Google Accused of Subtle Racism Over Black Guy Running Over Watermelon Image

When you logged on to Google this morning, did you even notice that it was a watermelon? I’ve got to admit, at first glance, I didn’t notice it. It was only the folks on Twitter who convinced me to take a second look, and guess what? That does appear to be a black dude running on top of a freshly cut watermelon. …. or maybe it’s just a track. Sure does look a lot like watermelon, though.

Since the beginning of the Olympics, Google has been posting a doodle per day in coordination with the selected Olympic event of the day. Up until now, however, none of the doodles bore any resemblance to watermelon. It is only the track doodle, a sport with a good deal of athletes with African ancestry,  that has replaced a watermelon for a track field.

This is not the first race related controversy of the Olympic games. NBC drew criticism when it aired a monkey gymnastics ad right after Gabby Douglas’ win. NBC later provided an explanation, but not an apology:

“Gabby Douglas’ gold medal performance last night was an historic and inspiring achievement,” NBC Universal spokeswoman Liz Fischer said. “The spot promoting `Animal Practice,’ which has run three times previously, is one in a series with an Olympic theme, which have been scheduled for maximum exposure. Certainly no offense was intended.”

So are these racial incidents somehow related? It is hard to tell whether these incidents are instances of subtle racism, or whether it’s all just a bit overblown.

What do you think? Are the folk at Google trying to get a few digs in at the expense of black people? Or are we just reading too much into this? What do you see?

 

 

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36 Responses to Google Accused of Subtle Racism Over Black Guy Running Over Watermelon Image

  1. Nik August 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Initially, I thought it was a mere coincidence that the track resembled a watermelon… but since Denise mentioned that the other tracks featured dont resemble this same track, it makes me wonder if this is was meant to be funny inside-joke.

    So yeah, the watermelon jokes are old, white people. I, being Black dont care for watermelon at all and most Blacks I know could go without it. In fact , it is YOU white people, who LOVE watermelon, right along with fried chicken. So find something else to reference… please and thank you.

    Reply
  2. CJ August 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Are people f*ckin’ serious about racism and a Google game? Really? Do people have nothing more to worry about? People really need to stop crying wolf over this miniscule bullsh*t.

    Reply
    • GarryB August 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      CJ….crying wolf? Minuscule? This was as subtle as a 2×4 in the back of the head. If it’s not brought to your attention, you’ll think it’s ok to do something else. Obviously, by your comment, you’ve never been pre-judged just by the way you look; you’ve never had to wonder what someone was thinking when they put something questionable on the internet. Walk a mile in MY shoes and you’ll understand. It’s not BS when it affects you!

      Reply
      • Barbara August 7, 2012 at 7:12 pm

        These racist smears are being done by people who work for NBC and Google–not necessarily the organizations themselves. If we contact their high management/owners, we could get the individuals responsible fired.

        We have to fight racism for the sake of our children. We have already fought these stereotypes in the past, and it gets tiring. But racism never sleeps, so lets get busy complaining.

        Reply
      • BigWill August 7, 2012 at 10:03 pm

        GarryB, your effort to educate these racist morons is admirable however, in vain. These rats don’t get it and never will. Their agenda is to minimize any and all complainst we have, as though our feelings or concerns are insignificant.

        Reply
      • me112233 August 11, 2012 at 9:33 am

        If you guys have seen my other posts, I’m not one cry racism every time something happens. But I gotta admit, this time it is obviousl. The watermelon track with the black runner? I guess we could be nice and call it a stereotype, but unlike the NBC monkey television ad, the black athlete running on the watermelon track is undoubtedly intentional.

        Reply
    • tawanda August 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      excuse me, white bastard: if people ignore the racist undertones of this nation, white people will only succeed in their mission to have history repeat itself and turn us back to the civil rights era or even slavery.

      Reply
    • Liz August 13, 2012 at 11:50 pm

      CJ,
      YOu are a dumb mother fucker!

      Reply
  3. altha August 7, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    @CJ man what’s wrong? you married to some white trash now you don’t know nothing about whites be jealous and racist. You are a real sucker!

    Reply
  4. AMAZINGGRACE August 7, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Well, Duh…..that one went over my head. I have been logging on and off google all day today and did not see it as watermelon in appearance.

    Reply
  5. Derrick August 7, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    I didn’t realize that it was a watermelon while I was playing the game. I’ve been offended by racism before, but I can’t say I’m offended by this (because I’m not). But, I understand why others would be.

    Reply
  6. Vanessa August 7, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    THAT’S JUST A TANNED WHITE BOY RUNNING OVER A SOILED KOTEX……….LOL

    *gotta laugh 2 keep from crying sometimes*

    Reply
  7. Loneathea Jones August 7, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    no we r not just looking for things CAUSE most of us did not even see it~~~naturally WE don’t think like that ~~ IT TAKES a RACIST mindset to create these racial messages & images. I guess when ppl think of, or see watermelon, that’s another way of thinking of a black person.(stereotyped). Younger generation u can’t b passive OR the past just might repeat itself… REAL TALK ~~~seek the Jesus Christ as your LORD & Savior ~we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us~without him we are nothing~~Godly wisdom, education, action…WATCH & PRAY & GET BUSY FOR THE KINGDOM

    Reply
  8. corbin56 August 7, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    I swear, as I was reading this article, I looked across the room and saw my daughter playing this exact game. I asked her if she saw a track or a watermelon. She replied “I see a watermelon”. You know, I am really tired of people, everyone and everything. It grows tiresome. Everyone is trying to tick someone off. Give it a rest.

    Reply
  9. Dana August 7, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Last time I checked when I decided to visit Iowa and stopped to eat at a popular Restaurant, White people along with every other race seem to enjoy eating Watermelon and Fried Chicken. I enjoy eating Watermelon is refreshing and it’s good for you. It’s a healthy fruit to eat. I really don’t see any relationship between Black people and Watermelon as well as Fried Chicken. The Famous food Channel Queen Paula Deen is known for her Fried Chicken as well as many other White Chefs. Also how many people enjoy going to KFC to get a quick bite to eat? There in the Business of Chicken. In regards to the Google Doodle I don’t remember ever seeing a track that resembles a Watermelon! I choose to not let it bother me because it’s really silly and ignorant when people try to relate a fruit in relationship to African American people. Personally I’m going to continue to eat my Watermelon and theirs a 95 percent chance when I’m at a Restaurant eating my Watermelon, I’ll be sitting next to a group of White people who probably will be smacking just as loud as I am enjoying their Watermelon.

    Reply
  10. Black Jay August 7, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    “Hurt people try to hurt other people”. One might ask what would make some white people take time and effort to create some ANONYMOUSLY SUBTLE RACISM in hopes of pissing off some blacks? Well…I believe the obvious CONTRADICTION to everything that white supremacist America has claimed is being forced to be acknowledged..on prime time tv! Called the summer OLYMPICS!! OUCH.

    Reply
  11. Sandra August 7, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    People the track is that color and the lines the divide the lanes on the track and make the lines for the curves. And the grass or asphalt is green on the side. Stop making something of nothing.

    Reply
  12. TRUTHSERUM August 7, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    WHEN YOU ARE DEAD TO SOMETHING…YOU CAN’T RESPOND! YES RACIST AND BIGOTRY IS HIDEOUS AND A SIGN OF INSECURE, JEALOUS…WISH I WAS YOU…SOUL! BUT WE AS A PEOPLE MUST STOP ACKNOWLEDGING & SCREAMING EVERYTIME SOME WEAK SUB-HUMAN SPECIES THROW DARTS. God HAS BROUGHT US FAR…AND WE ARE GREAT PEOPLE….FOR WE STAND ON THE BACKS OF THOSE WHO WENT BEFORE US AND SUFFERED GREATLY. ISN’T THE GARDEN OF EDEN IN AFRICA….HELLO????? READ THE BIBLE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE OF COLORS…selah! So when you witness this junk….we do more damage when WE REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE IT. THROUGH OUR ACTIONS WE TELL THE WORLD….WE ARE UNIFIED IN SPIRIT….WE ARE DEAD TO THE SPIRITS OF RACISM….WE CAN NOT…AND SHALL NOT BE MOVED….We are ONE!
    peace & love
    http://wordfeastpoetryevents2012.eventbrite.com

    Reply
  13. leh August 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Any watermellon I’ve eaten had seeds the same size. I have no idea what those black spots are supposed to represent. Perhaps a bit darker color for the track, and not spots would’ve been preferable!

    Reply
  14. Carolyn Marshall August 7, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Someone’s thoughts of you don’t have to be your reality unless you allow it.

    Reply
  15. Chabella August 7, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I don’t feel it is subtle at all. Indoor and outdoor tracks do not look like that one. It is clearly a single track in the image of a watermelon. What are those spots intended to represent? The seeds in a watermelon are not equal in size and neither are the black spots on the track. Since the runner is a person of color why couldn’t the hand on the keyboard be the same color? Why was the hand “white”? After all, it is the hand that controls the success or failure of the runner. We must stop dismissing the insults/offenses that are thrown at us. When the small stuff is not nipped in the bud, the door is left open for more and even bigger insults/offenses. Yes, we must choose our battles carefully and not sweat the small stuff, but in this case disrespect is disrespect, ….period!

    Reply
  16. Retia August 7, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    @ Nik..you’r right, I work in an office that is predominately caucasian and they eat more chicken, bar bque and watermelons than the African Americans.
    I don’t ususally give credence to the racist remarks and other things I see on the Internet, but today I felt I had too…I donot think it was a coincidence. I emailed the “Doodle” team this comment. “Your Doodle for today; Tues /7/2012 is racist & stereotypical. Did you really think no one would notice you have a black man running over a watermelon? Or are you guys just so pompous, arrogant and bigoted or ignorant, which is probably the latter or you just don’t care? Do you think by virtue of your ethnicity that you are somehow superior and you have the right to put this disparaging picture up here. Shame on you. I have up to this day thought very highly of “Google” and all that it represents….but you guys belong in the category with George Zimmerman & Wade Michael Page. I will be praying for you!

    Reply
  17. Floyd August 8, 2012 at 5:33 am

    Watermelon or not, I raise it, its very healthy, good for the prostate and has lots of fibers. The people in Africa carry them when foot traveling because its a source of water. If the white man wants to demean this healthy fruit, let him make a fool of himself. I love it and its my favorite fruit.

    The problem here is that we complain and ask them to quit teasing us without fighting back. As a kid, when someone hit me
    I hit them back. The next time they will not attempt to do it again because they will feel the same pain they perpetrated. Why not fight back by showing a white man eating raw meat. Now this will make him think twice before he make fun of us. I am tired of us whinning about the idiotic things whitie does.

    Reply
  18. Generic White Guy August 8, 2012 at 6:18 am

    He is also wearing white shoes and jumping a white hurdle. Does that mean he’s been jumping over (avoiding) white people and stepping on their faces at the same time to reach his ultimate goal? Something out of nothing is exactly whats going on. Tiger must be racist, because he hits golf balls (whitey) so damn well. Are you guys really saying you were upset when you saw this image? Floyd has it right, do something about it and fight back. Complaining on the internet just creates funny topics for us look up, and laugh about at work. That is exactly how I found this thread. I’m not laughing at the stereotype, I’m laughing because this seems to be a big deal to people.

    “watch your six, and don’t trust whitey”

    Reply
  19. mike j August 8, 2012 at 8:34 am

    If the stains on the ground were black..ok! If the shape resembled a slice..ok! But you can see a few blades of grass on the side! You can see a hurdle! You can see lane lines how in the hell is that a slice of water melon? And before the onslaught of attack I’m a black man with a black wife who just happens to be an independent thinker whose brain isn’t controlled by anyone elses views or opinion! But personally iv never eaten nor seen a flat slice of melon with tan or brown seed with little grass blades on the side but maybe that’s just me & my in the box thinking. WOW!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  20. Van Lewis August 8, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Google Knows Its Intentions. I Am Monitored, Censored, Denied Access, Spied Upon, Posts Are Altered, On Any Google Powered App. I Downloaded A New Chinese App A Few Days Ago And Google Even Denied Images And Photos Because I Interacted Primarily With Black Posts And Photos Friends And Associates. Once I Contacted Feedback On The App, The Photos And Images Suddenly Returned.

    Yes, I Think Google Has The Capacity To Practice Racism And Unwarrented Spying As Well.

    Thank You For This Post.

    Reply
  21. therapist August 8, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I believe the monkey gymnastics was racism but this one honestly seems like a stretch. I understand why would people would think the track is watermellon but to me it’s not very obvious.

    Reply
  22. Jimmie August 8, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Its take much focus to compete in any sport. I personally believe that NBC took to undermining the Olympics with its subtle commercial and now Google and Fox having chimed in to further undermine certain contestants. NEGATIVE CRITICISM BUILDS UP STRESS AND DRAINS STRENGTH AND ENERGY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL NO MATTER HOW TOUGH THEIR EXTERIOR. Gabby did not need the negative media distraction caused by ill-mannered Twitters and NBC backbenchers. Critics who have no talent of their own often rally around whining to assuage their own lack of accomplishment. I totally agree with LoLo Jones (see link below), also a woman of African American lineage, that the media cares not about what some athletes must endure to be champion when that athlete in not perhaps their choice for a championship medal. These are not her words exactly, but what I took from what she did say. What family negatively bashes a child before a child is expected to perform any accomplishment with courage and confidence? That is effectively what the American media seems to do to a child of the U.S. American family as a whole when one of its children does not seem to be its favorite. Gabby and LoLo, you are both champions the world will long remember. You both gave us your best efforts which is all anyone can ask of you both.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/olympics-fourth-place-medal/

    Reply
  23. Jimmie August 8, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Actual link to my earlier comment regarding media, Gabby and LoLo. Also, exuse typos in previous comments.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/olympics-fourth-place-medal/lolo-jones-breaks-down-tears-during-today-interview-131042644–oly.html

    Reply
  24. Michael Flannery August 8, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    There ain’t no such thing as SUBTLE racism!
    Real Racists don’t have the wherewithall to be subtle.
    Not to mention that I’ve never seen a watermelon with light brown seeds.

    Reply
  25. Geo Simpson August 9, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Remember, Africa is the cradle of civilization. Stop hating the dominant.bloodline that runs through all of us, by depicting blacks in a negative manner, someone at google needs to be held accountable for this racist banner….Peace!!

    Reply
  26. tawanda August 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    omg i didn’t notice that at all! man these honkies are outrageous! wtf?

    Reply
  27. Arthur Robinson August 11, 2012 at 10:57 am

    As a young man I asked a question of my mother. Mom are we not just as good as white people? My mom drew her hand back and hit me so hard that she left her hand print in my face. Her repyl was not as good. Better!

    our preoccupation with what caucassians think of us is a preoccupation with the old question: Am I just as good as another, rather the defining your self as better.

    The master never concern him/her self with questions of equality or what the slave thinks. There is no question in the masters’ mind of his/her status.

    Reply
  28. SUPER RIGHTS August 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Brothas,Brothas,Brothas.THE TRUE REASON WHY THESE RACIST
    ARE RUNNING NEGATIVE CAMPAIGHN ADS OVER WATERMELON
    WHEN IT COMES TO BLACKMEN IS BECAUSE THEY DONT WANT BLACKMEN TO REAP TO BENEFITS OF THE HIGH LYCOPENE CONTENT INSIDE WATERMELON THAT CURES HEART DISEASE
    AND PROSTATE CANCER IN WHICH THESE ARE THE NUMBER
    ONE KILLER OF BLACKMEN.BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT THESE
    RACIST ARE TRYIING TO KEEP YOU FROM.

    Reply
  29. SUPER RIGHTS August 11, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    WHITE RACISM EQUATES JEALOUSLY,BLACK RACISM EQUATES
    INJUSTICE,LOSS,OR DEPRIVATION.

    Reply
  30. Kyle January 27, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Hello everyone. I do feel it is sad that people must come up with a reason to try to sue someone. (Don’t try to tell me that someone hasn’t tried to sue Google for their “racist” picture) Personally, I was on the track team in high school and my track was that color, shade, and even had those spots on it. Never thought anything about it, so I never asked why. But apparently, you can see that your so called “watermelon” has grass growing on it.. which in turn, would mean that it is not a watermelon. I’m sure someone will come to the accusations defense and tell me that “it’s just some way to hide what it really means.” No, it is not. It is how it was meant to be. A black guy running on a track. If you can’t just see the beauty in the picture itself and have to find a reason to make it seem racist, you might want to look deeper into yourself instead of the picture, because the picture isn’t the issue. I’m sorry, but I don’t know many white people that claim racism on anything.. (there are those out there, don’t get me wrong) but it seems like more black people complain about racism often. Maybe it’s because whites don’t care. Personally, you can say all the harmful stuff to me, and I will be fine. I’ll just smile and know that my life is better then those who said those things to me. I’m happy where I am. Now, I do know about slavery and I am completely against it. I am part Indian so I have checked on my history also. If the world ever started trying to reestablish slavery again, I would fight to the death to see it fall. I have no quarrels with others, because it wasn’t them who started it. The first Europeans started the harmful and inhumane future. Anyways, what I am trying to say is just enjoy what you have.. If you see a picture and don’t like it, then don’t look at it? Simple. If using Google bothers you, use Bing. It’s very user friendly. It’s what I use. And lastly, using FULL CAPS makes you seem like you aren’t smart enough to turn off the caps lock… and learn to spell.. and speak in sentences that makes sense. Thanks.

    Reply

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