Friday, October 27, 2006

Who hasn't?

I voted for Harold Ford. My ballot has already been mailed. There's no power in the world that can uncast that vote now. Not that I want to. We might not see eye-to-eye on everything, but he's young, he's dynamic and he's not going to be a bland Bush toady.

I saw the Who Hasn't ad this morning (actually yesterday - blogger problems prevented me from finishing this post). The one with the "bimbo". You know, this one.

It made me laugh. Especially the porn line "So he took money from porno film producers. Who hasn't?" That guy's a corker cracker card. That made me laugh the 2nd time, too. And the third.

The Vol-in-Law watched the ad, too. He laughed. He said "That would make me vote for Harold."

"Do you think it's racist?" I said.
"Racist about who?"


Now, I certainly wouldn't put it past the Republican National Committee to create something that subtly - or even overtly racist. When the mud starts flying, people get crazy and don't care what kind of mud it is or who it lands on.

But to me, it's not racist. That is - it doesn't inspire me to think negative thoughts about Harold Ford based on his race - nor was my first thought that it might do so in others.

However, I know I'm not living in America anymore - where there's still subtext about black men sleeping with white women. In the UK, black-white romantic partnerships are very common. So common as to not really be notable. (Asian & white or black relationships less so).

Some people think that interracial relationships just aren't right - to echo the final line of the RNC ad.

As quoted in The Tennessean:

One national observer, Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia, called the ad "despicable," "disgraceful" and "racist," but also effective.

"That's the reason they do these things," said Sabato, director of the university's Center for Politics. "There are voters in between who are not fundamentally racist but may have certain subconscious fears energized by an ad like that," he said.

But I have to wonder - is getting crazy upset about this ad doing to do more harm than good. Yes, it was low and sleezy. But I'm slightly worried that to jump up and down about the racism in this ad is to alienate those who thought "Ha, that's a funny ad. That Corker is desperate. I'm voting for Ford." by planting this thought "Are they saying I'm a racist, too because I didn't pick up on the racist stuff that I didn't see?"


Vol-in-Law said...

I didn't understand the 'racist' allegation re the ad because although I had seen pictures of Harold Ford before, but I hadn't realised he was supposed to be black. He looks white to me. I still struggle with American racial definitions, especially the 'one drop' definition of 'black'.

The Vol kindly explained that in America, if Ford says he's black, saying he's not is offensive, much like 50 years ago calling somebody black who claimed to be white. Still, I have noticed that most leading 'black' Democrats I've seen look to me white or mostly white, whereas the few black Republicans I've seen actually are black or mostly black (Condi Rice, Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell).

Sam said...

I missed the whole 'racist' component to the ad, first. As soon as it was explained to me (the stereotypical randy buck caricature, the curious but hesitant white girl, the skeptical overalls-wearing salt of the earth farmer type) it became obvious what they were trying to do. I think a lot of folks missed it right off the bat because we just don't don't get fed that kind of in your face, old school, race baiting anymore. I thought the ad was just plain funny, but now I'm almost amusedly aghast at the audacity of it. It's genius, really. Evil genius to be sure, but boy does it ever get down to good old fashioned Mandingo-style race hate.

Vol Abroad said...

It's genius, really. Evil genius to be sure...

I certainly wouldn't put it past them to create something that was designed to be so subtle that when accusations came flying they could quite innocently say "What? Me racist?!" And not only that but get those who just thought it was bit funny upset at Dems accusing them of racism.