This Old Navy Ad Shows the Beauty of Interracial Families Like Mine – Haters Be Damned

old navy adAs the mother of biracial children, I'd like to think that we're living in a time when families like mine are accepted by society at large -- but as public reaction to a recent Old Navy ad featuring an interracial family proves, this is anything but true. Featuring a completely benign (and beautiful!) photo of an African-American mom and white dad with their son, the ad has irate customers accusing the clothing line of promoting "white genocide" -- and the only silver lining to the situation is the glorious way rational, non-racist families are shutting the haters down.


The ad itself, as I said, is beautiful (if only we all looked this good in Old Navy!):

The resulting tweets, however, were downright ugly:

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Hate to tell you this @marylovefreedom, but "geocide" isn't a word (unless it's maybe the brand name of some kind of weed killer you spray on your lawn). Anyway. Even though we all know -- no matter how hard we try to forget -- that people this hateful and ignorant exist, to be reminded of that fact feels like a punch to the gut. These tweets are so outrageous it's almost like they were written by insane people, but the sad fact is that they were most likely written by seemingly normal, functioning members of society. And that's just scary.

Unfortunately, it's not surprising. When my half-Korean daughter was born, I was blown away by the reactions I got from perfect strangers. People who assumed that I, her white mother, adopted her from China walked right up and asked which province I "got her from"; others commented on her "Chinky" eyes or just flat-out wanted to know: "What is she?" (Um, a human being?) One woman asked me what it "felt like to give birth to a different-race baby." As if I'd given birth to a unicorn. 

Yesterday, that baby girl (who's now going on 15) was the first one to show me an article about this Old Navy ad and the horrible responses on Twitter.

She shook her head. "Can you believe this?" she wanted to know.

No, I couldn't.

It broke my heart to watch her face as she read the tweets, and it honestly makes me scared for my kids that these people exist. But there was at least one thing on Twitter that made us feel better -- everybody helping to stamp out the hate by making sure to speak up in favor of Old Navy's ad:


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In the end, I have to believe that sentiments like the above will prevail, and that love really does win. We have to focus on all the good this ad brought out, because to think about the alternative is just too depressing. Racism will always exist, but so will people committed to fighting it. Congrats to Old Navy for doing its part.


Image via Old Navy/Twitter 

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