This is a little old and has probably made the round of the blogs already (if I could finally start keeping up with the blogosphere already, I’d know!) But being both a techie and an angry brown butch, I couldn’t possibly let this one slide without posting it.
Those runners on their mark look a whole lot like rows of faceless, muscular Black men bowing down before a professional-looking white dude, who is apparently going to “maximize the power” of his employees with them. And yet somehow no one at Intel noticed that this ad is majorly fucked up until, well, everyone else noticed. The wide-reaching outcry prompted Intel to pull the ad and offer up a rather weak apology: “We made a bad mistake … this ad of using African-American sprinters did not deliver our intended message and in fact proved to be culturally insensitive and insulting.”
Now, cases of multi-million dollar corporations doing stupid, racist things are a dime a dozen, but an interesting point is being made and getting attention on the heels of this gaffe. The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is using the case to draw attention to Intel’s support for a California ballot initiative that they claim will “eliminate class action lawsuits over civil rights issues.” I haven’t managed to find out much more about the initiative besides the info including in the article linked to above and the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights’ website, but I’d be willing to wager that any lobbying group whose board member organizations include the rogue’s gallery of mega-corporations listed in this PDF from their website isn’t looking out for the common man first. It’s a good reminder that, while the racism and classism of large corporations occasionally gets revealed through highly-publicized advertising gaffes like this one, there’s plenty going on behind the scenes as well.