If you only heard and couldn’t see the latest Sainsbury’s Christmas adverts, you’d hear family members having typical run-of-the-mill conversations checking in on each other, excited for the festive period and a sense of genuine love between them.
The sound of one sibling being silly and singing to the other would probably warm your heart and make you excited to spend time with your own loved ones this Christmas if you’re fortunate enough to be able to.
That familiar sense of home is relatable to anyone regardless of your skin colour or where you come from.
It’s one of the few things in this life that is pretty universal.
I’d say it’s unfathomable that some people – and to be clear, by some people I mean racists – would feel so passionately furious simply because the family starring in the Gravy Song advert is Black, but this has unfortunately become our reality.
It takes a special kind of hateful person to watch that wholesome clip and have their blood boil with rage to the point they want to boycott Sainsbury’s.
You would think the advert featured something outrageously offensive but no, the actors in the advert were simply working while Black.
‘Disgraceful disgusting shocking,’ was how one racist described the advert.
‘Just another gaff @sainsburys in a long line of gaffs. Where’s Whitey? In the town I live in, Whitey accounts for 95% of the population [sic],’ declared another, steam no doubt spewing from their hands as they bashed away at their keyboard.
Haven’t we suffered enough hate this year? Must we also taint what is generally supposed to be the happiest time of year too?
Is it also not enough that we’re facing the prospect of not being able to see many loved ones this Christmas because of our other enemy, Covid-19?
One thing we can all probably agree on is that 2020 has been draining and particularly for the Black community, who have faced adversity in what feels like every corner of our existence.
Black people are more susceptible to contracting coronavirus, we are more likely to be shot and strangled in broad daylight in the streets by white police officers and, a recent report confirmed that Black mothers are five times more likely to die in childbirth.
These are facts Black people have to live with everyday but it’s enough.
It felt like we were finally being seen, at least in one aspect, when Amazon and Sainsbury’s opened the floor for Black people to have starring roles in their adverts.
One historic issue with British TV is that there are so few opportunities for people of colour, particularly when it’s not directly about being Black or related to their ethnicity.
Gravy Song, one of three adverts Sainsbury’s is releasing this Christmas, features a Black family simply enjoying a normal Christmas Day without the actual focus being on their race.
It was beautiful to see people with my skintone on TV but it was just as beautiful that, for once, it wasn’t ‘about’ them being Black.
Well that was until a group of people made it about colour.
Of course, there shouldn’t be a problem if Sainsbury’s only Christmas advert this year starred only Black people, but do the racists realise there is another advert with a white family?
Guessing the 50 previous adverts you claimed weren’t enough.
What I can’t wrap my head around is what they’re actually mad about – the last time I checked it wasn’t a crime for Black people to celebrate Christmas – but then to try and understand the mind of a racist is a lost cause anyway.
Sainsbury’s had the perfect response in defending the advert and stating that their messaging ‘represents the diverse communities we serve’.
After all, that is supposed to be the beauty of Britain – how diverse our country is compared to others.
Wouldn’t it be great to know how many of these people who are threatening to boycott Sainsbury’s have also picked up a curry during their weekly shop or a little seasoning to spice their food.
I’ll bet at least some do. If they can enjoy the diverse cuisines British supermarkets have to offer, they should be able to accept their inclusive adverts too.
Celebrating Christmas carefree with our families is probably the biggest request on all our wish lists this year and it shouldn’t be a crime to do so whether you’re Black, white or other.
So for the love of not completely losing all sense of humanity during the wildest year of our lifetime, just allow Black people to enjoy a moment’s shine and finish the year with some semblance of positivity.
If that’s really asking too much of your character, then like Sainsbury’s suggested, you’re more welcome to shop elsewhere.
Credit: Original article published here.