A Cheerios ad featuring an interracial family has drawn a spate of racist comments, forcing maker General Mills to disable comments on its most recent YouTube video.The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

In the thirty-second ad, a young girl asks her white mother whether Cheerios are really good for the heart.  The mother responds affirmatively; and in the next scene, a black father wakes from a nap to find Cheerios piled on his chest.  The ad ends with the word “Love” against a background evocative of the cereal’s familiar yellow box.

According to AdWeek, although television shows frequently feature interracial couples, that is less true in the commercials.  They report that this heartwarming ad has drawn fire in the YouTube comments section, and has

devolved into an endless flame war, with references to Nazis, “troglodytes” and “racial genocide.”

To its credit, General Mills has not caved to its racist detractors and has promised that the ad will  “absolutely not” be pulled.  Meredith Tutterow, associate marketing director for Cheerios, told the New York Times, “There are many kinds of families, and Cheerios just wants to celebrate them all.”

More than 1,700,000 viewers have seen the ad in the first six days since its release on May 28, 2013.  Although the hate-filled comments are no longer available on the site, the “thumbs up/thumbs down” feature is still visible; and there, viewers have been strongly positive—with 20,101 voting “thumbs up” and only 1,369 “thumbs down”.

What does the Catholic Church say about interracial marriage? 

The Church teaches that marriage is allowable between any eligible man and any eligible woman.  Race is not an issue, since all are created equal in the eyes of God.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

Created in the image of the one God and equally endowed with rational souls, all men have the same nature and the same origin.  Redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ, all are called to participate in the same divine beatitude:  All, therefore, enjoy an equal dignity.

(CCC 1934)

This article was originally published at Patheos in 2013.