Dr. Boyce: Mountain Dew Eliminates “the Negro Problem,” Then Responds with Nothing

sdadaby Dr. Boyce Watkins

I started last week by being traumatized by an ad released by Mountain Dew, which I referred to as “the most racist ad in history.”  The commercial featured a battered white woman being intimidated by a police lineup full of black men, along with a demonic negro goat making a series of ebonic threats.  As the goat told the woman that he was going to “dew her up” (sounds like s-xual assault to me),I remember sitting at my computer with my eyes crinkled and my bottom lip hitting my keyboard.  I couldn’t believe the company had released this ad to the public.

That’s when I wrote an article that apparently got the attention of White America.  To be truthful, I write most of my content for the 600,000 people who follow Your Black World, and I don’t care much about what anyone else is thinking.  Crossover appeal can be highly overrated, and often leads one to become to a watered down version of who they once were.  The man who initially stood firm for black America is suddenly bought off to go campaigning for gay rights and immigration reform, while black families continue to be surrounded by joblessness, a lack of education, poverty, violence, workplace inequality and the prison industrial complex.  Honestly, I’ve accepted the fact that standing up against racism is going to create a few enemies, so I am comfortable with white America not liking me very much.

A conversation I had the other day with the rapper Rhymefest out of Chicago reminded me of just how silly the Mountain Dew situation actually was, and how silly it ended.  It all starts off with my writing an article about the company’s racist ad and their decision to sign Lil Wayne.  Then it proceeds to the company removing the racist ad, after which, they choose to dump Lil Wayne.  The finale is that Mountain Dew/Pepsico executives can sleep better at night firmly believing that they’ve fully alleviated “the negro problem” in their company (similar to how Adidas responded when Rev. Jesse Jackson and I spoke out about their “brilliant” shackle on the ankle sneakers that no one seemed to connect to slavery).

Not so fast.

Sometimes when we address the symptoms of a problem, we believe that we’ve actually addressed the problem.  I can say, as a  person who has taught in business schools for 20 years, that the decision to release one of the most disrespectful pieces of corporate trash in history was indicative of deeper problems with the Mountain Dew/Pepsico corporate infrastructure.  Their shallow response is even more indicative of their way of thinking.

The fact that this ad was able to ease itself through the internal review process without so much as raising an eyebrow shows that there are few, if any, individuals in the company who are either capable  of, or empowered to, express meaningful cross-cultural sensitivity.  If my grandmother knew that the ad was unacceptable after the first ten seconds of seeing it, why weren’t all those Ivy League MBAs able to pick up on the same thing?  Possibly because their Ivy League MBAs led them to believe that black people don’t really matter (Lil Wayne thought the same thing).

Here is my advice for Pepsico as they move forward, so as to avert another multi-million dollar tragedy.  I tried to  reach out and give them this advice in person, but a series of non-returned phone calls reminded me again that perhaps they see me as the enemy.  But then again, it might be the case that seeing your critic as an enemy means that you’re still in denial, like the alcoholic who gets angry at a family intervention.

But either way, here are some quick thoughts on Pepsico:

1) Pepsico MUST Adjust its corporate culture:  The fact that Pepsico was sued for millions for racially-discriminating against its employees is a firm reminder that there is a problem within the company.   Releasing this ridiculous ad shortly thereafter clearly implies that the issue has not been resolved.   A lack of diversity in senior management could be a problem, or there could be no diversity in perspective.  Black faces don’t save you if they either a) do not have an authentic and intelligent voice, or b) are afraid to use that voice.  Nearly every black person I know saw the ad and immediately wanted to vomit, so I’m sure someone within the firm felt the same way.

2) The company must do more authentic outreach to the black community:  With all the millions that Pepsico/Mountain Dew were willing to give Lil Wayne to buy more sizzurp, I am hopeful that they can use a fraction of those dollars to pay for scholarships, community centers and educational opportunities for impoverished communities.  Putting money into the pocket of a hip-hop artist, the Tom Joyner Morning Show or your favorite civil rights leader is not the same as showing support for the African American community.  If you’re going to use us for our consumer dollars, you should be investing in the people, not in artificial figureheads.

3) Replace Lil Wayne and Tyler the Creator with artists who are doing positive things:  I felt bad that Tyler the Creator lost his contract, since he is not nearly as toxic as the worst artists out there.  I can’t say I felt the same way about Lil Wayne, who refused to even apologize for his Emmett Till flap until it was too late.  But I hope that as Pepsico decides how to replace the crater in its marketing plan created by Lil Wayne’s removal, they will look at some of the stronger black artists out there who don’t always get deals with companies like PepsiCo.  Names like Common, Immortal Technique, Jasiri X or Vigalantee come to mind, and even my friend Rhymefest.  These artists should, in turn, be asked to use their platforms to benefit the broader community, so that everyone in black America has a full incentive to “Do the Dew.”

Until corporations learn to implement serious and substantive change to their strategies, tragedies like this are going to continue to happen.  Pepsico has learned time and time again, that racism doesn’t pay.  But for some reason, they keep going right back to the well of corporate irresponsibility, driven by an insidious addiction to structural racism that plagues the very fabric of the American socioeconomic infrastructure.  Like any addiction, withdrawal is not a comfortable process, and we all know that to overcome that which ails us, we can’t always look for the easy way out.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the author of the lecture series called Commercialized Hip-Hop, the Gospel of Self-Destruction. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

46 Responses to Dr. Boyce: Mountain Dew Eliminates “the Negro Problem,” Then Responds with Nothing

  1. It’s time to STOP beggin’ these crackers to do what they AIN’T NEVER GONNA DO, which is adhere to the 3 thoughts you mentioned above!

    These devils know that negroids are gonna continue to buy that syrup, and continue to kill themselves with that addicted sugar. Sugar and salt are the most addicted DRUGS on the planet, and more people die from these drugs than alcohol (which is a liquid drug), crack, cocaine, heart dis-ase, cigarettes, and diabetes COMBINED!!!

    SUGR IS MORE ADDICTIVE THAN HEROIN, AND KILLS MORE PEOPLE THAN ALL DRUGS COMBINED! EACH YEAR OVER 35 MILLION PEOPLE DIE FROM SUGAR ADDICTION!!!

    WHEN ARE THESE SO-CALLED LEADERS GONNA START A MAJOR BOYCOTT OF THESE DEMONIC SERPENTS, INSTEAD OF BEGGING THEM TO CATER TO OUR NEEDS! ALL THEY WANT IS M-O-N-E-Y!!!

    Like I keep saying, EVERYTHANG white will KILL you:

    1. white sugar
    2. white salt
    3. white saltine crackers
    4. white flour
    5. white baking powder
    6. white cocaine
    7. white snow (the deadliest season on earth)
    8. white pills
    9. white people
    10 white folk’s pepsi/mountain dew along with coke and 7up

    I’M GONE!!!

    Hate the messenger, but don’t hate the message!!!

    • I actually appreciate your msg Derrick because you address SERIOUS issues, but Boyce’s eagle eye, constantly looking for excuses to stop black boys from making money, and yet to cowardly to demand odrama create jobs for them, is downright stupid and counterproductive, and evil.

      someone needs to go to that classroom of his and record what he is saying and get him fired.

      his main reason for attacking entertainers trying to make a living is to try and create himself a job with corporations on diversity issues LOL companies aint paying for negroes to nitpic their ads to bring in revenue. those free ride jobs are OVER Boyce. give it up.

      critique your own words and work, you’re not qualified to be the negro czar.

      AND JESSE JACKSON JR STILL GOING TO JAIL, AND LIL WAYNE STILL RICH.

  2. Peter D. Slaughter

    Think of it like this.
    Since being dumbed down and co-signing on slave type coonery,coonism type so-called entertainment a vast % of black people have lost their minds in accepting and going along with this type of racist,mental oppression right in faces of many black people.
    This twisted madness is responsible for all types of self hating black on black violence and self hate against women,kid’s and black men.
    The best solution would be to silent boycott this company and other phony white owned racist company that promotes destructive sterotypes of black people and afrikan’s world wide

    • why in the h**l would pepsco take input from some negro self appointed leader and allow them input into their business plans, and marketing strategy????

      boyce watkins hasn’t taken care of one black woman. God charged man to care for a wife. IF THIS IRRESPONSIBLE A-holE WAS TAKING CARE OF A HOME AND FAMILY HE WOULDN’T HAVE TIME TO SIT UP ON THE INTERNET TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT REAL MEN ARE DOING.

      REAL MEN THAT FEED LOTS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN, AND MARRIED AT A YOUNG AGE AND TOOK ON THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF FAMILY AT A YOUNG AGE. LIL WAYNE DID THAT.

      WHAT DID BOYCE DO WHEN HIS GIRLFRIEND GOT PREGNANT?

      HE DIDNT MARRY HER
      HE DIDNT TRY TO GIVE HIS CHILD A WHOLE FAMILY

      AND NOW HE SITS HIS LONELY AZZ AROUND BEING JEALOUS OF AND TRYING TO STOP YOUNG BLACK MEN FROM PROVIDING FOR THEIR FAMILES.

      HE SUCKS AND I HOPE HE ROTS IN h**l FOR TAKING FOOD OUT OF LIL WAYNE, TYLER, ETC., CHILDRENS’ MOUTH.

      HE’S A MONSTER AND I’M THROUGH WITH HIS STUPID BLOG.

      I AGREE WITH THE AFRICANS. HE NEEDS TO BE FIRED. HAVE NO ABILITY TO PAY HIS CHILD SUPPORT AND THROWN IN JAIL WITH THE REST OF THE FOOLS.

  3. i just wish Black folks could stop consuming Pepsi product for a month and bring pepsico to it’s knees, there would leverage for change in attitude of that company.to get respect from these companies, you have to stop buying their products and have them feel the impact in the pocket.

    Drink water, put crystal light in it for the sweetness…STOP DRINKNG PEPSI…PLEASE…DO YOU THINK WE CAN BE COHESIVE JUST ONCE ??

    • I’m not giving up ONE pepsi over bullsh8t commercials. All commercials are bullsh8t, especially Geico and Progressive insurance.

      The only commercial I found extremely disgusting was the Geico one with that african basketball player batting things out of peoples hands, running around sounding like a gorilla.

      But you will never hear of an african fool enough to cut another african’s money off because of pride, but they will encourage fool american negro leaders to stop one of their own americans from making money off of coonery, and the fools will listen. how dumb can you get.

      • tina..i seldom agree with boyce but he is 100% correct in what he is saying about tyler and lil wayne. you have a lot to say but not once have you stated why you feel the commerical wasn’t racist in your defense of tyler. you attack boyce as you say for constantly looking for excuses to stop black boys from making money. if you support the commercial, then i wouldn’t be surprised if you also support black boys selling drugs to make money. what’s the difference…..

        • you are too f8cking dumb to know the difference between words and poison???? then u r too f8cking dumb to honor with a reply.

          a commercial has no power to turn boyce’s daughter into a stripper prostitute but drugs do u dumb piece of horse doo doo.

          and boyce never says anything about lil girl’s role model rihanna drinking, drugging and hooking her way to the top. that’s what he should be concerned about as the parent of a girl.

          lil wayne should take a class purposely and sit there and record every word that comes out of his stupid lips, and take that info to the dean. these boys better start fighting these old negroes back.

          he’s like all the other negro men who do NOTHING for their sons but work to destroy, mistreat and neglect them. since he doesnt have a black boy to destroy of his own, he’s running around doing his best to destroy other people’s sons, and begging white folks to get paid for doing it, and i hope he rots in a fiery pit for it.

          i never heard boyce say a word about the braxton father, supposedly a preacher, dressing up as the lowest thing next to satan – a pimp, and glorifying a persona that makes his living off of abusing, prostituting and misusing women. that was ok with boyce because that is an old po n8ggah like himself.

      • Well like a fool keep drinkin, watchin, supportin the dope that Pepsi & all the other corporate massas put out, & keep wastin time speakin out n behalf of those self hatin blk buffoons that work for Pepsi as they c**n & sell themselves & their communities out. There r other ways to make money. U dont have to debase & degrade urself & ur entire community to do it. Ur argument is beyond ridiculous & foolish!

    • Crystal Lite? Are you really serious? Have you heard of Aspertame? That is another poison.

      Read books by Suzar and leave that schytt alone.

  4. on the real, all soft drinks do is damage. corrode teeth, contribute to obesity and all of the ills that are attached to that, so continue the ingestion of the poison. be my guest.now THAT is dumb. i dont think the crux of this issue is the commercial being b**ls**t, it is the negative message inferred. as far as stopping another black person”s income, perhaps some negros should understand that they are just as bad as white folks when they contribute to the f**ked attitudes and views white folks have of Blacks. and if an income stream is ceased via collateral damage…oh well.

  5. charltondaily

    Dr.watkins nags and whine like a 3 year old girl,nobody nominated you to be the emperor of black america.Try doing something other than cry and complain.

    • Coming fr someone that aint doin a d@mn thing for the cause except sit on their b**t & criticize ohers who r actively working to change things for the better for us all. Thank u Dr. Boyce!

    • BOYCE THINK HE IS THE HEAD N8GGAH IN CHARGE IN THE ABSENCE OF THE MASSAH AND HIS OVERSEER.

      HE IS THE N8GGAH WHO CRACKS THE WHIP AND KEEP THE OTHER NEGROES POOR, OPPRESSED, AND DEFENSELESS.

      HE NEVER PICKS ON ANYONE HIS OWN SIZE AND AGE. JUST THE YOUNG BOYS WHO HE THINKS DONT HAVE THE WEAPONERY TO PROTECT THEMSELVES AND THEIR RIGHTS TO LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

  6. Just quit buying these products period.

  7. Tina! Are u serious?? That’s crazy. 90 perc. Of the musik pushed to the masses of afrikan people promotes alcholism,self-hate, materilism, misogny, murda, stripping! Regardless of whether we own corporations or radio stations etc., this c**p is unacceptable and must be stopped. Right on Boyce!

    • u piece of horse sh8t. we have p*********y right on our tv screens, and in our music, and your black azz says nothing unless a black boy is making money and pursuing his right to free enterprise.

      your black african azz stays on american sites, because eventhough our world isnt perfect, IT IS A MILLION TIMES BETTER THAN YOU BLACK AFRICANS CREATED IN YOUR ALL BLACK WORLD. SO YOU NEED TO STFU. U KNOW NOTHING BUT HOW TO PUSH YOUR DIRTY JEALOUS WAYS DOWN THE THROATS OF FOOLS THAT CALL THEMSELVES BLACK LEADERS AND BRAINWASH THEIR DUMB IGNORANT SELVES INTO HATING ON THEIR OWN PEOPLE, AND CREATING BLACK ON BLACK HATE, THE SAME WAY YOU DO YOUR BLACK TRIBAL HATE IN AFRICA. IT IS ALL YOU AFRICANS KNOW, AND DUMB DIRTY NEGROES LIKE BOYCE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO GIVE INPUT INTO THE BLACK AMERICAN WORLD.

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