If you're like me, you probably don't need to look very hard to find something to be outraged about. There's a massive film industry with an incredible depth of talent and capital that squanders all of this repeatedly by making crap like the G.I. Joe movies. There's the presidential contest between a man who seems to think nothing unpleasant should ever happen in the economy, and the man who seems completely beholden to the most insane wing of his party. And then there's the fact that people will find racism in everything if they look hard enough.
This week's case in point is a Google home page image featuring a dark-skinned runner on a racetrack. Wait, that's not the racist part! The race track, you see, is reddish with dark spots and white track lines, and green grass outside of that. This track, in fact, resembles a watermelon, and the runner looks like he could be black. Many racist stereotypes exist about black people loving watermelon. Clearly, Google is, unwittingly or not, perpetuating these awful stereotypes and they should feel bad.
Now, I'll admit that as a frequent Google user I saw this very image at least a dozen times and didn't make the "black runner, running on watermelon" connection until I read an article about the controversy. Then again, I'm too busy being outraged about other things, so this missed my attention. But it's clear to me that the only way to solve this problem is to force Google to change its name to KKKoogle, because they are basically as bad as the Klan now what with their extreme race hatred.
In Google's defense, the runner isn't obviously black--the hair, for example, is more likely to be a pompadour than an afro because it is not 1972 so my first guess is that this runner is Indian or Hispanic. Now, Indians and Hispanics probably love watermelon too--after all, who doesn't? It's delicious! In fact the whole "blacks loving watermelon" stereotype is pretty absurd anyway, considering how universal watermelon-love is. It'd be like saying "Italians love pizza." We do, but we're not alone in that! All this controversy has done is remind people that such a stereotype exists.
But more importantly, is this really the modern front in the wars against racial hatred? Are we that fragile a society that this image that could be either (a) simple and harmless or (b) a sinister and completely ridiculous racist plot by a nefarious artist working for Google has to be the latter?
Looks like it.