(CNN) – The leader of the free world is the child of one black parent and one white parent. The number of Americans who identify as “mixed race” is on the rise. And this year marks the 46th anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision, which made interracial marriage legal in the United States.
So why is a Cheerios ad featuring a multiracial family causing a stir?
The commercial features a curly-haired brown girl inquiring of her Caucasian mother and African-American father about Cheerios’ healthy attributes.
“Mom, Dad told me that Cheerios was good for your heart. Is that true?” she asks in the commercial, titled “Just Checking.”
Adweek reports that at YouTube comments made “references to Nazis, ‘troglodytes’ and ‘racial genocide’ ” before they were disabled.
As of Friday, most of the comments were supportive on the Cheerios Facebook page, like this one:
I just saw your commercial representing a beautiful mixed family, and I am appalled that hateful people are in such a frenzy over what is a modern family structure. I applaud you and your efforts to acknowledge families with an untraditional structure, and there needs to be more mixed race, minority, adoptive & non-heteronormative families represented in media. Thank you again, and even though I do not eat cereal (my brother loves Cheerios BTW) you can be sure that whatever future child I am blessed with, may probably be mixed heritage, and will be enjoying your product.”
But earlier in the week, comments were not as thoughtful. The Huffington Post reported on the vile nature of some responses, like this one:
“More like single parent in the making. Black dad will dip out soon.”
Reddit featured a link to the commercial on its homepage Thursday, also drawing a range of responses.
Granted, the comments section of the Internet is rarely a reliable space for reflective or thoughtful discourse on race in America.
But the range of reactions to an ad that incidentally highlights a multiracial family might be the start of a discussion on how the American family is seen and portrayed.
What do you think: Is the commercial long overdue or much ado about nothing?