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Last year, the cereal brand Cheerios released a commercial that featured an interracial couple and their biracial daughter.
Even after the Swiffer commercial, or the Tide ad which features an Asian woman and black man as a couple, the second Cheerios installment still caused controversy.
In an attempt to share the ad, the MSNBC twitter account posted: “Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family.” Republican outrage followed.
Many conservatives responded with the hashtag #myrightwingbiracialfamily, posting pictures of their multiracial families to combat stereotypes, a striking contrast to a poll from a few years ago that indicated a large number of southern Republicans still opposed interracial marriage.
During the Super Bowl this year, the brand double-downed on its efforts to be reflective of a diverse nation and released a second commercial featuring the same family.
In the new ad, the mother is pregnant with the couple’s second child. This set of advertisements reflects the increase of interracial marriages in America, but Cheerios is not the first brand to have such a couple in its commercials.
America’s history is rich with fear of black male sexuality, as evidenced in cultural markers such as the silent film Birth of a Nation and the brutal death of Emmett Till, a teenager accused of whistling at a white woman.