Ancestry.com has pulled an ad that some overly-sensitive souls say “romanticizes” slavery.
The ad depicts an interracial couple plotting an escape to “the North” so they can be together. Social media lit up in anger over the depiction of two people in love who were willing to go to great lengths to be free.
Not surprisingly, the perpetually outraged were, well, outraged.
ancestry dot com: how can we overly romanticize & create an irresponsible, ahistorical depiction of the relationship between white men & black women during the period of chattel slavery that completely disregards its power dynamics & the trauma of sexual exploitation? https://t.co/s5BqnoSg9x
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) April 18, 2019
What the hell is this @Ancestry?
Why do white people insist on romanticizing my Black female ancestors experiences with white men during slavery?
They were raped, abused, treated like animals, beaten, and murdered by white men. Stop with the revisions.pic.twitter.com/cDEWdkzJPm
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) April 18, 2019
One of about 1,000 awful things about this commercial is it ignores the fact that for black Americans – myself included – and for others in the diaspora, DNA and documentary ancestry information is as painful and traumatic as it is illuminating. These are not love stories. https://t.co/tuTpHwmnGk
— Kimberly Atkins (@KimberlyEAtkins) April 18, 2019
Inevitably, Ancestry.com bowed to the pressure.
In a statement, Ancestry.com said the ad has been removed from YouTube and is in the process of pulling it from television.
“Ancestry is committed to telling important stories from history. This ad was intended to represent one of those stories,” said the company in a statement. “We very much appreciate the feedback we have received and apologize for any offense that the ad may have caused.”
The ad was only “offensive” to people who get “offended” for a living.
Imagine waking up in the morning, taking a shower, brushing your teeth, having your breakfast, and then sitting down in front of the computer to begin your day.
Your job is to search the internet far and wide for something to be offended by. That’s it. You actually search for something — anything — that you could bend, fold, spindle, or mutilate into something “offensive” so you get to call out an individual, a company, a school — anybody — for harboring racist thoughts.
It’s pathetic when you think about it. And we should pity these people. They live lives of “quiet desperation” and must be terribly unhappy.
For most of us — even many black people — the last thing that the images in the ad evoked was a romanticization of slavery. The reaction of the outrage mob on social media is not normal behavior. It is sick, obsessive, and is based on false premises and assumptions.
But when did that ever stop them?