Monday, November 22, 2021

I'm at a loss.

I grew up a fighter. 

Like Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) said to Edie Dugan (Eva Marie Saint) in "On the Waterfront," "You want to hear my philosophy of life? Do it to him, before he does it to you."

But I'm at a loss over the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. When there's an injustice, we should do something. But what can we do?

How can we fight back?

A lot of people read this blog. I average over 80,000 readers/week.

A lot of important people in an industry charged with influencing hearts and minds. An industry that at its best inspires action and moves people.

But what can we do?

For ten years, I have personally boycotted the Fox Network--I don't even watch the Super Bowl or the baseball playoffs. I believe the network and all its corollaries--because they support racist people who propagate racist points of view--must be shunned.

I've talked to media leaders about this. Presidents of giant Holding Company media companies. I've talked to clients. 

For a moment, they look sad and sallow. 

Then they tell me why they can't. They can't, because. 

I'm sure they use the same logic people used when they said they're not racist but they like shopping at such and such a store--that happens not to serve people of color. I'm sure they use the same logic people used when they joined white citizens councils, or blew up churches and killed little Black girls in white dresses and shiny Mary Janes praying on a Sunday morning.

I don't know what we can do.

As advertising people.

You'd think we could influence the "service providers," like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and other oliogopolies that air and distribute One American Network, News Max and Fox.

But as an industry, we remain as limp as a dead eel.

So hate and violence against people of color gets normalized. Sure, we personally avoid buying a pillow advertised by Mike Lindell, or whatever his name is (it's not worth spellchecking to me.) But we're not doing anything.

I'm out of the industry.

Except for three small clients, I do very little television work right now.

But I wonder where Read, Sadoun, Wren, and their ilk are. 

I wonder where leadership is.

I wonder why we go back to our banner ads when a large swath of America has made in OK to kill Black people because they feel threatened by their own hate and fear.

I wonder where the media guys are. The guys who leverage the size of America's largest advertisers and get great deals on the aforementioned stations. I wonder why they're willing to accept free junkets and Super Bowl tickets but not willing to assert their conscience.

I don't like the feeling of being powerless.

I don't like working in an industry where the people who have power have no inclination to speak up.

It's frightening.

The same thing happened in Germany in 1933. Giant industrialists who could have stopped things before they started decided they were better off feathering their nests.

We should be ashamed of ourselves.

We should be angry.

We should demand better.

Of ourselves. 

Of our industry.

Of our so-called leaders.

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