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Thoughts on the “racist” anti-Ford ad

Harold Ford is the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in Tennessee. There has been great discussion about a recent ad run by the GOP attacking Ford. In it a blonde suggests she knows Ford from a Playboy Mansion party and asks him to give her a call. The NAACP has suggested the ad is racist. I think there’s no doubt the ad is tacky, but I don’t think it’s racist.

1) Imagine if, instead of the blonde girl, they chose a black model to the play the part. There would still be cries that this was a racist ad. Black leaders would complain that the GOP “doesn’t think Ford worthy of a ‘White’ woman” and that by saying Ford can only interact with black woman the GOP is trying to revert to Victorian era racism.

2) Shouldn’t it be Playboy and Hugh Hefner that are decried as racists? Has anyone done a statistical analysis of the races and socioeconomic status of Playboy Playmates? How often do you see Heff with a non-white model on his arm? Does Playboy Magazine follow affirmitive action in their modeling criteria?

3) Aren’t any racists in Tennessee already not voting for Harold Ford? If racism is defined as the idea that some races are less equal than others, doesn’t it follow that you wouldn’t vote for the “weaker” race if you were a racist? And if you’re Harold Ford, aren’t you apathetic towards getting support from racists?

4) According to Wikipedia:

He has told Democrats they should be more supportive of the Iraq War and criticized Senate Democrats who attempted to filibuster Samuel Alito. He was one of the few Democrats who voted for the Bankruptcy Bill, and he supports some restrictions on abortion, and defines himself as a “pro-life” candidate.

Is Harold Ford a Democrat we should really be attacking as much as we do? I don’t believe in being nice to your opposition but there are certainly better targets for negative ads.

5) Does anyone really think the GOP would be so stupid as to create more controversy about race on purpose?

6) Does anyone seriously believe the GOP is a racist institution?

7) Do people still take the NAACP seriously?


2 Responses

  1. The add was effective as it forced Harold Ford to acknowledge he wasn’t the choir boy that he has he’s been making himself out to be.

  2. Well said, Marty. Good point about the supposed racist who WAS going to vote for Ford, but changed his mind when the squeaky voiced Playmate appeared on camera.

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