Turkey, Cheerios, racism and persecution

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 2.57.41 PMWe’re a biracial couple and even though I hate that word, I love the fact that my husband and I come from very diverse cultural backgrounds and are not at all similar in physical appearance. I think our recent baby has the best of both of us and hopefully will grow up without experiencing prejudice and hate.

We can hope, right?


It was quite a surprise to see the reaction on YouTube to the Cheerios Just Checking video (shown below). Unfortunately, anonymized comments allow people to bare their nasty souls and people reacted in very ugly ways to the biracial couple in the video. Ugly enough that General Mills turned off comments.


Equally unfortunate is the need for speech to be protected if we’re to live in a democratic society. But it does. As much as I hate the hate speech, I recognize that what’s happening in Turkey, where dozens have been arrested for tweeting what the Turkish Government says is encouraging rebellion and making propaganda, is worse. Rumor has it that people were arrested for tweeting a photo of police assaulting a young girl.

In the end, I’d rather have ugly speech than Turkish-style persecution of speech. The world needs to find new norms for public commentary. Racists, governments and the rest of us will need to figure this out. Until we do, this is what we can expect. With the racism shown on YouTube, at least we know what to expect in the wider world.


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Categories: Social / Collaboration

Author:Jeanne Roué-Taylor

I'm fascinated by disruptive technology and its impact on our world. I manage sales operations for an excellent startup with a unique team of highly experienced data scientists.

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One Comment on “Turkey, Cheerios, racism and persecution”

  1. June 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    As Voltaire said, “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”? Wish people felt that way about everyones rights to be and love who they want. I hope one day for a social epiphany where people realize we’re all the same and equal.

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