We ask our children everyday, not to hate. To treat their fellow man as an equal. Yet, the messages we send them only reinforce the opposite. Destroy those who are different, and don’t let them have what you have. Nowhere is this more glaring than the television commercials for Trix commercials.
Perhaps you’ve seen them. The formula for the stories are all the same. The Trix Rabbit, after countless failures, continually concocts wild schemes to disguise himself, maybe a magician or lion tamer, to amaze kids with wonderful tricks, and charm his way into their breakfast table. He doesn’t want the whole box, he just wants a bowl. Of course, every time the Rabbit gets too close to these luscious Trix, he’s overwhelmed by years of restraint and flips out, usually letting his big white ears pop out from his hat. The kids, realizing they’ve been duped, take the cereal back and physically push the Rabbit away. They then laugh, “Sorry Rabbit, TRIX are for KIDS!!!”, cackling away as the Rabbit once again walks away hungry.
It doesn’t stop there. Other breakfast cereals do the same!
“Sorry, Barney, these FRUITY PEBBLES are mine!”
“Hey! Pirates aren’t supposed to eat CAP’N CRUNCH!”
“Cookie Crook, your social class is too low for COOKIE CRISP!”
“Leggo My EGGO!”
“YOU CAN’T EAT HONEYCOMBS UNLESS YOU’RE A MEMBER OF THE HONEYCOMB HIDEOUT!” (I always thought that one was confusing, the slogan would go, “Come to the Honeycomb Hideout”, but they’d always turn folks away once they got there! Even Andre The Giant!)
“HEY YOU STUPID LEPRECHAUN, NO LUCKY CHARMS FOR THE IRISH!!!”
Time and time again these messages of hate are pounded through the soft spots of our children’s minds.
Once in 1980, finally succumbing to the public’s dissatisfaction with it all, General Mills decided to cash in on the election year, and featured commercials where the TRIX Rabbit might actually get a shot at his long desired bowl of goodness. On the back of every box was a ballot, encouraging the kids to vote:
YES! I WANT THE RABBIT TO GET HIS TRIX! or NO! I DON’T WANT THE RABBIT TO GET HIS TRIX!
It was a shining moment for our country because the kids overwhelmingly voted for the Rabbit. They even had a new commercial to commemorate the event. The Rabbit heard the results, and sat there teary-eyed, not knowing what he said. Why this was like Mandela getting freed from prison, The Berlin Wall coming down, the fall of The Soviet Union. He ate the bowl lovingly and quickly, overcome with joy. With a smile born of years of tolerance and servitude, he raised his spoon proudly, and asked for another bowl!
The kids looked at each other, allowing for an evil pause to creep along, then laughed…wickedly. “That’s the only bowl for you, RABBIT…HA! HA! HA! HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH!”
It was such a cruel and inhuman joke. Just like we promised the Indians their own land. Just like we promised 40 Acres and a mule to the America’s blacks. Taken right back!
Why are we afraid to eat at the same table as The Rabbit?
If we can’t share our food with a cartoon, then what hope is there for our humanity?