I was sitting at the bar of a local .. well, bar ... and saw this cardboard coaster produced by Visit Jacksonville. At first glance, I thought it was cute and a fun way to promote the city and random factoids (in this case, the average age of residents is 35.5, the lowest in the state). Then, the guy sitting next me, pointed out something curious about the design: every one of the faces on the coaster is white, white as in, not black or Asian or Native American or Hispanic.
Sure, some of the smiling cartoon people could be of mixed races, but they look pretty Caucasian to me. I find this to be particularly funny since the idea behind the "Only in Jax" campaign is to promote facts that folks might not know about the city.
Obviously, Jacksonville's population is not 100 percent white. I know this, of course, because I can see. But just to be sure, I checked the most recent U.S. Census numbers, and lo and behold, just 55 percent of Jacksonvillians identify themselves as "white only" (i.e., not mixed). Here's the breakdown:
- White: 55.1 percent
- Black/African-American: 30.7 percent
- Hispanic or Latino: 7.7 percent
- Asian: 4.3 percent
- American Indian or Alaska native: .4 percent
- Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander: .1 percent
If Visit Jacksonville wanted to represent the city's population accurately, then 12 of the faces should have been white, seven black/African American, two Hispanic or Latino and one Asian.
I can only assume that excluding non-white races was an oversight. But I still can't figure out what Ben Affleck's and Seth Rogan's mugs are doing on the coasters.
Check to photo gallery above to see which other celebrities you'll see "only in Jax (on a coaster)."