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“Racism Insurance” Rescues Clueless White People From Accidental Intolerance

This video promoting the new film Dear White People presents a State Farm-like magical insurance agent who bails out white people when they’re being just a teeny bit racist.

Sometimes sheltered white people who’ve been underexposed to the ways of the actual world put their tasseled loafers right in their own mouths. Brad Paisley and LL Cool J made an almost heroically terrible song about this phenomenon. It seems to come from a place of gentle ignorance, rather than a heart filled with hate. Fortunately for anyone who’s ever drained a can of Diet Racism, now there’s a workaround for the part where your nonwhite friends get offended.

A video promoting the new film Dear White People offers a new service that defuses the tension in the kind of misguided conversations that go foul real fast. Racism Insurance provides instant reinforcements against the casually racist remarks of clueless white people. Justin Simien co-wrote this video after writing and directing Dear White People, the Sundance hit about black students at a fictional Ivy League college. Both the film and the video are quite interested in the topic of covert racism.

Like the superheroic deeds of State Farm agents in those ads, the Racism Insurance agents here materialize out of nothing and smooth out a situation–in this case, pale people’s clumsy opinion-sharing. For instance, when a white office guy compliments his Game of Thrones-loving coworker on how he doesn’t (sigh) act black, an agent appears to contextualize everything about this statement and why it was made. The slogan of Racism Insurance is “For those times when you just kinda weren’t thinking,” and the implication seems to be that too many people are not thinking far too often.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. He has also written for The Awl, Rolling Stone, McSweeney's, and Salon.



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