A radio advertisement in Arkansas encouraging Black voters to support a Republican Congressman French Hill in the upcoming elections has drawn criticism after claiming that “White Democrats will be lynching Black folk again.”
The political action committee Black Americans for the President’s Agenda paid for the ad and compared the hearing for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to a lynching, according to Buzzfeed.
In the ad, a woman says that Hill and Republicans “know that it’s dangerous to change the presumption of innocence to a presumption of guilt, especially for black men.”
“If the Democrats can do that to a white justice of the Supreme Court with no evidence, no corroboration, and all of her witnesses including her best friend say it didn’t happen, what will happen to our husbands, our fathers, or our sons when a White girl lies on them?” the woman continues.
This is a real radio ad currently running in Arkansas in support of Republican Congressman French Hill on radio stations targeted to the African American community. I don't even have words to describe it. pic.twitter.com/vpzt1nGPlc
— Ben Tribbett (@notlarrysabato) October 18, 2018
“Girl, white Democrats will be lynching black folk again,” says a second woman
Many were quick to call out the advertisement, calling it racist for using racial stereotypes of Black women.
“What fresh hell racist tripe bullsh*t is this? How many Black Americans For The President’s Agenda are actually behind this? Disgusting throwing every angry black woman trope behind this. Garbage,” Twitter user mialynneb wrote.
What fresh hell racist tripe bullshit is this? How many Black Americans For The President's Agenda (TM) are actually behind this? Disgusting throwing every angry black woman trope behind this. Garbage. https://t.co/ccHHEux4Mr
— Misty (@mialynneb) October 18, 2018
The ad tells Arkansas voters to support Hill to “protect our men and boys.”
“We can’t afford to let white Democrats take us back to bad old days of race verdicts, life sentences, and lynchings when a white girl screams rape,” one of the women in the ad says.
Hill took to Twitter on Thursday and condemned the advertisement.
“I condemn this outrageous ad in the strongest terms. I do not support that message, and there is no place in Arkansas for this nonsense,” he tweeted.
Some may have heard an appalling ad on the radio. I condemn this outrageous ad in the strongest terms. I do not support that message, and there is no place in Arkansas for this nonsense.
— French Hill (@ElectFrench) October 18, 2018
Democrat Clarke Tucker, who’s running against Hill to represent Arkansas’ 2nd District, called the ad “shameful” and said that Hill “will have to live with the kind of campaign they’re running.”
Rep. Hill & his allies will have to live with the kind of campaign they're running. This radio ad is disgraceful & has no place in our society. We won't let these shameful tactics distract us from our fight to stand up for the people in #AR02 on the critical issues in our lives. https://t.co/KErJAOdsel
— Clarke Tucker (@clarketucker) October 18, 2018
Black Americans for the President’s Agenda’s co-founder Vernon Robinson told EBONY that he rejects the claim that the ad promotes racial stereotypes, doubling down on the message that White Democrats killed Black men and claimed that the Me Too movement believes that people should believe all accusers.
“Several people are shocked that White Democrats were named the culprits, but it’s a fact,” said Robinson. “Should we believe the accuser in Emmet Till’s case? That is very dangerous. It’s dangerous in 2018.”
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.