There is a new Volkswagen commercial in which a masked man goes into a convenience store to make a purchase.

The owner and another customer watches in astonishment and disbelief as the masked man pays for the purchase and leaves the store.

While I know that some of you think this commentary is a non-issue, I beg to differ dear readers.


For a long time I have watched the mass media portray a double standard in its attempts to convey a message to the masses or sell products and services.

I distinctly remember a few years ago when the promotion of Mr. and Mrs. Smith starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie was underway.

There were posters with both actors posing with guns.

Around the same time the “50 cent” movie Get Rich or Die Tryin was released. In accordance with the movie’s theme, 50 was photographed with guns.

Lo and behold the backlash!!!

Violence is violence right?

Or does it just get under our skin when it is portrayed in the African American community?

I had the occasion to view both movies.

While the “Bradgelina” movie was more along the lines of a light hearted comedy, they were employing very violent tactics.

They both were assassins who inadvertently were hired to kill each other.

Both characters committed homicide in the movie.

Was the public in a nervous uproar more over the 50 cent film because it was autobiographical and grounded in the unfortunate realities of African American urban life?

Although not talked about as much, there has been the occasion when news programs such as Nightline and 20/20 have broadcast sensational murder for hire stories involving some elite rich socialite.

Even when this is the occasion we don’t seem to have a great cause for concern or alarm.

Take the Volkswagen commercial.

When the masked customer returns to the car with his other masked cohorts, they kid him for not removing his mask and when they hear sirens in the distant they jokingly make a fast “getaway”.

After the initial viewing, I wondered over the prospect of Volkswagen making that same commercial with young African American men in masks entering a convenience store in a predominately White neighborhood.

Can you-I mean can you-imaging the hue and cry?

Lordy, Lordy!!!!!

It’s a safe bet that within a 24 hour period, Volkswagen would have to issue an apology as well as pull the ad-never to be seen again!

And as for the hue and cry?

I am not a gambler but there is a 90% chance that both the White and Black communities would have raised holy hell!

In my mind’s eye, I can picture CNN, BET, PBS, etc. roundtable pundits expounding on the irresponsibility of the media in exploiting the worst of Black culture in the pursuit of capitalism.

Wow, I guess you gotta love it.

Only in America!!!

Until next time….