July 26, 2017

Insane government billboard: "We don’t need pot to have fun. We’re Hispanics… We’re cool by default."

That was done by the Washington State Department of Health. The AP reports that the Department is "apologizing after some people were offended."

Some people were offended?!!

It's patently bad. It's not something that happened to offend "some people" and is therefore the subject of an apology. The government should have known all along that the message was offensive.

But the advertising idea reminds me of something I've seen around here, an ad against drunk driving that says something like: real men drive sober. It's appealing to the pride of a particular group. I don't know about that "real men" ad. I find it offensive, but I don't think it's insane to think it would be okay.

But "We’re Hispanics… We’re cool by default" is a terrible thing for the government to be saying. Even though the billboard has a photograph of a bunch of smiling young people who are being made to look as if they are saying that, it is the government putting out an ethnic stereotype.

It's also stupid because it sends the implicit message: If you're not Hispanic and thus not automatically cool, you should use marijuana so you can be cool too. And also: Hispanic people seem like they're on marijuana even when they are not. Which ought to remind us of why the government calls the substance "marijuana" and not "cannabis":
Throughout the 19th century, news reports and medical journal articles almost always use the plant's formal name, cannabis. Numerous accounts say that "marijuana" came into popular usage in the U.S. in the early 20th century because anti-cannabis factions wanted to underscore the drug's "Mexican-ness." It was meant to play off of anti-immigrant sentiments.

A common version of the story of the criminalization of pot goes like this: Cannabis was outlawed because various powerful interests (some of which have economic motives to suppress hemp production) were able to craft it into a bogeyman in the popular imagination, by spreading tales of homicidal mania touched off by consumption of the dreaded Mexican "locoweed." Fear of brown people combined with fear of nightmare drugs used by brown people to produce a wave of public action against the "marijuana menace." That combo led to restrictions in state after state, ultimately resulting in federal prohibition....

70 comments:

Expat(ish) said...

Why are leftist regimes such cesspits of racism?

h/t Instapundit

-XC

David said...

At some point when they legalize it (haven't they already?) they will be urging Hispanics to follow their proud ethnic tradition and smoke Guapo brand cannabis.

Because taxes and revenue for the state.

Go ahead. Legalize the stuff. Who gives a shit who it hurts. We need the cash and anyway it's no worse than alcohol or something.

Lyssa said...

"We’re Hispanics… We’re cool by default"

You know who's really cool? Ted Cruz. Man, that guy is just the coolest, by default.

Eleanor said...

If you wait long enough, people will always show you who they really are.

Etienne said...

I object to the whole "Hispanic" concept. I think the Spanish empire was evil, and these people need to get over it, and learn f'n English.

Stop babbling like f'n old world Conquistadors. Anyone who can't speak English within five years of citizenship, should be deported.

If you use Hispanic on any form, you should be taken to the Soylent Green factory to be dealt with.

Chuck said...

"Government advertising." Has that ever worked out well?

There ought to be a default, in all of government and public administration, that any time anyone thinks about an advertising campaign that is contracted by a government agency, something is wrong and they need to re-think it.

Information is fine. Government does indeed need to supply information. Public, broadcast, information. But any "advertising," in which an advertising/marketing team is doing crafted messaging is almost by definition a mistake. At the very least, an unwarranted risk.

I'm thinking that someone here will find an exception that proves my rule as just stated. Has there ever been a government ad campaign that was good? (Right off the top of my head, I might think of those iconic signs and posters from the Depression era; or perhaps Norman Rockwell's "Four Freedoms" illustrations. But I don't think of them as truly advertising campaigns.)

Bob Boyd said...

They were probably stoned when they decided to use that line.

rhhardin said...

It means that pot is a problem with illegals.

It's offensive for its government we-know-best, not for ethnic stereotyping.

ALP said...

Gov't billboards crack me up. I pass by one that cautions men to think before they hit their wife or kids. As if putting instructions in REALLY BIG FONT is the ticket. THAT will mitigate whatever shitty, violent upbringing the guy had. THAT billboard will cause his dysfunction to be CURED.

"I was gonna haul off and smack the bitch, but then I remembered that cool billboard outside the 7-11, and decided not to."

Billboards are the product of do-gooders with an inordinate belief in the power of words or nagging.

rhhardin said...

Call 911. Hemp is on the way.

John said...

What doe "hispanic" mean?

John Henry

rhhardin said...

Spanish has a thousand words for pot.

AllenS said...

Most "Hispanics" have no, or very little DNA from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain), they are, DNA-wise, Native Americans.

EDH said...

"Give me a coookie."

"Juan, don't beg me, man, go to the kitchen, you know."

AllenS said...

... and that Native American DNA goes all of the way to the bottom of South America.

rhhardin said...

We don't need human sacrifice to have fun. We're hispanics.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Mexican people are cool and don't need to smoke pot
Black people got rhythm and don't need no dance lessons
Asian drivers can't see, because epicanthic folds, so we all need to watch out
But. Japanese are way better in STEM and should be tutoring the rest of us.
White men are all rapists, brimming with toxic masculinity.
Black women all got big butts
White women all drive their kids to soccer games in big vans.
Don't be taking any river trips in Georgia!!!

How many more offensive stereotypes can the government put out? The better to divide us y'all.

Matthew Sablan said...

I'm not opening the ad in the hopes that they used screen grabs from West Side Story.

Though, I think it was the Jets who did the Cool number, not the Sharks.

Fernandinande said...

"A group of about 60 local youngsters helped craft the message running in Yakima, which they thought would be effective in their demographic."

You guys sure are mean to those pitiful local youngsters and their demographic.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You guys sure are mean to those pitiful local youngsters and their demographic.

Nah. It's tough love we are dispensing. You learn from your mistakes and stupid actions by getting ridiculed. If that doesn't work you get smacked and grounded. We can only do the first.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...But the advertising idea reminds me of something I've seen around here, an ad against drunk driving that says something like: real men drive sober. It's appealing to the pride of a particular group. I don't know about that "real men" ad. I find it offensive

If you don't mind elaborating, Professor, what about that ad do you find offensive? Does it offend you, or do you think it's offensive to others?

CJinPA said...

A common version of the story of the criminalization of pot goes like this:

I suspect there is a lot of exaggeration that goes into these "common versions" of tales relating 'how that thing you thought you knew has a racist origin.' Just a gut feeling, fueled as well by sources such as NPR.

Fabi said...

"Dave's not here, man."

Bay Area Guy said...

"We don't need pot to have fun. We're Hispanics.We're cool by default."

Where is Cheech and Chong when you really need them?

Bay Area Guy said...

Fabi beat me to it!

Sebastian said...

""We’re Hispanics… We’re cool by default" is a terrible thing for the government to be saying."

On the other hand, "We're Hispanics . . . we're entitled to affirmative action preferences" would be a great thing for the government to be saying.

Or, "We're Hispanics . . . We're not subject to deportation when we are illegal and commit crimes," would be another great thing for the government to be saying.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

DBQ - lol. Perfect.

Fabi said...

I'm just glad that someone else remembered that line, Bay Area Guy!

Fernandinande said...

$2.79 for regular gas?!? I'd be offended if I were in the Washington State gas-buying demographic.

"Demographic" means you look like other people who buy gas.

David Begley said...

To elite white liberals, all minorities are cool by default. Think Rachael Dozeal.

BDNYC said...

You're missing another implicit and perhaps bigoted message: the state government felt this message would work on Hispanics because Hispanics are shallowly prideful about their ethnicity. Also, the state government seems to be saying Hispanics need these scarce resources because they have a worse drug problem. Pretty racist.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laslo Spatula said...

We Don't Need Weed To Make BLACK LIVES MATTER.

We Don't Need To Smoke The Chronic To Be a True Gangsta.

We Don't Need a Blunt to Keep It Real, You Feel Me?

We Don’t Need Pot to Have Fun. We’re Black: White People Are Afraid Of Us Already.

I am Laslo.

tcrosse said...

We don't need no stinkin' doobies.

Known Unknown said...

Jeez. Everyone knows they're spicy by default. Sad!

Michael K said...

" they are, DNA-wise, Native Americans."

The Spanish is in the Y chromosome.

Mitochondria are Indian.

Fernandinande said...

Tales of the Texas Rangers, November 18, 1951

"Wild Crop". After a cowboy is found beaten to death, the smell of marijuana gives Jace Pearson the clue needed to track down the killer**. Bud’s sister is courting a guy named Jennings and is planning to marry him. However Whitey wants her all to himself and plans on scaring him off with the help of Bud in exchange for some marijuana that Bud has become addicted to. However Whitey takes it too far and ends up killing Jennings.

**usually the "wetbacks" who smuggled the marijuana and then went crazy after smoking it.

holdfast said...

Are there Hispanics in Yakima? That's the part of Washington State that's really Idaho. It's Hillbillies and meth, not Mexicans and weed.

CJinPA said...

You're missing another implicit and perhaps bigoted message: the state government felt this message would work on Hispanics because Hispanics are shallowly prideful about their ethnicity.

The entire argument "You'll lose Hispanic voters if you enforce immigration laws" is based on this conceit. Of course, the message could be accurate at this point. When all of the institutions are encouraging non-white citizens to think and act and vote their ethnicity, that's what you get.

Fernandinande said...

AllenS said...
Most "Hispanics" have no, or very little DNA from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain), they are, DNA-wise, Native Americans.


Well, not really and it depends where they're from. Some are mostly European, some are mostly black, no group in the below study (Fig 1) were mostly - or even largely - Amerindian:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1449501/

"Among the results was the discovery of three distinct genetic clusters in different areas of Mexico, as well as clear remnants of ancient empires that cross seemingly remote geographical zones. In particular, the Seri people along the northern mainland coast of the Gulf of California and a Mayan people known as the Lacandon, near the Guatemalan border, are as genetically different from one another as Europeans are from Chinese."

MayBee said...

So the uncool races should smoke pot to try to be cool.

MayBee said...

I was watching a travel show about Spain yesterday, and wondered why Spanish speaking Europeans here in the US are treated differently (by government and common parlance) than Italian or French speaking Europeans.

CJinPA said...

Are there Hispanics in Yakima? That's the part of Washington State that's really Idaho.

41% as of 2010 census

The article says this message was suggested by 'area youth.'

CJinPA said...

The Mexican equivalent of our Census Bureau just came out with a study that found the lighter the skin the higher the income in Mexico. The report featured a scale of 11 skin tones.

Clearly, proximity to the U.S. has made Mexico vulnerable to racism, which, as smart people know, is exclusive to America.

William said...

I wonder who crafted this message. Would it be more deplorable if it were written by a dopey white or a nationalistic Hispanic? If it were written by a dopey white, he would certainly be criticized more severely.

BDNYC said...

I really think we need to abandon the Hispanic classification in official records. Why are Sammy Sosa, Mario Lopez and Cameron Diaz all part of the same ethnic group? It doesn't make any sense. Sosa is black. Lopez is mestizo, so part Aztec or something. Diaz is white.

Interestingly, George Zimmerman nearly lost his Hispanic identity when he killed a black youth.

Michael K said...

The Mexican equivalent of our Census Bureau just came out with a study that found the lighter the skin the higher the income in Mexico.

This same status scale exists with blacks.

I have a theory that the lighter the black skin, the angrier they are.

Black conservatives, like Clarence Thomas, tend to be darker, and it may be related to how comfortable they are "in their skin," as the saying goes.

PB said...

lighten up. Not everythings needs to be analyzed to death.

Fernandinande said...

BDNYC said...
It doesn't make any sense.


"The term 'Hispanic' was adopted by the United States government in the early 1970s during the administration of Richard Nixon"

Quiz: Can You Pick Out the "White Hispanic" Amidst All the Hispanic Hispanics?

Spoiler: the "Hispanic Hispanics" (activists, etc) look like Europeans; "white hispanic" George Zimmerman looks ... Hispanic.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

The company I work for has an office in Barcelona and I deal with the staff on a semi-regular basis. They DO NOT like to be referred to as 'Hispanics'.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pdug said...

"Hispanic people seem like they're on marijuana even when they are not. "

Um, what??!?

Biff said...

Was this ad done by white people? I know a lot of "Hispanics," and they all refer to themselves as Mexicans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Ecuadorian, Peruvian, Columbian, etc., etc., etc. I can't recall any of them ever using the word "Hispanic" to describe themselves. Hispanic is a term that is used by white people and activists, and that's about it.

Kevin said...

The people most likely to call others racist continually show they don't know the meaning of the word.

stlcdr said...

Barcelona, Mexico?

The Godfather said...

They call it "dope" for a reason. State officials should stop smoking it.

Howard said...

How else are they expected to do that back breaking stoop farm labor 12-hours a day. You'd be as crazy as Trump to do it sober.

n.n said...

[class] diversity run amuck. Apparently, the models did not predict this either.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Interestingly, George Zimmerman nearly lost his Hispanic identity when he killed a black youth."

He has the misfortunate of having the last name of "Zimmerman." Things might have gone easier for him if his last name was "Lopez" or "Ramirez" simply because the media would have been more uncomfortable branding him as racist.

They had no difficulty calling a guy named Zimmerman a racist.

TwilightofLiberty.com said...

I've never been someone who felt he was cool and I was never blessed with self-confidence. But what I have been blessed with is a strong contrarianism.

The more culture/society/government tells me, or implies that, I suck for being a normal Caucasian male, the more I'm gonna think I'm actually pretty awesome.

buwaya said...

"We’re Hispanics… We’re cool by default"

I'm "Hispanic" and also cool by default.

Just behave as if you look like Sr. Banderas and you can't go wrong.

It helps to know how to whistle the "Golondrina", or some other such air.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Expat(ish): Why is our government such a cesspit of racism? (credit Instapundit for meme.)

My first thought, exactly.

n.n said...

buwaya:

Just behave as if you look like Sr. Banderas and you can't go wrong.

Behavior, yes, but don't underestimate the coolness factor in a name. Banderas!

Michael said...

I thought the ad was excellent. And true.

Ann Althouse said...

"If you don't mind elaborating, Professor, what about that ad do you find offensive? Does it offend you, or do you think it's offensive to others?"

I don't think the government should be defining manliness and appealing to citizens to aspire to it. This is something that belongs to individuals and private groups, not government. It's none of government's business how we understand our gender. I realize advertising tries to reach our psyche, but government should not deal with us in these terms.

Ann Althouse said...

Compare Princeton's effort at defining and imposing its idea of proper masculinity: https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/34858/

Ralph L said...

If you're not Hispanic and thus not automatically cool,

I'm not Hispanic but I'm automatically cool. What's your problem? Besides incorrect logic?

Apparently, telling youngsters that pot isn't necessary to have cool fun and driving drunk is for dipshits hasn't proven very effective, so marketing technique is required. Young people today!

Ralph L said...

We're cool by default, and we're young and good looking. Now that's offensive to anyone who's never been a thing of beauty.

That ain't the way to have fun
Satan's reverse psychology

Bad Lieutenant said...

If you use Hispanic on any form, you should be taken to the Soylent Green factory to be dealt with.
7/26/17, 8:06 AM


But what if you're not hungry for Mexican?

Ralph L said...

You're stuck with sandwiches named “Padrino” and “Pomodoro” and ingredients like soppressata, capicollo and a striata baguette.