Cardiff students call out racist responses to Sainsbury’s Christmas advert

‘This is our home, and we will be an equal part of it no matter the opinion of a loud racist minority’

It’s that time of year where adverts are at their peak. They make us feel warm and fuzzy. It’s all about food, family and traditions. Although this year’s Sainsbury’s advert showed just that, it received quite the backlash on social media platforms for their use of a black family, with comments such as “where are the British people? What fresh hell is this?”.

It was heartbreaking and aggravating to see the comments made dismissing the advert for being too “woke”, with commenters claiming that they would shop elsewhere because they “didn’t feel represented”. Others said: “Since Sainsbury’s said they don’t want white shoppers anymore I’ve been going elsewhere”.

One Twitter user replied to Sainsbury’s advert asking, “where’s whitey?”

For most of us, these responses were shocking, and many took to Instagram and Twitter to call out these racist comments.

We asked Cardiff’s students how they felt about the advert and it’s negative responses, and gladly the responses were all in support of the advert and were extremely agitated by the racist comments. Here’s what they had to say…

‘Far more relatable than a family of blue aliens or carrots’

Many students were frustrated that haters claimed they didn’t feel represented by Sainsbury’s advert, when other supermarkets used aliens and carrots as their characters, and didn’t receive negative comments quite like this one.

One student told The Cardiff Tab: “It’s astonishing yet sad that some Brits feel they relate more to carrot families ads.”

Another said: “So people can’t relate to humans, but they can relate to the Aldi carrot family?”

The Cardiff Tab spoke to Cardiff University’s BME Officer, Isadora Sinha, who said: “We will not let some racists tell us that we are any less in worth compared to white Brits nor will we abide by the racist attitude that we are ‘guests’ that do not belong. This is our home, and we will be an equal part of it no matter the opinion of a loud racist minority. ”

‘Complaining about this is racist and self-absorbed. The UK is diverse, not everythings about you!’

Other students felt that the negative and racist responses to the advert came from a place of selfishness, and a lack of recognition and appreciation for the diversity we have in the UK. The Tab Cardiff spoke to one student, who said: “Nothing makes white middle class Britons more fragile than seeing a happy black family”.

Isadora Sinha, Cardiff University’s BME Officer told The Cardiff Tab “these racists are simply angry to see any BAME representation”, adding “the people who made the vile responses have completely lost the meaning of Christmas if their heart is not warmed at the thought of a family enjoying Christmas, no matter their skin colour.”

One student told The Tab Cardiff: “It was a lovely Christmas ad. I was shocked by the backlash it got just for the colour of people’s skin in it.”

‘Proves how racist the UK is’

Many students told us how the racist backlash to the Sainsbury’s advert “proved just how racist the UK is”, with others claiming that “racists have too much free time”. And honestly, I agree. The advert showed a happy family enjoying their Christmas dinner, how can you possibly have a problem with that? One student told The Cardiff Tab: “I think the ad is relatable and sweet. Any ‘issue’ someone has with it is just plain racism.”

I’m so happy to say that in none of our responses did anyone condone the racist negative comments to the advert. Every student we spoke to disapproved of this behaviour.

Racist behaviour has no place in our society, nor in our student community. Calling it out is vital in firstly, recognising its problem and secondly, allowing for changes to be made.

It is important to note that although all the students we spoke to condemned the racist responses, it does not mean that Cardiff is free from racism. We have also attached a series of related articles below that we recommend for students wishing to read more about racism at Cardiff.

Related articles recommended by this writer:

• Cardiff cheer accused of racism, hair discrimination, and planning ‘slave’ theme social

• Ex SU official condemns Cardiff Uni as institutionally racist

• Cardiff is not innocent from racism and here’s what POC have to say’ here.