Dad: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Look at this—one contradiction eating another!

Son [eating Starburst]: What do you mean?

Dad: You're Scotch-Korean. You don't make a wee bit o' sense. And neither does Starburst. Starburst is a solid, yet juicy—like a liquid!

Son: You're right!

Dad: Of course I'm right! Look! There's another contradiction! [points at very pale man riding by on a bicycle, shirtless and in red swimming trunks] It's Timmy—the albino lifeguard! Hey, Timmy! Grab a Starburst!
So, here's the thing: One of Iain's best friends since childhood is married to a Korean woman who immigrated to Scotland. They have a son. He, and his mother, are not "contradictions." They're part of an increasingly multicultural society in which people of color face real challenges—including violent racist attacks—attributable in so small part to the perception held by many white Scots that being a person of color and being Scottish are mutually exclusive identities.

So, you know, ha ha, Starburst—white supremacy is such a gas!

And then there's this. Contrary to admakers' evident opinion, men in Scotland do not actually run around in kilts and tam o'shanters, carrying around bagpipes everywhere they go. Nor do they SHOUT! everything they say.

As I've (unfortunately) had occasion to say before, one of the, ahem, interesting things about this country's history of treating race as a binary—white and nonwhite, with who is (and isn't) white determined by a constantly (and still) fluid definition—is that the lines between "white" cultures and disparate "white" ethnicities get blurred in service of the idea of a single "white" race. But stuff like this advert makes quite evident the strained seams of that false construct.

Predominantly white American admakers are engaging in some really ugly and cynical sport here. They've realized they're not "allowed" to overtly make fun of racial minorities in commercials anymore (even though it's still totes cool to substitute a talking dog, say, for a human stereotype draped in a zarape and donning a sombrero), so they're starting to appropriate various white ethnicities—namely, the ones with distinctive (and ergo hilarious!) cultural dress—in order to play the same goddamn game while side-stepping charges of racism.

Acknowledging that whiteness is not a monolith, that a universal white culture is a fallacy even though a universal white privilege is not, is an important part, in my estimation, of undermining white supremacy. But Othering certain groups of white people isn't a part of that; Othering some white people doesn't in any way help Othered people of color, and, in fact, serves to reinforce the erroneous notion that there is a default "normal culture" from which people exclude themselves by being "different."

Anyway. This ad sucks.

[Assvertising: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty, Twenty-One, Twenty-Two, Twenty-Three, Twenty-Four, Twenty-Five, Twenty-Six, Twenty-Seven, Twenty-Eight, Twenty-Nine, Thirty, Thirty-One, Thirty-Two, Thirty-Three, Thirty-Four, Thirty-Five, Thirty-Six, Thirty-Seven, Thirty-Eight, Thirty-Nine, Forty, Forty-One, Forty-Two, Forty-Three, Forty-Four, Forty-Five, Forty-Six, Forty-Seven, Forty-Eight, Forty-Nine, Fifty, Fifty-One, Fifty-Two, Fifty-Three, Fifty-Four, Fifty-Five, Fifty-Six, Fifty-Seven, Fifty-Eight, Fifty-Nine, Sixty, Sixty-One, Sixty-Two, Sixty-Three, Sixty-Four, Sixty-Five, Sixty-Six, Sixty-Seven, Sixty-Eight, Sixty-Nine, Seventy, Seventy-One, Seventy-Two, Seventy-Three, Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five.]

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