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There's been a huge amount of buzz and discussion taking place over the Dodge Ram Super Bowl ad that featured the classic radio voice of Paul Harvey addressing the Future Farmers of America in 1978 while photos of farmers and rural America play alongside the audio in Ken Burns style.

While a lot of Americans were moved sentimentally by the images of classic rural Americana, some noticed that a huge group of farm workers in this country was noticeably absent from the ad.  That huge group of farmers and farm workers would be Latino Americans.  Follow below the squiggle for more...

While some pundits made some comments the day after the Super Bowl about the ad not reflecting all of today's reality of farming and farm work; namely, that much of America's farms are actually tended to by huge groups of Latino Americans and immigrants, most of whom would have to work at least three full years of salary to earn enough money to purchase a Ram truck, a group of enterprising Latinos took notice of this and decided to create their own version of the ad.  

Now this diary isn't meant to diss Dodge or Chrysler; it's a very effective ad, and it pays homage to American farmers in a very touching way.  But it also leaves out a bunch of people who are or have been just as vital to the American way of life as those people they are celebrating.

Originally posted to 728huey on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:44 PM PST.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And 2 Years After Paul "Championed" the Farmer, (6+ / 0-)

    he championed Ronald Reagan and his Republican successors whose administrations drove farmers in both America and Mexico to ruin with their policies of free trade and corporate megafarm support. It's an important part in the mix of reasons so many Latinos had to come here.

    There's another correction to put on that ad.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:57:49 PM PST

  •  God didn't make a farmer (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, Yasuragi, Rich in PA, freerad

    That commercial was probably the worst of the lot, but of course, I hate them all.  It's nothing but manipulation.  In any case, I'm sure it did its job. They'll sell more Dodge's because of it.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:59:08 PM PST

  •  I'm from Hanford, California (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, sebastianguy99

    Which is prime farming country. But none of the farmers I know look like the people in that ad. They all looked like character's straight out of central casting.

    "Jesus Christ was black, ronald reagan was the devil, and the government is lying about 9/11." Huey Freeman

    by cee4 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:00:16 PM PST

  •  I was the target audience for that ad (7+ / 0-)

    And I admit, it got me.

    The funny thing is, I'm not a farmer. But when I was a kid I used to spend a lot of time out in the country where these things were true. Men worked hard in the dirt, drove big, beat up trucks and sported faces like leather from all their time in the dust and sun.

    That was my home away from home. It seems like a lifetime ago and just yesterday at the same time.

    But I haven't seen a family farm in ages. So even while the ad hit me in my gut and did what it was supposed to do emotionally, intellectually I was offended by it. Those people in the ad are no longer the farm workers by and large. Drive through rural Idaho and you'll see a lot of rugged looking white guys driving trucks, but they're outnumbered 5 to 1 by Mexican immigrants bent over in the sun.

    Those guys are no less rugged, worn and tired than the white guys.

    That's what our farms are now. And I think the men and women doing the body-breaking work deserve more credit than the guys in the trucks.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:04:19 PM PST

    •  I liked it too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rebelle

      but did notice the lack of Latino faces.  I would say the Latino farm workers toil harder - especially considering that they do not see the full fruit of their labor.  A farm owner can be reasonably wealthy (many tobacco farmers in NC did extremely well).  Also, consider the farm owners that employ undocumented workers.  Do you think they are really toiling like those in the commercial?  Their workers are.  I have met a few people whose families have owned considerable sized farms for generations.  They don't look like the people in the commercial.  

      As others have pointed out, you have industrial farms, agribusiness, and considerable subsidies to farms.  As a nation we have a misguided notion of what farming is, and what farm workers look like.

      The fixed commercial is awesome.

  •  This is one of the things wrong. It's not enough (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1, rebelle

    that, irrespective of ethnicity, Harvey was speaking of all such folk (which Americans instinctively know) -- everybody now feels they have to be mentioned or they don't count and won't be thought of. Just like the Oscar speeches.

    If one thinks that way, how can one take pleasure in anything anyone else succeeds at?

    •  yes, white conservatives were thinking of latinos (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuco35

      when they spoke about the rugged heartland farmers god granted to america. just like they were thinking of the vast majority of latino farm workers when they made an ad that only showed the superminority of white farmers.

      the most absurd ethnic tokenists in the world are rural and suburban conservative white demanding that they and only they be pictured as symbols of this country.

    •  The purpose is to sell trucks, period. If it was (0+ / 0-)

      to sell Pepsi, we'd see American Indian, African American, Latino and women operators of farms. This is marketing,  not a lesson in who farms unfortunately. The American farming community is in serious shape, having any representation on TV is helpful, but in the service of Dodge, I was appalled.

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:08:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  In 2002, 75% of farm workers were born in... (7+ / 0-)

    ...Mexico, according to the Deapartment of Labor.  An additional 2% in Central America. And who knows how many of those born in the US were of Mexican-American ancestry.

    Farmers photo Farmers_zps79abba4d.gif

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:36:03 PM PST

  •  Thank You. I thought I was the only one who found (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winstongator

    ...the commercial lacking. Farmers come in all ethnicities yet that is not what the audience saw. I applaud the concept but the execution was substandard.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:20:26 AM PST

  •  Paul Harvey was an obnoxious reactionary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy

    Bringing him back insults our farmers--and that's without getting to the ultimate tokenism, that we've gotten to the point where their most immediate connection to our culture of consumerism isn't even food, but pickup trucks.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:48:33 AM PST

  •  Let's look at percentages of farm operators: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rebelle

    USDA Demographic Fact Sheet

    As a marketing person, I'd look at who buys trucks AND who is going to buy trucks as time goes on. Leaving out minorities, however keyed to current demographics it might be, is missing the wave. Of course, the fact that we're all discussing it, negatively or positively, is music to the ears of those in advertising who came up with this.

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

    by the fan man on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:27:46 AM PST

  •  I find this discussion fascinating (0+ / 0-)

    I am actually friends with the some of the folks that starred in this ad.  They are wonderful, salt of the earth people.  Their day jobs are not as farmers or ranchers, although they would love for that to be the case.  Agriculture, as it relates to the family farm, simply does not pay the bills.  My friends who actually make their living as farmers, are more like high powered CEOs than tractor drivers.  Making deals with supermarkets, arranging transportation, finding, hiring and keeping labor and navigating tax code, crop insurance and government subsidies.  Their work is hard, but not in the physical way that is portrayed in the ad.
    So yes, when you think of actual farm labor, it is actually those folks who do the back breaking work in the cabbage fields, and most Americans are unwilling to engage in such physically demanding work.  I guess it is much like the case with doctors and nurses.  Nurses are usually the ones that provide day to day care, although doctors get the credit.
    Those of us who involve ourselves in agriculture do it because we love it. Working with the land, caring for animals, teaches our children to appreciate nature and the value and satisfaction of a hard day's work.  There are still a lot of small farmers and ranchers out there,  but most are doing out it of passion and not for profit.  

  •  God didn't make the atheist farmers. (0+ / 0-)

    Between this ad and the players bowing and praying and crossing themselves and thanking god with bible verses all over their bodies, I was getting quite nauseous.  

    The only relief was the ad about the Joe Montana shirt stain.

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