Marketing Campaign of the Day: As if it weren’t enough that North Carolina already doesn’t recognize same-sex unions, the state votes next Tuesday on a ballot measure that reads: “Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized by this State.”
This ad campaign, by Winston-Salem agency The Variable, plays on segregation-era discrimination to shock voters into voting down the offensive legislation, called Amendment 1: “On May 8th, make history. Don’t repeat it.”
And this is the type of campaign that makes some people spit blood.
Listen, I understand the metaphorical value of comparing discrimination of gay people today to black people under Jim Crow laws — even though black people were supposed to be equal under the law, states put laws in place that did everything but allow that. I get it.
I fully support marriage equality and think what N.C.’s doing is repulsive — BUT IT’S NOT LIKE YOU ACTUALLY HAD TO USE SEPARATE RESTROOMS OR DRINKING FOUNTAINS. YOU COULD HIDE BEING GAY. IT WAS FUCKING AWFUL AND NOT ANYTHING ANYONE SHOULD GO THROUGH, BUT YOU COULD PASS THROUGH SOCIETY BEING GAY OR LESBIAN. YOU COULDN’T HIDE BEING BLACK. YOU COULDN’T HIDE THE THING THAT MADE WHITE PEOPLE FORCE YOU OUT OF RESTAURANTS, HOTEL ROOMS, AND SHUNTED OFF BY REALTORS WHO WOULDN’T SELL A HOME TO YOU IN A CERTAIN NEIGHBORHOOD. YOU CAN’T FUCKING HIDE THE SKIN COLOR THAT DROVE WHITE MEN TO PUT ALL SORT OF ONEROUS GRANDFATHER CLAUSES, POLL TAXES, AND LITERACY TESTS IN PLACE TO DENY YOU A RIGHT TO VOTE.
Was there a black person working on this ad campaign at all? Because I understand the point they’re trying to make — it’s just clumsily done and with no respect to what my family members and many others actually went through decades ago.
(P.S. never mind that there could be a sizable number of people who really do agree with the image above and want to see it put in place.)