No racism: Why did PepsiCo pull this Mountain Dew ad? (VIDEO)

CHICAGO, May 1, 2013 — PepsiCo has just pulled a new Mountain Dew commercial that depicts the music group Odd Future in a prison line-up after cries of racism. Is the spot racist? Depends on your perspective.  

An hour ago, PepsiCo issued a formal apology for the spot’s “insensitivities” and the 60 second ad was scrubbed from all of its channels.

So what is the big deal?

Eschewing political correctness, the commercial depicts five black guys from the popular hip-hop collective known as Odd Future - and a goat - in a line-up, individual mug shots flashing. A blonde white woman, her face swollen with black eyes, hobbles in on crutches and she is asked to identify her attacker. No, its not the black guys. The woman looks at the goat - a jive-talking goat, mind you - which taunts her saying, “snitches get stitches, fool” and the battered woman shudders in fear. Terrified, the woman cannot make the ID and is led away. 

The goat’s name is Felicia by the way. 

People can debate whether this is actually a funny, inventive commercial. That’s a subjective opinion - creepy jive-talking goat or no creepy jive-talking goat.

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But over the last few days, critics in the mainstream media have been pounding the commercial calling it “racist.” One social commentator, Dr. Boyce Watkins called it “arguably the most racist commercial in history.” 

On Tuesday, Huffington Post reported that a “backlash is brewing” after a few negative comments were posted on the spot’s YouTube Channel. 

Funny, Odd Future’s co-founder Tyler the Creator was the creator of the spot. So perhaps this was just his social commentary? Race and violence are what Odd Future’s music speaks to, comments on. Whether you like it or not.

Watching the commercial, the Odd Future guys also don’t seem to mind standing in the jailhouse line-up. They pose and preen for the camera, relishing the opportunity to reinforce their branded bad boy image.

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It wouldn’t be the first time. 

Critics have called the group’s wild wordplay aggressive and clever. Yet others have condemned the lyrics  as “dangerous” and “reprehensible” - a fact which has only made Odd Future more popular to their teen fan base. Rape, murder, kidnapping, and torture fantasies are a few common themes. 

In “Pidgeons,” Odd Future says “Kill people, burn s–, f– school / Odd Future here to steer you to what the f–’s cool / F– rules, skate life, rape, write, repeat twice.”

In “Splatter,” Odd Future’s Tyler the Creator raps about having sex with “your teen daughter … always against her will” followed by the same with “this grandmother named Jill.”

In  “Odd Future Tape Vol. 1,” Tyler the Creator raps about his inspirations, “212 bus, D12’s “Devil’s Night,” Maxwell’s “Urban Hang Suite,” “Reading Rainbow,” Terry Richardson, Hitler, Mussolini, Salvador Dali, “all the porn in the world,” and Dr. Seuss.

The group has said they don’t take their music too seriously. 

“Nothing is really serious,” said Odd Future’s Hodgy Beats “It’s just like all the things in our music. It’s in the atmosphere, it’s in the world, and it’s in our lyrics. … I think it’s funny that people flip out about s– like that.”

Yet big social media influencers aren’t talking about the group’s history of ultra-violent anti-police and misogynist lyrics. Aren’t they missing the bigger and more troubling picture here?  

Odd Future could have easily objected to the spot. But these young men seem to want their gangster rep, and Dew it too. After all, it’s good for business.

But can you cry racism when you are the one helping to perpetuate the stereotypes? Or when you are trying to profit from them?

This is just the latest standard-issue liberal attempt to create a racial controversy. It is race-baiting 101. There is a reason the progressive left continues to perpetuate this culture of victimization and entitlement. Unfortunately, the politics of race figure prominently into that sorry political agenda.

To inure itself to this voting block, constant emotional appeals must be made; racial appeals are, simultaneously. the most despicable and the most powerful. For this category of voters, the memory of racial injustice is so deeply ingrained that even silly superficial appeals like “this Mountain Dew commercial is racist” can work. 

But it doesn’t end there: The Left divides all of us into categories and subcategories and play us against each other: black, white, Hispanic, non-Hispanic, male, female, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish, and now straight, gay, transgender, and bi-sexual. 

That’s why political correctness is the norm, not the exception. That is why we walk on tip-toe around each other, worrying that we have offended someone, that we haven’t used the right hyphenated category to identify them.

We bend over backwards to make amends even if we have committed no offensive or injustice. Our government issues grants to the “specially categorized.” Governments and corporations must meet their identity quotes to “right” past wrongs. If you can prove your special category, you can get that special slot reserved for you at Harvard or Yale. If you can prove you are special, you will get the job allotted to that particular category,

The proponents of identity politics do not consider this not unequal treatment under the law. It is not a new form of discrimination. They are merely creating new “opportunities” for select categories of people to reward them for future political and consumer loyalties.

Endless categorization equals endless division. It guarantees that - sorry Rodney King -  we will never truly “get along.” 

And that is a shame…for everyone.

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William Kelly


Conservative commentator, satirist, and radio talk show host William J. Kelly pens the “Kelly Truth Squad” and “The Tea Party Report” for the Washington Times Communities and is a contributor to the American Spectator and Kelly is also a producer of Emmy award-winning TV and received an Emmy nomination himself for outstanding achievement on-camera. He was previously the Executive Director of the National Taxpayers United of Illinois, a taxpayer watchdog group. He is a native of Chicago’s South side. For more information, visit

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