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Stupid Is As Stupid Does

The saddest and trickiest part about discrimination is that many people (myself included) are not aware when we’re engaging in it. This distinguishes us from the people who are simply bigots and don’t care.  In both cases, however, if you are the ‘discriminee’ it doesn’t really matter.

In this ad for Nivea skin products, the company created an ad campaign for African Americans called, “Recivilize Yourself.” Hmmm.  Bad move. Implying that people are civilized or uncivilized based on their race is well… infuriating. And yet, Nivea paid, I would guess, millions of dollars to put it’s prejudice into full color!  Note the ‘head’ (presumably the model’s uncivilized self). WOW. How could something like this get approved in 2011? By the way, Nivea did apologize (on Facebook!)

“It was never our intention to offend anyone, and for this we are deeply sorry. This ad will never be used again. Diversity and equal opportunity are crucial values of our company.”

Don’t know about you but I’m not feeling it…. 

I think the bottom line for all of us is that we need to be diligent in examining our beliefs and stereotypes. Discrimination is rampant these days is against 20 somethings. I implore you to think again about this generation. As digital natives, they have skills we desperately need to learn and understand.

As a woman in business, I have experienced discrimination many times; sometimes overt, sometimes subtle.  Like all those before me who have felt this sting, I have a couple of choices.  I can either be upset and let it affect the way I conduct myself or I can look the person in the eye, speak my peace when appropriate and move on. There’s too much good in the world to let ignorance or someone else’s opinion of me change how I live my life.

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