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Old 05-18-2008, 10:07 PM   #21
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The increase in prominence of racially ambiguous images/people is a good thing. "Races" mean nothing to biologists, what we call "races" are distinctions only in the minds of man, they are not valid scientific distinctions. The idea of categorizing people by races and then making generalizations about each of these groupings (consciously or unconsciously) has done more to hold back the progress of mankind than almost anything. So, blurring the lines is great, hopefully it makes the whole idea of "tagging" people more difficult and less useful to the intellectually lazy.
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:12 PM   #22
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The increase in prominence of racially ambiguous images/people is a good thing. "Races" mean nothing to biologists, what we call "races" are distinctions only in the minds of man, they are not valid scientific distinctions. The idea of categorizing people by races and then making generalizations about each of these groupings (consciously or unconsciously) has done more to hold back the progress of mankind than almost anything. So, blurring the lines is great, hopefully it makes the whole idea of "tagging" people more difficult and less useful to the intellectually lazy.
If humans survive, in spite of themselves, they'll eventually be all one race anyway. Then we'll have to invent new and innovative ways to hate each other...
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:22 PM   #23
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These "bi-racial" themes have been on TV for a long time!
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:23 PM   #24
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One of my favorite Star Trek episodes!
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:28 PM   #25
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If humans survive, in spite of themselves, they'll eventually be all one race anyway. Then we'll have to invent new and innovative ways to hate each other...
Oh, oh , oh!!! I know what that will be.

It seems like tall people date and marry tall people, and short people date and marry short people. If they do, what a perfect lab experiment for increasing height variability!

Pretty soon, the 7' people will hate the 4' people, and vice versa. We'll have new races of giants and diminutive people.

(P.S. - - loved that episode, too! back in the day, I thought it was SO perceptive )
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:31 PM   #26
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:37 AM   #27
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The increase in prominence of racially ambiguous images/people is a good thing. "Races" mean nothing to biologists, what we call "races" are distinctions only in the minds of man, they are not valid scientific distinctions. The idea of categorizing people by races and then making generalizations about each of these groupings (consciously or unconsciously) has done more to hold back the progress of mankind than almost anything. So, blurring the lines is great, hopefully it makes the whole idea of "tagging" people more difficult and less useful to the intellectually lazy.
My antedotal observation is that this is happening for ethnic groups in similar economic stata. In my area there seems to be considerable caucasian/asian mixing:

(1) In a parent tot-sports class about ten years ago rougly 1/3 were caucasian, 1/3 were asian and 1/3 were asian/caucasian mixes.
(2) The invitees to my DSs birthday party of a couple of years ago were 2 caucasians, 3 asians and 3 asian/caucasian mixes.
(3) In DDs high school there are a number of caucasian/asian "couples" meaning that both the boy and the girl are half caucasian and half asian not that one is asian and the other caucasian.

My kids are asian/caucasian. Physically I would say that their features are 80-90% those that would usually be associated with caucasians. DS for example has coarse asian-like hair but it is dark brown not black and a hint of the asian eyes.

Once I took him to the barber shop when he was about eight. The barber was asian. He started cutting his hair and looked up in surprise and said "He has hair like me!" Yup, that came from DW.

Many other asian/caucasians seem to have more asian features.

DWs land-lord once told her that she should "Keep her blood pure!" We have turned this into a family joke and told the kids that they will have to marry somebody with both asian and caucasian ancestry in order to keep their blood pure.

DD seem to have inherited her study habits from her HS validictorian, engineering undergraduate award-winning, MBA school commencement speaker mom. Although DS is very bright he seems to get his study habits from his underachieving dad. Although I did end up with a PhD from Berkeley so maybe he'll be ok.

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Old 05-19-2008, 02:06 AM   #28
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Now don't go baggin on my "local environment" or what you think I may "surmise" - particularly when you don't know what my "local environment" is, where or how frequently I travel, or where else I have lived.

Perhaps you should get out of Ventura County once in a while. Been to Iowa lately?

I have noted the greatest majority of the people in this country have distinctly caucasian, african-american, hispanic or asian features.

I have further noted of late that persons with multi-racial ethnic features are quite over-represented in the media compared to their percentage of the actual population. (Ventura Co. excepted of course )

My point was the change in what one sees on television as opposed to the actual US population & I wonder if there's not a bit of a PC multiculturalist agenda being pushed that does not really reflect reality (but then, when has TV ever reflected reality? )
i think we're in violent agreement on the reflecting reality thing.. ;-)
but that seems to be true the world over so thankfully we don't seem
to have a lock on it (in the u.s.)
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Old 05-19-2008, 11:15 AM   #29
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My antedotal observation is that this is happening for ethnic groups in similar economic stata.
I agree. And, I think income level is a better (but far from perfect) indicator of a person's likely beliefs/attitudes/behaviors than their race/skin color.
Thirty years ago, many whites didn't want a black family to move into the neighborhood because it would "ruin property values." There are surely (and regrettably) some whites who still feel this way. My guess is that they visualize a home with a black family plucked from the slums transplanted into their idyllic street: three derelict cars in various stages of disassembly in the front yard, idle young men wandering around the neighborhood, loud parties and drug dealing at night, etc. Heck, I wouldn't want such a family in my neighborhood, either. But, I wouldn't want them whether they were black or white. As more and more whites come to see "black families" as the wife and three kids of the guy who he works with, or the dentist and his/her family, etc, then the whole issue of the skin pigmentation of the family will become irrelevant. Instead, "Are they good neighbors" is becoming the only criteria.

There's still a way to go on the whole issue of race in the US, but I'm amazed and proud that we've done as well as we have to date. 40 years is really the blink of an eye in changing cultural norms and individual attitudes.
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Old 05-19-2008, 12:43 PM   #30
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I just hope that "asian" is still a historically oppressed underprivileged social group in about 15 years when my daughters start college. Como se dice BIG TIME COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS!!!?!! Same for being female. I mean seriously, minority AND female? Show me the dollars! I'm all for social progress, integration, and diversity and all that rot. As a society, let's just make sure that we wait ~ 19 years or so to achieve those pie in the sky goals so I can let my kids get a free ride through college!

Am I right folks??!??

(before the flamez start, this is equal parts sarcasm and wishful FIRE-enhancing thinking!)
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:38 PM   #31
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It seems like tall people date and marry tall people, and short people date and marry short people. If they do, what a perfect lab experiment for increasing height variability!

Pretty soon, the 7' people will hate the 4' people, and vice versa. We'll have new races of giants and diminutive people.
Darwin & Galton covered that a long time ago with peas and people. The largest peas did produce larger peas, and the smaller peas produced smaller peas, but they were closer to average than the parents. Else, we *would* live in a land of very small and very tall people only. Regression to the mean.

But yes, unfortunately, some people will look for other reasons to make themselves feel superior to others. (samclem read my mind with the starbelly sneeches!)

Regression toward the mean - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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He later described the same effect more numerically by comparing fathers' heights to their sons' heights. Again, the heights of sons both of unusually tall fathers and of unusually short fathers was typically closer to the mean height than their fathers' heights.
-ERD50
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:16 PM   #32
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There's still a way to go on the whole issue of race in the US, but I'm amazed and proud that we've done as well as we have to date. 40 years is really the blink of an eye in changing cultural norms and individual attitudes.
I agree.

I think that change has to be measured in generations because few people radically change their beliefs once they are established.

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Old 05-19-2008, 08:21 PM   #33
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Geezer.

I was born too early.

Yeah, ads are changing. I remember a Chrysler ad with some bikini bimbo stretched out on the roof, circa 1966 or thereabouts. Too un PC now.

Sex sells. It's hardwired and the marketers know it. Now their problem is how to be PC about it. And if they're selling droopy jeans to 14 year olds they don't care what you think.
Frankly droppy jeans are so passe. Besides showing me what color underwear the interns are wearing, the jeans really clutter up my radar. Now I don't know who is presenting and who just forgot to hike up her pants.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:31 PM   #34
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All of this talk about ads almost makes me want to 1) watch TV and 2) not fast-forward through the commercials.

My sister is multi-racial. Maybe I'm especially dense, but race and gender never really stick out to me... stupid or not stupid, now that I pick up on right away!
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:06 PM   #35
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Being under 40, raised in No. Cal, joined the US Navy, and currently live in NJ...well, the whole racial thing only gets my notice when surrounded by mostly white people. (nordic looking female here) The civilian world seems more segregated than the military. I am amused by the judges on court TV shows - the bailiff is always something the judge is not
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:24 AM   #36
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I think some of the comments I've read thus far, while interesting & thoughtful, stray just a wee bit from the original topic of the thread. I hope nobody's going to start throwing the race card around soon. I'd like to hear some thoughts more directly related to the OP and the questions of:

* Are TV ads becoming more racially/ethnically diverse than in the past? (I think most of us agree on that one) & I'm certainly not saying that's right or wrong - just an observation.

* Have we seen this happening the last year or so at a "rate" far greater than the changes in actual racial/ethnic demographics in the U.S. - or does it accurately reflect reality? (granted, not that TV ever did)

* If the "rate" of change is far greater than reality as suggested above - is this deliberately calculated or by chance? (I think most would have to agree it is deliberate - I think very little of what we see in TV ads is by chance)

* If the media is deliberately portraying certain ethnic groups (or combinations thereof) on TV ads what is the motivation? Is it marketing related; PC dominated media companies/execs pushing a multicultural agenda (a bit conspiratorial, but I'm not discounting it entirely); or a little of both?
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:28 AM   #37
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I would ascribe any increase in "multicultural" "actors" in advertising to wanting to sell more stuff...

"Hey, look at that <white> <black> <brown> <guy> <gal> <gay> <lesbian> <republican> <democrat> <hippie> <redneck>; he bought a <insert tchotzke here>, and it looks like <he, she, it> is getting laid more that I am. I'd better go in hock whip out my credit card, and get one too...

"Call now"
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:06 AM   #38
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I just wish I had been a bit older when ads started showing Mom as less of a homemaker and more as a businesswoman, so I could have watched that progression. But I wasn't.
Around 1969 or so is when females started working on empowerment by wearing pantsuits to work. You look back and laugh at that now; but it was a big step then for women, and they felt so amazed to assert themself this way. Brother!!!!
Ads seem to change in waves, and I feel we are in another wave right now. Then things stay the same for a number of years, and then another wave comes in. What next? I wonder...hmmmm....
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:40 AM   #39
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Around 1969 or so is when females started working on empowerment by wearing pantsuits to work. You look back and laugh at that now; but it was a big step then for women, and they felt so amazed to assert themself this way. Brother!!!!
It was a HUGE step, and younger women sometimes don't understand that. I remember seeing Mary Tyler Moore wearing pants and a blouse on the Dick van Dyke show, and my mother saying "In California they can dress like that, pretty wacky, huh?". A woman wearing pants looked a little masculine to me. I always wore dresses or skirts and blouses, often even during leisure time though I had shorts for summertime.

When I was in college in the late 60's, my mother would ask me in a teasing way if I wore pantssuits to class. Of course I didn't, I would protest!! I wore a bright red micro-mini with black tights and heels, and a skin tight leotard type top like any good late 1960's girl would.

I never saw my mother wearing long pants until around 1970 or later.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:56 AM   #40
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It was a HUGE step, and younger women sometimes don't understand that. I remember seeing Mary Tyler Moore wearing pants and a blouse on the Dick van Dyke show, and my mother saying "In California they can dress like that, pretty wacky, huh?". A woman wearing pants looked a little masculine to me. I always wore dresses or skirts and blouses, often even during leisure time though I had shorts for summertime.

When I was in college in the late 60's, my mother would ask me in a teasing way if I wore pantssuits to class. Of course I didn't, I would protest!! I wore a bright red micro-mini with black tights and heels, and a skin tight leotard type top like any good late 1960's girl would.

I never saw my mother wearing long pants until around 1970 or later.
Interesting.... I started college in 1969 and began college wearing nice clothing (for me) but mostly slacks. As I progressed, I got sloppier...jeans and tees....got the hippy vibe later. So, I guess pants on me was always a normal thing. My mother didn't start wearing pants until her 60s tho and that would have been during the '70s.
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