Just when you thought they got it…
“Join the nation that sees you <PAUSE> as a priority.”
What a perfect example of how easy it is to give with one hand and take away with the other, and not even know you’ve done it.
It is certain nationwide thought it was making a bold statement with this commercial. “you matter,” the commercial was structured to convey. And that would have been the message had the narrator stopped at “the nation that sees you.”
The thought was complete, and a particular point was made.
But someone, somewhere decided that’s too much of a political statement. “Too sharp a point to put on it,” s/he might have said. “We don’t want to alienate those customers who might have a different reading of the social context in which we live.”
So “as a priority” was added. And it did exactly what it was designed to do: it nullified the entirety of the social critique that came before it. It said, “Never mind this business of a person of color or a woman or a possible immigrant not being seen by the majority white people with whom she comes in contact each day. She serves our bottom line, and since that is our priority, in that sense–only in that sense, mind you–is she a priority.”
The more things change, the more they stay the same… unless we choose interrupt this difference-without-a-distinction dynamic.