Uh, once again I think we are mixing up discrimination against a race with discrimination against a class.
I find it extremely difficult to believe that any of the companies on that list have no interest in advertising to any market likely to buy from them.
I find it extremely easy to believe that they might have decided against advertising to a heavily urban market on the assumption (however valid or not) that the majority of listeners in such a market lack either the money or the interest in buying their products. I don’t think corporate America (or corporate anywhere else, for that matter) gives a shit about the skin color or ethnic origin of their customers. They care about the color of their money.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not claiming that there is no racism in the US. That would be stupid; of course there is (in both directions, I might add, but obviously persons of color have had the worst of it because of history). But time and again I hear or read of such and such a study showing discrimination against (especially Black) persons of color, and I wonder - are they comparing against Caucasians of roughly equal socio-economic level? This holds particularly true when the study looks at something in which earnings are relevant - lending practices, advertising policies, and so forth. Companies certainly discriminate there, but it’s not against skin color or heritage; it’s against poverty. And thanks to history, a disproportionate number of persons of color in this nation are poor.
Although I live in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in a poor northeastern industrial city (with a large Black population), I, a white woman, don’t see much that strikes me as racist. Granted, since I’m not a target of such, there is stuff I’m going to miss. But what I do see, although I’m also not a target of it, is classism - discrimination not only on the basis of income, but of educational level.
I have a friend, a white woman in her early thirties, who barely completed the 8th grade. Her mother was a drunk, her father deserted the family, and she grew up mostly on the streets. Her history and her situation are written in her appearance, speech, and mannerisms; she is profoundly ignorant, although not stupid, she is already missing many teeth, her grammar and vocabulary sideswipe poor on the way to atrocious, she is just barely literate, she is overweight and dresses/presents herself in a way that just shouts “Trailer Trash” to the world.
She is a good person, works hard, is responsible to the best of her financial ability, and in general is an admirable person in many ways. But if she speaks sharply to her child and swats her lightly on the rear in a doctor’s office, she is threatened with being turned in so that her children will be taken away (she’d cut off her right arm for them). She is owed over a year’s child support and almost as much Social Security from her ex-husband and his disability; she can’t get the courts to act with any despatch. In general, she is either ignored or outright mistreated in most of her public interactions, in ways that I have trouble imagining. Such things never happen to me; they never will. Why? Not because I’m rich, that’s for sure! (Largely because I’m not, although by my friend’s standards I am, at a little under $75K a year). I am treated with respect by the world at large because everything in my appearance, and especially speech, indicate that I am well-educated and solidly middle class.
These days, I don’t think we’re nearly so much a racist society as we are a classist society. And it’s not getting better; it’s getting worse. I think that as a society we would be far better served by an Affirmative Action type set of programs that were aimed at class (i.e. income and educational levels) than we are by any program that targets any particular race or ethnic group. For one thing, race/ethnic group based programs have certain rebound effects, the worst one being the possibility of people assuming that any member of a recipient group has succeeded on the basis of such programs rather than merit. For another, the poor and poorly educated white folks in this country have as desperate a need for such aid as their cohorts of color.
We’ve reached a point where racism is no longer socially acceptable. That doesn’t mean that it no longer exists, but it does mean that racism is no longer institutionalized or condoned either legally or socially (in most situations and areas - you can always find individual exceptions). To me, that means that legally we’ve done about as much as we can effectively do about racism. It’s time to focus on the poor and poorly educated, regardless of their race or ethnicity.
JMHO. BTW, I am a hard-core Democrat and liberal, so please don’t jump down my throat.