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YOU MAKE THE CALL

Filed at 8:58 am under by dcobranchi

Racist or not? From a recent GOP ad (running in districts that are mostly African-American) on abortion:

[Black man #1:] “If you make a little mistake with one of your ‘hos,’ you’ll want to dispose of that problem tout suite, no questions asked,” one of the men says.

[Black man #2:] “That’s too cold. I don’t snuff my own seed,” the other replies.

[#1:] “Maybe you do have a reason to vote Republican,” the first man says.

UPDATE: I’m having a debate with a friend on the values one can ascribe to the man who produced this ad.

UPDATE: OK, he’s fessed up, so I can say that it’s Scott who doesn’t have a problem with the ad.

25 Responses to “YOU MAKE THE CALL”


Comment by
Christine G
October 23rd, 2006
at 9:47 am

I don’t know why am I surprised that political groups could stoop this low. The ads are very offensive. The shame is that they don’t even see what is wrong with the stereotypes and twisted information they’re putting out there.


Comment by
Unique
October 23rd, 2006
at 10:33 am

That’s really an ad?
That’s despicable.
I’d absolutely vote AGAINST anyone who bought, paid for, and ran such a piece of filth.

I couldn’t possibly tell you if it’s racist or not. Digusting is the only word I can think of.


Comment by
Scott W. Somerville
October 23rd, 2006
at 10:47 am

Daryl, you might want to provide a link to the full set of ads: voteou...es.com.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 23rd, 2006
at 11:21 am

Please listen to them all. If they don’t inspire you to vote AGAINST the GOP, nothing will.

And, BTW, David Duke is a Republican.


Comment by
COD
October 23rd, 2006
at 12:50 pm

I clicked through 10 or 12 of them and didn’t hear anything racist. I heard a lot of stereotyping and assumptions about how black voters think about the two parties, but nothing that supports the idea of white superiority. Further, nobody here is in the target audience. It’s not surprising that a white SAHM from Iowa doesn’t “get” ads produced for urban radio stations 🙂

I did find the SS ad humorous. Under Bush’s plan, you might have an estate with $200K when you retire. Whoo Hoo, that will cover you for about 4-5 years, what do you do for the other 20? However, most white folks would also think a $200K nest egg was a good thing. Economic illiteracy doesn’t discriminate.

Personally, I do think the Democratic party has used blacks over the years, in much the same way Republicans have used Christians. Make promises, never deliver, and argue that the other side would be even worse. Interest group politics is bad for America. Within reason, anything that spreads the votes out is a good thing.


Comment by
JJ Ross
October 23rd, 2006
at 2:29 pm

“partire” means to divide up, especially into antagonistic sides and to favor some unevenly . . .

This ad is roughly as insulting and race-baiting as the feminist Dem blogger who put Lieberman in blackface. Divisive by definition, and see how well it works!

Most individuals are better than this, more intellectually honest and principled. I don’t think anyone here would defend or practice race-baiting, for example. I don’t believe most of us want to see America partitioned up into competing interest groups unable to work together for anything except mutual destruction.

But neither party is better than this — they do use these tactics and they DO mean to divide us, that’s the whole point! Even if it ruins everything for everybody in the process– so imo neither party deserves to use righteous indignation as yet another battle tactic. To me it would be immoral and intellectually dishonest to let either party get away with it.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 23rd, 2006
at 2:39 pm

This ad is roughly as insulting and race-baiting as the feminist Dem blogger who put Lieberman in blackface.

Except that 1) Jane Hamsher apologized immediately for the blackface bit (which was in response to Lieberman’s race-baiting) and 2) my friend saw nothing wrong with this ad.


Comment by
Julie
October 23rd, 2006
at 2:55 pm

Well, I usually don’t agree with you on, well, hardly anything. But, I do agree that these ads are racist. They reinforce extremely negative stereoypes about black people. Not only are these ads mimicing stereotypical black slang language, but they make some very negative assumptions about how the black community values women, chastity, monogamy (ho’s ~ plural) and human life.

Personally, I am anti-abortion; however, I don’t particularly care how a candidate votes on abortion issues. I don’t think America will be truly great until abortions, even if they are legal, are not performed because we as a nation so value human life that we would never think of ending a pregnancy through abortion. I know ~ I live in a fantasy world, but I like it here.

Probably not an unbiased opinion ~ I am a mother because of the miracle of adoption and my daughter is not white (neither are the two Haitian children that I am in the process of adopting!)


Comment by
Christine G
October 23rd, 2006
at 4:42 pm

Yeah, Chris, we Iowans don’t got no blacks here, just corn. I’m just a poor, barefoot, buck-toothed, hick farmer from the corn state.


Comment by
Audrey
October 23rd, 2006
at 5:56 pm

Please, please tell me that this wasn’t REALLY an advertisement that was REALLY run.

Because if you don’t tell me that, I’m going to be physically ill. What ignorant bigot thinks that this isn’t offensive??


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 23rd, 2006
at 6:16 pm

Yes, it’s real and was run on radio.

Scott, do you want to address the question? BTW, Scott had the same post up on his blog this afternoon. It’s missing right now.


Comment by
Charity
October 23rd, 2006
at 8:01 pm

Okay, just to play Devil’s advocate here – how are these ads any more racist than any rap or hip-hop song on the market? They were obviously made to speak to the same demographic, no?


Comment by
Tim Haas
October 23rd, 2006
at 8:45 pm

I must admit that I’m with Chris (although not about Iowa — lovely state, lovely people!): This neither surprises nor upsets me, nor do I find it inherently racist. Ill-advised, sure, but of a piece with the urban marketing I see every day in Philly.


Comment by
COD
October 23rd, 2006
at 9:04 pm

Thank you Tim. The Iowa comment applies to all of us. Actually, I find it a bit pretentious that “us” white folks think we know what inner city blacks will and will not find offensive. If the black voters that are actually hearing these ads on the radio have a problem with it they will speak up. However, since it’s radio stations with predominately black audiences running these ads, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt that they don’t expect a backlash from their listeners over this.

I don’t really have an opinion on whether or not these are good ads for the goal of convincing traditionally black democratic voters to vote Republican. As stated above, I do think more blacks voting Republican would be a good thing. Likewise more evangelical Christians voting Democratic would be a good thing too.


Comment by
Christine G
October 23rd, 2006
at 11:16 pm

Geez, Tim, you’re just putting another stereotype out there.


Comment by
don
October 23rd, 2006
at 11:40 pm

COD – Not trying to come to my wife’s defense here (she can do that quite well herself), but you are making an assumption about her (that she’s a white, SAHM from Iowa) and dismissing her opinion because of that. Since you’ve never met us in person, you wouldn’t know that Christine is predominantly Hispanic. Since she is part of a minority group, does her opinion on this count now?

You know I agree with you on most everything you write, but on this I think you are dead wrong. These ads may not rise to the level of white supremacy, but they certainly are offensive. If one of your kids was talking to an African American, and used terms like “ho’s”, would you be uncomfortable? I would; and likewise these ads make me uncomfortable. Analyze it all you want, but these ads don’t pass the “sniff test”.

And as far as the argument that these ads are no worse than some of the urban marketing or hip-hop music out there, all I can say it just because others are doing it doesn’t make it right.

And I agree that spreading out the vote is a good thing – but in this case, the ends do not justify the means.


Comment by
COD
October 24th, 2006
at 8:13 am

It doesn’t really matter if Christine is white, Hispanic, or Native American. My point was that those of us not immersed in inner city black culture are in no position to proclaim this racist. It’s not a racial issue, it’s cultural.

Black people refer to each other as nigger all the time. You and I obviously aren’t going to do it, but does that also mean that we should demand that they stop doing too? We don’t have any right to impose our cultural mores on others, and a lot of what I see here is thinly veiled culturism. We think inner city blacks would be better off if they acted more like us. That might be true, but if you are trying to sell something to inner city blacks, you have to deal with their culture as it exists, not as how we’d like it to be.


Comment by
JJ Ross
October 24th, 2006
at 8:47 am

The Christian Rs as an ad-buying movement do obviously mean to impose their cultural mores on all of us (in the Constitution if necessary!) but I can’t get from that to this ad as imposing mainstream language and culture on inner city blacks?

It strikes me more as the opposite, whitebread Rs trying to tap into their culture and being monumentally clumsy about it.

Seems to me this ad’s offense is like the cliché society mom in Tina Fey’s “Mean Girls”, trying pathetically hard around her daughter’s friends to adopt their cool culture, look and language — maybe not “offending” the teens she’s trying to win over as much as just disgusting them, but it’s still ridiculous behavior that offends human dignity, decency and motherhood! (Maybe apple pie too . . .)


Comment by
don
October 24th, 2006
at 9:10 am

Sorry Chris, but I don’t think you can just separate the cultural and the racial aspects like that. And just because someone is not part of a particular race and/or culture doesn’t mean that person can’t recognize racism against that group.

Nobody even suggested that we should impose our cultural mores on inner-city blacks or that they would be better off if they acted more like us. I think we’re just saying that you shouldn’t treat people like stereotypes, regardless of whether or not you’re trying to sell them something.


Comment by
Tim Haas
October 24th, 2006
at 9:27 am

OK, Christine. Iowa — [somewhat] lovely state, [at least 50 percent] lovely people. 🙂


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 24th, 2006
at 10:08 am

It’s not heaven; it’s Iowa.

This week the Fayetteville Observer is running a fascinating series on Fayetteville native Archie “Moonlight” Graham, of “Field of Dreams” fame.

He really was a doctor, and he really never got to bat. The one game he played in ended with him in the on-deck circle.


Comment by
Christine G
October 24th, 2006
at 10:43 am

Whether it’s offensive to black, inner-city residents, I can’t say. But it offends me. I didn’t jump across the border from Mexico either, but the political ads that imply all illegal Mexican immigrants are funneling meth to Iowa offend me, too. (Illegals were here long before they made buying too much sudafed a crime, and most are just here to get away from a hard life). Political ads twist the truth to make people think “hey, we don’t want that guy in office” based on prejudice and false assumptions. Do you think that black people are the only ones exposed to those ads? No. anyone tuned in can get a stereotyped view of what “all black people” are like.

I would think that with the “evangelical Christian homeschooler” stereotype that is so pervasive any non-evangelical-Christian homeschooler could understand that although a stereotype might apply to some, it does not apply to everyone.


Comment by
COD
October 24th, 2006
at 11:45 am

You have to separate race and culture, because every single thing about those ads that you find offensive is based on culture, not race. Inner city blacks talk that way, drop out of high school at higher rates, and have more abortions per capita because of culture, not race.

There is nothing about being black that leads to any of that. If a white kid grew up in SE DC he will most most likely talk like the other people in SE DC, and likely would have the same attitudes as them too. It’s not race, it’s culture.

There is nothing inherently evil about stereotypes. Many of them are rooted in a at least a little bit of fact. You don’t see rap ads on HSLDA do you? These radio stations are in the business of helping other businesses get messages out to their audience. I think they know better than any of us how best to do that. Nothing in those ads suggests that every black person talks or thinks like that. What they do suggest is that the overwhelming majority of people listening to the radio stations those ads run on do talk and thing that way.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 24th, 2006
at 12:09 pm

These radio stations are in the business of helping other businesses get messages out to their audience. I think they know better than any of us how best to do that. Nothing in those ads suggests that every black person talks or thinks like that. What they do suggest is that the overwhelming majority of people listening to the radio stations those ads run on do talk and thing that way.

I’ve got to disagree here. Radio (and television) stations typically exercise little or no editorial control for political ads (other than refusing to run blatantly fasle ones). What these ads suggest, then, is that the people paying for them think that inner city blacks think and talk like this. To the extent that that view is a negative stereotype, it comes across as racist.


Comment by
COD
October 24th, 2006
at 12:22 pm

These aren’t political ads under the McCain – Feingold definition are they? Their hands are tied on ads paid for by the candidates campaign committee, or by the parties. However, this is just another non-profit, legally speaking. I believe the station is fully able to reject these, as they would if the KKK wanted to run an ad encouraging black voters to vote Republican.