Letter to the Editor
The ads displayed in the article, “Former Police Chief ....” (March 13, 2019) are indeed alarming on many levels. Soft drink makers are more subtle today, but the message is much the same. They even pay to have their machines and products exclusively placed in schools. Though #MeToo has dramatically brought forth the matter, violence against women in film and TV is ordinary.
The Chlorinol Soda Bleaching ad, circa 1910, is open to several interpretations, none complimentary, as it demonstrates the fallacy of “race” as a vile social construct. “Race” is a perception we all learn from birth, but modern genomic science clearly demonstrates it is not a biological truth.
The article states the ad “depicts three children, two black and one white.” But that is incorrect. The caricatures intend to show three children of African descent, one of whom presumably used the product for skin lightening. It is both a derogatory social commentary and an endorsement for the whitening power of a then common laundry product.
All three of these ads are from decades past, and they look archaic to us in our modern world. But fundamentally, they portray the same controls of power and authority that are present today in different iterations.
New Haven, MO