THE EDITOR: My grandfather used to tell me: “Don’t judge a man just by what he says, judge him by what he does.”
That being said, I am obsessed today with the enormous disconnect between the words and actions of an advertisement that the UNC produced, titled What Matters Most.
To the point, one does not set out to preach about equality and racial harmony, and then proceed to create an advertisement that clearly makes a distinction between “us” and “them.”
There is a certain irrefutable irony in preaching racial harmony on one hand and then casting African actors in the role of the “imperilled” and East Indian actors as their “would-be saviours.”
It’s an unexpected throwback to Jim Crow-era posters in the US. And it is also as offensive as any racial stereotype one can think of.
Worse, the UNC cannot pretend that everyone is “equal in its eyes,” and then use wardrobe choices (yellow UNC jerseys vs red/orange PNM jerseys) to make a clear and obvious differentiation that speaks to both race and political philosophy.
Had equality and unity been its sole purpose and rationale here, there would be no need to make a distinction between who is PNM and who is UNC, would there?
In the end, What Matters Most is trite, hypocritical, counter intuitive, insulting, misguided and simply put: racist.
And above all else this advertisement fails in its stated purpose to bring the varying segments of the population together, but is instead indicative of the lapses of judgment that continue to make the UNC and its leaders an unattractive choice for the majority of the electorate.
What matters most to the majority of voters is to be spared the manipulation and insincerity.