I watched a bit of television over the weekend.
I hasten to add that my viewing deliberately avoided that rocky horror show they call Eurovision. I’m delighted to say I never saw even a scrap of it thereby retaining some of my sanity.
What caught my interest was the advertisements. We were watching one of those satellite channels that is just adverisements with the occasional break to show us a snippet of the actual programme. Now normally I have a mental switch that allows me to blank out all ads and will only register when the programme restarts. This time however I started watching the ads themselves.
I did a little survey – one of those surveys so beloved of researchers that sound impressive but in reality is just done on the back of a fag packet. I counted the adverts in one break and the total was ten. The content of those ten surprised me a little but in the context of the modern world I wasn’t that surprised. In nine of the adverts at least one if not all of the human participants had a skin colour I can only describe as distinctly non-white.
The ads were varied but I learned that Maltesers are only purchased solely by entire families consisting of “people of colour”. The same goes for healthcare, skin creams, holidays, Lucozade and even Guinness [though in fairness there were a few Caucasians amongst the latter’s imbibers].
When did Ireland become so black – or at the very least 75% so? In my little corner of the world black skin is an extreme rarity and always denotes a tourist or other wayward visitor. Are we a little backwater that has somehow avoided this predominantly black tide? Would I be the only White if I were careless enough to find myself in Dublin? I noticed in the Guinness ad, it started its location in a pub just up the back road to Dublin so this tide of blackness isn’t too far away.
As I have stated in the past, I have nothing against black skin. I take people as I find them and the only thing I ask of people is to speak fluently enough that I can understand them. I don’t think that’s too much to ask?
Incidentally, when our programme ended I let the channel run to see what was on next. It transpired to be a “comedy” featuring young people.
Every single cast member was black.