not just to hurl a pie in the face of morals and good taste but also of white racial and cultural identity. The message of the ad was that white women are eager to have sex with black men, that they should be eager, and that black men should take them up on it.
. . .
But the ad’s message also was that interracial sex is normal and legitimate, a fairly radical concept for both the dominant media as well as its audience.
Nevertheless, for decades, interracial couples of different sexes have been sneaked into advertising, movies and television series, and almost certainly not because of popular demand from either race. The Owens-Sheridan match is only the most notorious to date.
. . .
Breaking down the sexual barriers between the races is a major weapon of cultural destruction because it means the dissolution of the cultural boundaries that define breeding and the family and, ultimately, the transmission and survival of the culture itself.
. . .
Re-electing President Bush and voting against homosexual marriage are well and good, but they won’t defeat the real enemy in the moral, cultural and racial war that the likes of Mr. Mandel and Mr. Eisner are waging.
If American voters really are driven by the “moral issue,” they need to drive a good bit further than Mr. Bush and his “family values” allies have suggested.