I thought Ellen Seiter's article about the "whiteness" of commercials, wait, domestic commercials, was quite interesting. She brought up something that I feel most of us probably have noticed before but never questioned. However, after reading her article, I realized something: I was trying to "defend" these commercials.
By "defend" I mean I tried to find excuses for why they are dominantly white, that there is no problem with them. Then I realized I was really defending myself and my own way of thinking. I admit, when I think "empowered" or "American Dream" I think of a white person or a white family. Then there's "ghetto" where an image of a black person flashes before me. And, as Seiter pointed out, "trendy" I think of a black person...perhaps it is because I was brought up thinking that this is true? Or at least I've heard and seen this more often. On television, commercials, from friends and family. For some reason, these "stereotypes" are just as what Seiter explained.
As far as I know, it seems the USA is the only country where "ghetto" is quickly paired with a race/ethnicity. In Europe there is no ethnic group that is considered "ghetto," there may be a general idea of what is "ghetto" but they would not automatically link it to blacks (at least this is what I've heard from my sisters who studied abroad there).
So, I wonder if the media began portraying blacks in the same way as whites, would this change society's idea of "ghetto" or these stereotypes of minorities and whites? And did commercials generate these stereotypes or are these commercials created with these stereotypes because people already believe in them? If the media began to portray blacks as they do whites, would the population's views and hard-driven stereotypes be changed or must the audience force the change? It would be rather interesting to see what would happen if every firm began to practice what Burell is doing: portraying happy African American families.