(Reuters) – Arab-American groups have sharply criticized a Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad depicting an Arab walking through the desert with a camel, and one group said it would ask the beverage giant to change it before CBS airs the game on Sunday before an expected audience of more than 100 million U.S. viewers.
“Why is it that Arabs are always shown as either oil-rich sheiks, terrorists, or belly dancers?” said Warren David, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, or ADC.
Coca-Cola released an online teaser of the commercial last week, showing the Arab walking through a desert. He soon sees cowboys, Las Vegas showgirls and a motley crew fashioned after the marauders of the apocalyptic “Mad Max” film race by him to reach a gigantic bottle of Coke.
In its ad, Coke asks viewers to vote online on which characters should win the race. The online site does not allow a vote for the Arab character.
“The Coke commercial for the Super Ball is racist, portraying Arabs as backward and foolish Camel Jockeys, and they have no chance to win in the world,” Imam Ali Siddiqui, president of the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies, said in an email.
Well, if the sandal fits…
“What message is Coke sending with this?” asked Abed Ayoub, ADC’s director of legal and policy affairs. “By not including the Arab in the race, it is clear that the Arab is held to a different standard when compared to the other characters in the commercial,” he said.
It is racist to portray an Arab as a bystander dontcha know…
The ADC garnered attention back in 1992 when it complained that lyrics in the Walt Disney animated film “Aladdin” were racist.
I’m shocked! I’m shocked I tell ya!
Ayoub said the commercial could harm Coke’s business with the Arab community.
“Coke should understand and respect their consumers and have a better understanding of the market they are sharing,” he Ayoub.
The company has a large market share in the Middle East and North Africa, he noted, and many convenience stores and other retail outlets in the United States that offer Coke are owned by Arab-Americans.
So if a Coke Super Bowl ad was set in a convenience store with an Arab at the counter it would not be racist? Not bloody likely.
Stereotypes exist because they reflect reality.
Daled Amos reminds:
…the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee–those are the fine people who have pushed for the Palestinian “Right of Return”, boycotting of Lowe’s because it removed its ad from the TV series All-American Muslim, and divesting from Israel.
Ah yes, The Learning Channel’s canceled ‘All American Muslim’ which featured terror group Hezabollah fan boy; radical Shia Imam Husham Al- Husainy, who also openly supports jihad, genocide against Jews and the destruction of the United States and Israel.
But hey, let’s all wring our hands over what the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee see as an Arab stereotyped/portrayed (whatevs) as a backwards, foolish camel jockey.
Because some things are more important than others. And that is far more important than an actual enemy within, the very enemy whom the ADC turned a blind eye to.