MTV recently launched its Look Different campaign, geared toward shedding light on pervasive bias based on race, gender, and sexual orientation. In support of the campaign and in an effort to challenge the assertion that white privilege is a thing of the past, MTV has created The White Squad, a fictional service that can help non-caucasians reap the same day-to-day benefits of their white peers.
The tongue-in-cheek promo for the bogus company uses real, sobering statistics to assure viewers that they too can earn a scholarship, get a shorter jail term, hail a cab, and land an interview at the same unfair rates as whites by simply obtaining a whiter name or having a sandy-haired gentleman stand in for them.
While the video’s concept may be worth a chuckle, the numbers make it clear that there’s nothing funny about how deeply such biases affect all of our lives, and how seldom some of us realize it.
The Look Different campaign also offers multiple tools in order to keep the conversation going and to help people tune in to their own implicit biases and explore how their lives are shaped by the unique advantages and disadvantages that arise based on gender, race, sexual orientation, and class — because, As Katherine Speller of MTV news said, The White squad is a quick-fix for systemic inequity…but it’s not the one we really need.