October 25, 2006

"Oh, sure, there's some prejudice."

The WaPo article about Harold Ford Jr., the Democratic candidate for Senator in Tennessee, focuses on racial issues. The second paragraph is one of those ordinary citizen quotes that is presented so that it seems to represent how a lot of people think:
"Oh, sure, there's some prejudice," [jobless 57-year-old John] Layne said as he contemplated casting a ballot for a black man. "I wouldn't want my daughter marrying one." But he's more concerned about rising medical costs: When it comes to voting, "you gotta look at the person, not the color."
The article also makes it look as though the Republicans are deliberately trying to stimulate racial prejudice to help their candidate:
The National Republican Senatorial Committee ridicules Ford's expensive tastes on a "Fancy Ford" Web site, and the Republican National Committee is airing a controversial new ad that features a scantily clad blonde who says she met Ford at a Playboy party. "Harold, call me!" the woman chirps.
I've seen the ad and consider it shameful.
The state Democratic Party is working particularly hard to rally black voters. State party officials believe African Americans could push Ford over the top if they turn out in large numbers. ... Ford has tethered himself to Rep. Lincoln Davis, a popular two-term Democrat from a rural, white central Tennessee district and the chairman of Ford's campaign.

Davis said he polled his district in July and found Ford trailing 49 percent to 35 percent. "I didn't even tell his campaign," Davis acknowledged.

New numbers came back a few weeks ago showing Ford ahead 49 percent to 39 percent. "He's a rock star, a superstar," Davis said. "And if he wins my district, he's the next senator from Tennessee."
The article notes that Ford would be the first black senator from the South since Reconstruction.

177 comments:

RogerA said...

Of course we all know that only southern white republicans are racists; we are too busy going to NASCAR races, swilling beer and bashing the ole lady around while wearing out tank top and baseball caps; and if Ford should happen to lose the Senate race, the only possible explanation would be racial prejudice.

I tend to find more racism in discussions about Senator Barack Obama's political future, to wit: it is amazing how many folks tend to mention that he is "well spoken." Is what we really mean he doesnt use hip hop or ebonics? he doesnt say "axe" for "ask?" Just asking, here. Man, that Obama is a credit to his race, isn't he (sarcasm off).

My thought is that when we want to use the "color prism" we will always see racsim. Isn't it time we take Martin Luther King Jr's advice and look at one's character, rather than the color of one's skin?

Maxine Weiss said...

Willy Horton.

It's Willy Horton all over again.

http://www.ethicsscoreboard.com/list/estrich.html

Peace, Maxine

Fritz said...

Ann,
Please explain what is shameful? I think you approach this like Dan Rather claiming that the most unreported story in 2004 was GM's problems, just like old media reporting as top business news Ford's big loss the other day. Both are 30 years behind the times. The ad was funny, the bunny's appearance was Bible Belt baiting, not race.

Glenn Howes said...

The article misses mentioning that if Michael Steele were to win in Maryland (another state south of the Mason-Dixon line, and another non-Confederate state), he would also be the first black elected to the Senate from the South since Reconstruction.

Freeman Hunt said...

I've seen the ad and consider it shameful.

Why?

dreamingmonkey said...

Because if Harold was a white dude, you wouldn't have had that bunny in the ad.

Sloanasaurus said...

You mention the ad with the White woman asking Ford to party... maybe that part of it was out of line, however, most of the ad points out that Ford has done nothing in his life other than Politics and that his family is all politics. Ford has no "life story." He attended grade school and high school in Washington DC and went to college in PA. The ad does a good job conveying this message.

Being a life-time politician is not a virtue in America and is obviously not a virtue in Tennessee.

In contrast, Ford's opponent, Bob Corker, grew up in Tennessee and owned a construction business there for 20+ years.

People in Tennessee know these differences, which is why I think Ford is a loser.

Fritz said...

"I hadn't washed in a week when they captured me, and I would be frightened of that picture they took." Willie Horton

This PC nonsense over race really gets my goat. If Corker ran an ad with a picture of Ford could be construed as race-baiting by these bogus standards. The only racists are liberals consumed with white guilt. Look at how they parade around their "boy" Obama.

Freeman Hunt said...

Because if Harold was a white dude, you wouldn't have had that bunny in the ad.

Why not? What does the man's race have to do at all with a crack about his attending a bunny party?

Michael said...

Maybe it's my youth and lack of caring about someone's race, but...

Am I the only person who didn't realize that Harold Ford is black?

Joan said...

What does that ad have to do with race? Nothing. I'd also like an explanation of why Ann thinks the ad is shameful. (If you want shameful, take a look at the Michael J. Fox ads.)

Too Many Jims said...

Glenn,

If Steele is eleceted the historical significance would be less because, while a "Southern" state, Maryland did not secede and did not go through "Reconstruction".

El Presidente said...

Corkers next ad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxuuX8WFUfQ

Sloanasaurus said...

I have to agree with Joan. The Michael J. Fox ads are truly shameful.

john(lesser) said...

I can not be sure, but I think Anne was goofing. The commercial is too silly to be considered shameful.

Fritz said...

Too Many Jims,
BS, Republicans that are black are considered "Uncle Tom's" because they don't tow the racist narrative. Which Party benefits from the disproportionate failing outcomes of blacks? Like the evil "Southern Strategy," blacks splitting their vote would improve conditions for blacks more than any program offered to pander to so called black leadership. How often do we hear Democrats lament about how they used to electorally control the South?

LuteLib said...

no doubt sloan, he looks awful so he must be faking it. he's probably doin' just fine!

he believes one party would further policies to give more options to researchers? c'mon michael, keep your "science" out of my religion.

seriously though, i think that ad is incredibly sad. can you imagine knowing that more research could be done to save your life, but is not because of some views you disagree with?

what a nightmare. personally, i could not deal with having his exhausting disease AND knowing others prevent me from having just a little more hope. i would completely lose it.

The Jerk said...

Why not? What does the man's race have to do at all with a crack about his attending a bunny party?

Because a certain segment of the population is put off by the idea of a black man being sexually entangled with a white woman. But that segment of the population already votes Republican anyway.

dreamingmonkey said...

It's not overtly racist. The question is whether the ad plays into racist sentiments by focusing on a scantily clad or unclothed white woman whispering "call me, Harold" at the end of the ad.

I'm asking whether the ad would have been made the same way if Ford was white, and I think the answer is no. Why would you end your political attack with that image? In all my life I've never seen a political ad accusing a white candidate of sleeping with playboy models.

And, you can take off your libertarian tinfoil hats, I'm not the PC thought police coming to sell your children for slave reparations or anything. I don't think it's the biggest deal. I'm just saying, you wouldn't focus your ad on that, for a white man.

Mark said...

I agree with Ann. The ad is disgusting and it will backfire on Corker, which is why he tried to play the role of the shocked candidate and asked the RNC to pull the ad. You know that the ad is bad when many Republicans, including Scarborough, Cohen, etc denounce the ad.

On the substance of the ad: it's shameful because it has a trashy-looking white woman who's gushing how she met Harold (a black) at the Playboy party and then encouraging him to call her. What's the purpose of including her in the ad if not to play on some of the lowest instincts of some people: fear of a black guy having sex with a white girl?

Glenn Howes said...

If Steele is eleceted the historical significance would be less because, while a "Southern" state, Maryland did not secede and did not go through "Reconstruction".

I had been, mistakenly, under the impression that Tennessee had not been part of the Confederacy, and had been like Delaware and Maryland in being slave states that stayed with the Union. I was misremembering all the machinations in that state due to it's large pro-Union faction. Sorry.

I will point out that Wikipedia does say that Tennessee was last out and first back into the Union, and Congress did not put it under the jurisdiction of the First Reconstruction Act of 1867, so I do not know if you could say it went through Reconstruction at all.

Mortimer Brezny said...

My thought is that when we want to use the "color prism" we will always see racsim. Isn't it time we take Martin Luther King Jr's advice and look at one's character, rather than the color of one's skin?

I wish people would stop cakewalking all over MLK's grave. Martin Luther King, Jr. clearly meant that one should not discriminate against others because of their skin color; one should judge the moral worth of others on the basis of their character and actions. That does not mean ignoring racism when it occurs. Nor does it mean ignoring systemic or institutional racial bias. Nor does it mean ignoring cultural or ethnic differences that have value: see, for example, MLK's speech referencing the phenomenon of globalization (though he did not use the term). Nor does it mean refusing to form political coalitions on the basis of ethnicity, culture, or skin color in response to organized oppression, discrimination, or exclusion. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not oppose any and all race-consciousness. He stridently opposed public and private racial discrimination, not racial distinctions.

Stop abusing words.

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm asking whether the ad would have been made the same way if Ford was white, and I think the answer is no.

and

What's the purpose of including her in the ad if not to play on some of the lowest instincts of some people: fear of a black guy having sex with a white girl?

The first time I saw the ad, I didn't even know that Ford was black, and the ad made perfect sense. The bunny didn't seem out of place at all. The fact that he's black doesn't change that.

She's in the ad to comment on his going to a Playboy party. That has nothing to do with race.

john(lesser) said...

That would only make sense if it matched the tone of the rest of the commercial. It doesn't. like the hunter saying "He is right, I do have too many guns", the whole thing is very tongue in cheek.

Elizabeth said...

Calling him "Fancy Ford" has racist overtones, playing on the black man living it up image, the pimp with his white women image.

Icepick said...

El Presidente, that was funny!

Because a certain segment of the population is put off by the idea of a black man being sexually entangled with a white woman. But that segment of the population already votes Republican anyway.

I know several people who have voted straight Democrat their whole lives who are repulsed by whites and blacks having sex. Your statement is false.

Yes, Corker has come out and called the ad shameful. He's also complained that because of the new campaign finance laws, the third party groups airing the ads don't always clear the ads with the candidates, even when it's their own party.

Finally, the end of the ad isn't solely about Ford's having attended a Playboy party (though not at Hugh's fabeled mansion). It's also about the fact that Ford has spent a large part of his campaign talking about what a devout Christian he is, up to and including (IIRC) filming entire ads inside of churchs. The ad is playing that up at more than the race thing. (There's been a lot of open race maxing in the South in the last quarter century. Not that many are shocked by it anymore.)

That explanation STILL doesn't mean the ad isn't shameful, and that it wouldn't be if Ford were white. More importantly, the ad is ham-fistedly stupid. After Ford's blow-up last week, this ad once again levels the playing field of which candidate looks like a bigger dope.

Mortimer Brezny said...

so I do not know if you could say [Tennessee] went through Reconstruction at all.

That would explain Bob Corker's unreconstructed Southern strategy.

Too Many Jims said...

Fritz,

I was responding to Glenn Howes' point that "if Michael Steele were to win in Maryland . . . he would also be the first black elected to the Senate from the South since Reconstruction." My point was merely that while Maryland may be "South" it was not a confederate State and did not go through "Reconstruction". Accordingly, the historical significance vis-a-vis electing the first black from that State would not be the same. It may be historically important for other reasons.

I said nothing about "Republicans", "uncle toms" or "southern strategy".

Fritz said...

Chris,
How do you think people with debilitating diseases feel about the over politically disproportionate spending on AIDs feel? These same Hollywood types fawn AIDs spending in Africa because for the simple myth that it is a heterosexual transmitted disease there.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Is what we really mean he doesnt use hip hop or ebonics? he doesnt say "axe" for "ask?" Just asking, here.

Ax for ask is low English that has existed for centuries, before any black person spoke English, and some slaves learned it from the indentured servants around them and their slave masters. Most black people do not speak this way, and I have never met one who does. But I have encountered plenty of white people who think every black person speaks this way, and it is fucking annoying.

Fritz said...

If a white Democrat in Tennessee went to a Playboy Party, it would be mentioned. Ford is running as a conservative in Bible Belt Tennessee. Going to a smut Party matters. Like Willie Horton being black, the racism is those charging it, to deflect the real issue of a failed policy of prison furloughs. It is 2006, time to rid the system of race-baiting as well as affirmative action.

Mortimer Brezny said...

It is 2006, time to rid the system of race-baiting as well as affirmative action.

Yes, let's get rid of affirmative action. Let's ensure the Congress is not mostly white males. We can start by voting for Harold Ford.

tcd said...

"What's the purpose of including her in the ad if not to play on some of the lowest instincts of some people: fear of a black guy having sex with a white girl?"

Mark, you sure that's not you projecting your lowest instincts?

dreamingmonkey said...

Freeman,

The fact that the ad made sense to you, even without knowing Ford's race, has absolutely nothing to do with the question of whether the ad plays on other people's racial sensitivities.

Fritz said...

Mark,
That is hope, not reality. I love liberals that cry the race-bait tune. The real racist activity going on, is to play on African American culture's sensitivity on race, to motivate on such sensitivity to turn out the vote, that is not at all being hidden at all. Hypocrisy.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Mark, you sure that's not you projecting your lowest instincts?

It clearly isn't Mark "projecting," because Corker denounced the ad, and denounced the previous radio ad declaring Harold Ford would promote "black interests only." He denounced those ads after segments of the local media called them racist.

Mortimer Brezny said...

The real racist activity going on, is to play on African American culture's sensitivity on race, to motivate on such sensitivity to turn out the vote, that is not at all being hidden at all.

Yes, because blacks shouldn't organize and vote as a bloc. They share no common problems or concerns. None of them face any discrimination. They're just seething with irrational hatred of white people. They do not care about education, or medical care, or discrimination in the provision of either. You see, the blackness isn't just skin deep, it is moral, too.

Fritz said...

Mortimer,
Ford should have switched Parties long ago.

RogerA said...

Mortimer Brezy--You do seem to the universal expert on linguistics, history, and what MLK mean--your suggestion that you havent heard someone use axe of ask is rather like the NYT critic who said she didnt know anyone who voted for Nixon. You will have to tell me how precisely I misused Dr. King's words--I did not--my suggestion is stop misrepresenting what I said, and if you want to make a comment, feel free.

BTW--please provide a cite for your linguistic analysis--I am thinking you are full of crap. Your posts certainly come accross that way.

Freeman Hunt said...

The fact that the ad made sense to you, even without knowing Ford's race, has absolutely nothing to do with the question of whether the ad plays on other people's racial sensitivities.

It does have to do with the intention of the ad. There is no indication at all that the ad was constructed to play to the racial sensitivities of frothing bigots.

john(lesser) said...

This whole conversation would make sense if it were 1950. It isn't. It is clearly a goof. Ford makes commercials from inside churches, and he goes to Playboy parties. So he got goofed on.

Maybe a race-baiter can better help me understand the theory. The GOP's devious strategy is to make Ford seem sexually appealing, like some savage brute who is going to take away "our white women"? What are the chances that anyone who thinks like that is going to vote for a black man anyways? Maybe you think the GOP likes pouring money down the drain.

Mortimer Brezny said...

my suggestion is stop misrepresenting what I said,

My suggestion is stop "misrepresenting" the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Maybe if you "represented" your point of view in an "articulate" way, no one would accuse you of cakewalking on MLK's grave.

Mortimer Brezny said...

The GOP's devious strategy is to make Ford seem sexually appealing, like some savage brute who is going to take away "our white women"?

No, the goal is turn Ford's attractiveness into a negative. Corker has publicly admitted that Ford is more attractive and that attractiveness counts in the election. You can google that if you like.

Mortimer Brezny said...

BTW--please provide a cite for your linguistic analysis--I am thinking you are full of crap.

Yes, because the idea that African slaves learned English from white people is "full of crap". "I am thinking" (or, uh, "I think") you know very little about linguistics.

Fritz said...

Freeman Wrote: There is no indication at all that the ad was constructed to play to the racial sensitivities of frothing bigots.

Yes, but there is a concerted effort to race-bait the ad by liberal bigots.

George said...

That ad is pure "Hee-Haw," and folks in Tennessee will see it that way.

It's what's called a good-natured ribbin'. If the man can't take it, he's plainly in the wrong line of business.

If Mr. Ford did indeed attend a party at the Playboy Mansion that alone will cost him thousands and thousands of votes, whether or not he flirted with single women there, whether they were black or white.

If he did go to the Playboy Mansion, it was a very, very stupid thing for him to have done as a politician from Tennessee, a state where a substantial percentage of voters have deeply held religious values.

And, furthermore, if he went to Hef's pad while he was married and his wife was not with him, well, he's just lower than gully dirt.

john(lesser) said...

Mort, buddy you don't seem to know how to answer questions. How do believe that this commercial turns Ford's "attractiveness" from a positive to a negative?

Mortimer Brezny said...

On the radio ad that preceded the commercial:

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/politics/article/0,1426,MCA_1496_5065550,00.html

The radio ad was produced by the same people who later made the TV spot. It targeted a rural area.

Fritz said...

John(lesser),
Yes, this coming from the Party that fawns over Bill Clinton as the first black President! Bubba was a playa! Talk about association with the lowest common denominator. Black males treating women like Ho's.

Mark said...

George:

He did not go to Playboy Mansion. He attended a football party sponsored by Playboy.

Elizabeth said...

Rogera,

You'll find acsian and axian in Anglo Saxon. See Beowulf and Caedmon's Hymn for examples. Axe comes down to us from our AS ancestors. In New Orleans, axe is a common pronunciation for ask among white and black alike. How do I know? Axe anybody, they'll tell you. The British immigrants who settled all over the southeastern coast of America brought it with them.

Elizabeth said...

I don't have any doubts that these ads are playing the race card, but it's also unwise to get one's back up and think that the message, in pointing that out, is that only Republicans are racist. No black candidate has been elected to the Senate in the South since Reconstruction? That means whites across the South aren't voting to send blacks to their statewide offices. That has to include Dem and GOP voters in sufficient numbers to outvote the usually Dem-leaning urban areas of the South.

Mortimer Brezny said...

If he did go to the Playboy Mansion

He never set foot in the mansion -- this is the part that's so despicable. Using someone's good looks to suggest that he's a slut is despicable enough, but to outright lie is even worse. Ford attended a Superbowl Party sponsored by Playboy. That party was neither a lewd affair nor was it located in the Playboy mansion. It was a public event. This, too, can be easily googled.

Dave said...

Haven't seen the ad and a lot of commenters' ugly racial attitudes are coming to light, but what I want to know is...

...how do I get an invite to a Playboy Party?

That's the really important aspect of this.

Fritz said...

Mortimer said: The radio ad was produced by the same people who later made the TV spot.

False, prove it. This is your racist attempt to extrapolate a bigger racial smear on Republicans.

Mortimer Brezny said...

but it's also unwise to get one's back up and think that the message, in pointing that out, is that only Republicans are racist.

I don't think anyone here said that only Reublicans are racist, or even that Republicans are generally so. Some people are racist; others are not. I voted for Bush in 2004, and I'll probably vote for the Republican candidate for President in 2008. But I would never vote for Bob Corker -- because he's an intellectual lightweight and less of a conservative than Ford, and if I had my way, the Republican Party wouldn't run unwise ads like this one.

Freeman Hunt said...

The radio ad was produced by the same people who later made the TV spot.

Do you have a citation for that? The news I found only reported that some group called Tennesseans for Truth made the radio ad, but that group didn't make the TV ad.

john(lesser) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
john(lesser) said...

Well that is settled, Elizabeth has no doubts. She knows her political opponents better than they know themselves. Nothing to see here folks! Move along.

Elizabeth said...

A further search of the OED shows "axe" being used as late as 1549:

"1549 COVERDALE Erasm. Par. Rom. Prol., He axeth not whether good workes are to be done or not. "

That's not very far removed at all from the British movement to the U.S. and the start of the slave trade. There's no mystery as to why "axe" is still in our vernacular.

Fritz said...

By Mortimer's apologetic standards, if Bush went to a Bob Jones University sponsored event it would be ok.

Mortimer Brezny said...

This is your racist attempt to extrapolate a bigger racial smear on Republicans.

First, "Republican" is not a racial category. Second, I usually vote Republican. Third, I think this speaks to your racial paranoia more than anything. You might want to run an ethnicity check on my last name.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If they were really trying to play on racial fears, wouldn't they have picked a young lady who would make viewers think "my little girl" instead of "town pump"?

Elizabeth said...

mortimer: see the first comment here, where rogera sarcastically says "of course we all know that only southern white republicans are racist."

Freeman Hunt said...

That party was neither a lewd affair nor was it located in the Playboy mansion. It was a public event. This, too, can be easily googled.

Okay, I just Googled it. It was a Playboy sponsored party with Playmates in lingerie. Indicating that he went to a Playboy party is dishonest exactly how?

George said...

Mark, Mortimer--

Um, hmm...A football party sponsored by Playboy. Sponsored by Playboy. Playboy.

In the minds of thousands and thousands and thousands of super-religious Tennessee voters (white and black!) where the party was and whether or not it was public makes absolutely no difference.

The ad's not racist. It's not pitting white against black. It says that Ford is not a God-fearing man. That perception will cost him big-time.

Mortimer Brezny said...

By Mortimer's apologetic standards, if Bush went to a Bob Jones University sponsored event it would be ok.

I don't see what's wrong with attending an event there. John McCain gave a speech at the New School and he's not a liberal. Now, the White Citizen's Council...that's akin to attending a Klu Klux Klan rally.

john(lesser) said...

An etymological battle over ask/axe; I have seen it all. People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along and agree that axe is bad English ?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Indicating that he went to a Playboy party is dishonest exactly how?

Either you are being disingenous right now or you do not carefully read. Please scroll up. Evaluate carefully the comment I responded to. It repeatedly uses the phrase "Playboy Mansion".

Indicating that Ford went to the Playboy MANSION is dishonest, because Ford did not step foot in the Playboy Mansion.

Not the Senator said...

Are you kidding me? This is so obviously a play to the “Hide the women, the N****** are coming!” old Southern fears. It’s despicable in this day and time and no amount of rationalization can justify it. Haven’t we gotten beyond this yet?

john(lesser) said...

Not the senator, apparently you haven't.

Joe said...

I saw the ad after I hearing only that it was racist and couldn't figure out what the hell they were talking about. This reminds me of ultra-conservatives finding sexual messages in the most innocuous things. In both cases, the problem lies with the critics and displays something about their attitudes, rather than the creators.

Fitz said...

"I've seen the ad and consider it shameful."

When I saw the ad – I didn’t think twice about race. Perhaps it is a veiled attempt to tap into miscegenation…but if so, its lost on me.

I thought the crux of the add was that Harold Ford doesn’t represent true (conservative) Tennessee values.
His weakness lies in his bachelor status. People elect presidents (& Senators) that are married with Families. The man did go to the Playboy mansion, & (apparently) took campaign cash from pornographers.

They have painted him as a Wiley (handsome) bachelor who will eventually embarrass Tennessee in some way.
I find this pretty fair.
And don’t see the racist slant.

Elizabeth said...

John the lesser, we can agree to disagree at best. Axe is part of a dialect, one I love. I don't use the term "bad English" because it oversimplifies. In some contexts, dialects are not useful. In others, they're the best thing about America. I'd sooner drown myself than live in a country where everyone sounds like a TV broadcaster, with some vague, midly Californian, mildly Midwestern standard English delivery.

Mortimer Brezny said...

An etymological battle over ask/axe; I have seen it all. People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along and agree that axe is bad English ?

Sure. But only if we agree that it's bad English slaves learned from low-class Brit and Scot exports and filtered down into their speech patterns, not a reflection of the essential blackness of black minds unable to grasp the subtleties of standard English. You can find Brits in small, secluded towns today who say axe for ask. And they didn't learn it from black people.

Elizabeth said...

And we're not having an "etymological" battle; the etymology is clear and not in debate. Whether its usage indicates something about the user might be in debate, but that's another issue.

Mark said...

Joe:

Sure, it is critics such as former Republican Congressman Scarborough and former Republican Senator from Maine (and Clinton's Defense Secretary) William Cohen who are displaying their racist attitudes by condemning this ad. Ann finds this ad shameful too; is she displaying her racist attitudes as well?

Mortimer Brezny said...

rogera sarcastically says "of course we all know that only southern white republicans are racist."

Yes, the key word there is sarcastic. Meaning no one said it in all seriousness. Your comment treating the proposition as if someone advanced it in all seriousness thus makes no sense.

Derve said...

"She's in the ad to comment on his going to a Playboy party. That has nothing to do with race."

Freeman, I think it's wonderful that you are so innocent. But the "black man/white women" sexual fear has a long history in our country. You can't innocently close your eyes and just wish away reality: "I don't see it, therefore (X) is not there."

Actually you can, but only within cloistered communities.

Fritz said...

Mortimer,
I hate race-baiting. Playing on peoples racial sensitivities is wrong. That is what is at play here, not at whites, but at blacks.

Joe said...

The larger issue here is whether Ford is being given a major pass by the media. I find the man to be a hypocritical nut job of the first order.

(Ford confronted Corker last week and accused him of not debating the issues when, in fact, they'd already had two debates and a third is [was?] scheduled. His father was videotaped trying to get rid of protesters in front of Ford's campaign headquarters. And now, finding racism in an ad. This is one seriously unhinged joke of a candidate.)

Not the Senator said...

john(lesser) says that by identifying and decrying rascism I am practising it?

Hhmmmmhhh? Failed your Logic 101 classes I suspect.

And you wonder why since the inception of the Southern Strategy Republicans only get miniscule miniority support.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Playing on peoples racial sensitivities is wrong. That is what is at play here, not at whites, but at blacks.

Yes, because black people are so stupid and so easily manipulated that they will jump at any accusation of racism. It cannot be possible that black people can actually discern the difference between actual racism and the attempt to race-bait. No, that isn't possible. That's why every single black voter in the Democratic primaries of 2004 voted for Al Sharpton.

Doyle said...

The first time I saw the ad, I didn't even know that Ford was black

Freeman Hunt: close observer of the political scene.

john(lesser) said...

"not a reflection of the essential blackness of black minds unable to grasp the subtleties of standard English."

Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations. Only a race-baiter would believe others think like this.

Derve said...

If they were really trying to play on racial fears, wouldn't they have picked a young lady who would make viewers think "my little girl" instead of "town pump"?

I suspect some look at their own, and see little girls already resembling the "town pump". Hence the fear. If your own girls are responsible, secure and confident, you generally don't have such fears of others.

john(lesser) said...

Not the senator, you might be shocked to realize this, but just because you accuse someone of something, it doesn't mean it happened.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Only a race-baiter would believe others think like this.

Because no one has ever thought like this or thinks like this today. Certainly not in TN. Nevermind the fact that the lead-in post to these comments features a Ford voter declaring he wouldn't want his daughter marrying a good-looking Senator, just because he was black.

John(classic) said...

Oh, pish, posh. It is a funny satirical ad.

You all need to grow up, or possibly grow down.
It reminds me of the old Southern Airways ad poking fun at Delta.

class-factotum said...

Ford presents himself as a nice Baptist boy. He uses his church-going credentials to highlight his anti-same-sex marriage, anti-illegal immigrant and (former) pro-Iraq stand. The Playboy party incident bothered some people because it went against his self-professed status, not because of the race issue (which, to be honest, had not even occurred to me until I saw the comments here). Or, if that's what bothered them, that's not what they were saying out loud on the conservative talk shows and newspapers in Memphis.

john(lesser) said...

Nice brush you are painting with, Mort.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Oh, pish, posh. It is a funny satirical ad.

I hope you'd say the same of a commercial featuring a Bob Corker look-alike whipping Mexicans fieldworkers in tee-shirts that read: "ILLEGAL". After all, Corker employs illegals.

Fritz said...

Mark,
Ann has been in politically correct Madison for so long, it is her knee jerk involuntary reaction. Same for many weak Republicans. There may have been a time when such characterizations had that meaning, but like rape rescinded as a capital crime that was used against blacks, today calling for rape to once again become a capital crime is not racist.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Nice brush you are painting with, Mort.

It's more photorealistic than your impression that this ad was nothing more than "silly" and "tongue-in-cheek". It seems many who have seen the commercial, whether pro or con, take it seriously.

Mortimer Brezny said...

There may have been a time when such characterizations had that meaning, but like rape rescinded as a capital crime that was used against blacks, today calling for rape to once again become a capital crime is not racist.

True. Because there are no longer any racial disparities in our criminal justice system. Nor are there any legitimate concerns about the innocence of convicts on death row that should give use pause.

john(lesser) said...

class-factotem, It might not be worth it to jump in to this discussion with logic. The rules here are apparently the arguer gets to decide what his/her opponent was thinking. Who cares what conservative radio in Memphis was saying? Mort/Liz/nosenator have their hands on the pulse!

Fritz: Don't be so sure Ann was serious. I contend she wasn't.

Fritz said...

Mortimer,
I don't think blacks are stupid, I do think that those that adhere to African American culture suffer from Fundamental Attribution Error. Race-baiting plays on such a condition.

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

I agree With John(lesser), it was meant tongue in cheek and I found nothing wrong with it.

If the ad had used a black actress this would still be racist. That would suggest that no "white bunny" would be interested in a black man no matter how powerful and handsome he is.

People intent on finding racism in criticism will find it no matter what you do.

Apparently "Fancy Ford" is a veiled racial slur too. Who knew, I didn't, I didn't study medieval English or the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.

knoxgirl said...

I saw the ad watching tv last night and when they started talking about the race component, I honestly was like, "huh?" I just didn't see it. I took it as exploiting Bible-Belt disapproval of Playboy antics. (Don't get me wrong, I would never deny there are racists in the south.)

Anyway, why expect anything better to come out of politics? Both sides can easily produce a Hall of Shame of dirty political ads. It's practically a time-honored tradition. Short of flat-out lying, anything's game as far as I'm concerned.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Mortimer,
I don't think blacks are stupid, I do think that those that adhere to African American culture suffer from Fundamental Attribution Error.


Then you should also believe that those who adhere to the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture in the United States and seek to preserve it suffer from fundamental attribution error also and so you should support amnesty for all illegal immigrants.

And I would also note that claiming you don't believe blacks are stupid, just illogical and/or ignorant of set theory is like saying you're not a racist because you give your slaves ample bread.

Have you ever considered becoming the kind of person who never has to "clarify" that he doesn't "actually" think blacks are stupid?

Mortimer Brezny said...

If the ad had used a black actress this would still be racist.

Bunk. The ad would never use a black actress, because the ad was targeted at conservative rural Tennesseans who might not vote for Ford if they knew he was raiding the henhouse. Got it?

Mortimer Brezny said...

And why is Corker weak with those white conservative rural voters?

Because he's a tax-raising, abortion-loving liberal, illegal immigrant employer.

George said...

I first saw the ad yesterday. I went back and watched it again, after posting here.

It is a hoot! Right now, at Ford's headquarters, people are committing Tennessee seppuku, mainlining BC Powder and trying to O.D. on fried pies.

The first person in the ad is a young African-American woman. She essentially says a lot of women like her plan to vote for Ford just because he's hot looking. Probably true!

Then comes the earnest looking camo'ed hunter, admitting that he has too many guns. Hah! If Corker's to the right of Ford on guns in TN, that's a very good thing with voters.

Then the Nashville producer type who says that both he and Harold have taken money from porn producers! Wha-?

The retired couple. Aw, ain't they the cutest!

And the white girl...she's a caricature-- a big hair Tennessee tease. Those outside TN will perceive something different, namely the horrors of interracial sex, not those inside TN.

The ad is a total hoot! It exposes the Democratic candidate to ridicule, not racism.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Full disclosure: George works for the Corker campaign.

RogerA said...

Elizabeth--thanks for the explanation, and now that you mention it axe is commonly used in LA and cajun dialect (as a devotee of Boudreau and Thibodeaux jokes).

Mortimer--you are indeed a santimonious twit; I simply cited a phrase of MLK Jr. To my way of thinking the phrase, "content of character" stands on its own merits and continues to an awfully good guideline for making judgments about one's worth. Merely because you think I should have expounded on other aspects of Dr Kings writings is simply your view point.

Your lenses that see rampant racism everywhere are warping your mind. Get over yourself.

Fritz said...

Mortimer,
Our Lookean individualism is the greatest form of culture ever aspired to. Call it American exceptualism , so be it. It works, and the people that are most critical of it, are jealous. It requires a discipline to recognize context and circumstance. It is much easier to blame others for one's circumstance than it is to discover what actions are necessary to improve them.

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

So Mort it's your contention that Ford had a lock on these racists swing voters until Corkers ad hit the airwaves?

Is ford's strategy to win by picking up semi-racists?


Word Verification: tjemmr

Cleary blogger is race baiting my Norse heritage!

Fitz said...

Knoxgirl

"Anyway, why expect anything better to come out of politics? Both sides can easily produce a Hall of Shame of dirty political ads. It's practically a time-honored tradition. Short of flat-out lying, anything's game as far as I'm concerned."


Apparently.... I lost all respect for the NAACP and for the Democrats insufferable calls of “racism” after that horrible 2000 presidential race ad of the Bird episode of a dragging death of a black man behind a pickup truck (ostensibly about hate crimes legislation). Here in the swing state of Michigan it ran insistently on T.V. It was nothing but out-& -out race baiting (you would of thought Bush was driving the truck. The Main stream media never played that way – they way their playing this Ford Add. The way they never tire of talking about the “shameful” Willie Horton Add (that played once, and had No picture) you hear about all the time.

Detroit politics regularly sends out mailers to residents on election day showing pictures of lynched and whipped black (photo’s from the 1900’s) to “turn out the vote” against Republicans.

Their race baiting and tactics are shameless, Yet this Ford add is touted as some kind of sin.

Ridiculous.

Doyle said...

Call it American exceptualism

Is it okay if we call it something else? That's not a real word.

Freeman Hunt said...

Freeman, I think it's wonderful that you are so innocent. But the "black man/white women" sexual fear has a long history in our country.

Yes, exactly: history. It's 2006, and the only people who maintain this "sexual fear" are bigots. Are we to believe that Ford considered the white bigot crowd to be a major constituency of his?

john(lesser) said...

George, well said. Ever actor is a caricature, every line is a joke. I have seen it 5 times and it still makes me laugh.

dreamingmonkey said...

I said:

The fact that the ad made sense to you, even without knowing Ford's race, has absolutely nothing to do with the question of whether the ad plays on other people's racial sensitivities.

Freeman said:

It does have to do with the intention of the ad. There is no indication at all that the ad was constructed to play to the racial sensitivities of frothing bigots.


No, it doesn't. First of all, your response to the ad doesn't indicate anything about the intent of the ad or who it is targeted at.

Second of all, there actually is an indication that the ad is constructed to play to racial sensitivities: namely, the naked white woman sexually impliciating herself with the black political candidate. Not "frothing," but I never said "frothing." Look, I understand the knee-jerk reaction against the knee-jerk PC hordes. On the other hand, some people are incapable of seeing racism if there isn't a guy in a white hood with a cross and a noose.

Racism is alive and well. Most people, black and white, liberal and conservative, who spend their lives in racially integrated areas have some. Honestly it seems to me that it's only white people who live in all-white areas that claim to be "colorblind" and think that racism is something that liberals are just trying to ressurect from the '60s.

People aren't either "frothing bigots" or "colorblind." Most people are somewhere in between, hopefully closer towards the colorblind stuff, and that goes especially for people in a historically racially charged place like Tennessee. The point is that the ad touches a nerve, not that it incites the masses to go have a lynchin'.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Merely because you think I should have expounded on other aspects of Dr Kings writings is simply your view point.

I wish white people would take the time to learn grammar.

Molon,
People vote for different and complex reasons. As the WaPo article makes clear, there is at least one Ford voter who is voting for him because he has good plans and he is conservative, but who wouldn't want him marrying his daughter. So, yes, there are voters out there who might vote for Ford on the issues and the substance unless they were too turned off by his race. And both campaigns know that. And the newspapers know that. And the polls show that. And the ads reflect that.

Fritz,
I do not need a lecture on Locke; certainly not an amateurish one; there is plenty of underlined Locke on my bookshelf. My point was that you're clearly a hypocrite. I don't support illegal immigration.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Are we to believe that Ford considered the white bigot crowd to be a major constituency of his?

Uh, yes. White bigots have other issues that they vote on than bigotry. You are as narrow-minded as Corker! White bigots need health care and education, too!

George said...

Mortimer--

I don't work for the Corker campaign.

I work for you and this great land of...

uh, wait, Dick says Condi needs to see me, gotta go...

Bye...

Greg D said...

The best deconstruction of the ad is here:

http://freealabamastan.blogspot.com/2006/10/rnc-anti-ford-ad-deconstructed.html

Why'd they use a trashy white floozy? Because they were trying to say that only trashy floozys like Ford.

If yousaw that ad, and your first thought was "how racist", I'd say you need to look at the racism in your on heart, rather than "worrying" about everyone else's.

Fritz said...

Freeman,
You are right, it is 2006. Calling out the race card without a moral justification is racism for the need to perpetuate the myth. In 2001 shortly after 9/11, I contacted John McWhorter and axed him if he noticed how our fellow Americans that happen to be black, were speaking in terms of my country, my President. The anthrax deaths at the Post Office didn't become a racial incident. He agreed that he noticed it too, and hoped that if anything good came from 9/11 it would be this type of watershed event to blacks to feel part of this country. Unfortunately, it didn't last because George Bush doesn't care about black people.

Mortimer Brezny said...

You know John McWhorter -- a linguist -- and didn't ask him about the origin of axe/ask? What a wasted opportunity.

Actually, I know John McWhorter. I have never met a bigger cracker-loving oreo in my life. And I say that as someone who contributed to the Steele campaign.

Doyle said...

Welcome Freeman and Greg D’s America, where the remaining vestiges of racial tension have been eradicated, except for a handful of hooded kooks, and the only people who are wary of its exploitation (in Tennessee) are oversensitive or themselves racist.

Fritz said...

Mortimer,
I'm totally against illegal immigration, especially Mexican. Mexican culture has a negative effect on the long term labor market because it is not conducive towards excellence in education. If the Mexicans were substituted for Asians, our country would be much richer and no-one would complain.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Thank you, Fritz.

Fritz said...

Mortimer,
ROFL John may be a pompous ass Democrat, but he is enlightened.

Mike said...

I think anyone who sees racism in that ad needs to reconsider their own attitudes.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Fritz,
I don't know what John you're referring to?

Anonymous said...

Racism is alive and well in America. It's just that Republicans are pikers when it comes to playing the race card.

For example, Claire McCaskill told a group of Democratic leaders that George Bush "let people die on rooftops in New Orleans because they were poor and because they were black."

Now that's using race to stir up the base!

And the best part for McCaskill is that she knows she'll never get called on such outrageous racial demagoguery.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Actually, Pastor, Clair McCaskill was called on it, on national television, on Meet the Press.

And she floundered and flailed in response. What she did was inexcusable. There's no way I'd vote for her, either. Talent all the way.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Bob Corker is no Jim Talent.

Fritz said...

Pastor Jeff,
During the Ashcroft AJ confirmation hearings, race-baiter in Chief, Dick Durbin trashed Ashcroft by interjecting Dredd Scott into the mix. Then he had the audacity to parade Missouri Supreme Court Justice White at the hearing, why, because he was black.

...and Rice is an Uncle Tom?

Dave said...

So no one has told me yet how to get an invite to a playboy party!

Mortimer Brezny said...

Then he had the audacity to parade Missouri Supreme Court Justice White at the hearing, why, because he was black.

I am sure the judge came of his own volition. Have you actually read Locke?

Freeman Hunt said...

Welcome Freeman and Greg D’s America, where the remaining vestiges of racial tension have been eradicated, except for a handful of hooded kooks, and the only people who are wary of its exploitation (in Tennessee) are oversensitive or themselves racist.

So what is the Democrats' America? Is that were the remaining vestiges of racial tension color and trump all things? Where race baiting is assumed to be the default primary motive behind everyone's actions? Where a humorous and totally innocuous political ad is suddenly racist because a white woman is attracted to a black man in it?

Doyle said...

George Bush let people die on rooftops in New Orleans because they were poor and because they were black.

Fenrisulven said...

Don't get me wrong, I would never deny there are racists in the south.

Would any of you deny that there are racists up north, and that some of them are black? Just curious, becuase its ironic to see people use stereotypes to define racists. ;)

Fritz said...

Mortimer,
Yes. Tolerance isn't tolerating, but acting in a tolerant manner towards others.

Judge White should have declined the invitation. It showed his lack of Judicial temperament by playing along with political highjinks.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Would any of you deny that there are racists up north, and that some of them are black?

No one here has denied the existence of Al Sharpton. But what does that have to do with Corker's despicable commercials in the Ford-Corker Senate race in Tennessee?

Jeremy said...

Mort - minor point, but the Jerk did write earlier in the thread, "Because a certain segment of the population is put off by the idea of a black man being sexually entangled with a white woman. But that segment of the population already votes Republican anyway." So yeah, actually, there are people who think that racists are only republicans.

Anonymous said...

Mortimer --

Yes, Russert did a good job of grilling both Talent and McCaskill. He's about the only one either nationally or locally that's called her on it, though.

And McCaskill has refused to apologize or retract her statement. She "stands by" it because she was simply restating what "Americans" believe.


Doyle, I take it from your link that you believe it, too. Nice.

Don't let the actual purpose of FEMA (as defined by Congress) get in the way or anything. It's Bush's fault!

Fritz said...

I don't think Sharpton is racist. I have listened to many of his speeches and was never offended, he sounds more like McWhorter. Dyson, West, Jackson, Durbin, Guinier, Waters, are the top flame throwers.

Anonymous said...

UNITED STATES CODE
Title 42. THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
CHAPTER 68. DISASTER RELIEF

It is the intent of the Congress, by this Act, to provide an orderly and continuing means of assistance by the Federal Government to State and local governments in carrying out their responsibilities to alleviate the suffering and damage which result from such disasters ...

Fritz said...

Pastor Jeff,
No, it is the responsibility of the Federal Government to immediately show up with a bottle of water & MRE the moment the storm passes. Axing people to take personal responsibility is George W. Bush racism.

Revenant said...

I didn't think the "Harold -- call me" ad was disgraceful. I thought it was monumentally unfair (duh -- its a political ad), but it was so tongue-in-cheek that it is hard to take seriously. The racism accusations are silly, too -- if they'd gone with a slutty black girl instead of a slutty white girl people would have said THAT was racist, too. The point was that the woman looked like a Playboy bunny.

Anyway, I'm personally hoping Ford wins. He seems like a step in the right direction for the Democratic Party, despite his opposition to guns and gay marriage. The rest of his family are quite literally a bunch of dangerous criminals, but he himself seems to have turned out ok.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Mort - minor point, but the Jerk did write earlier in the thread, "Because a certain segment of the population is put off by the idea of a black man being sexually entangled with a white woman. But that segment of the population already votes Republican anyway." So yeah, actually, there are people who think that racists are only republicans.

This isn't a minor point, it's an irrelevant and revisionist one.

The comment to which I was responding was this: "Would any of you deny that there are racists up north, and that some of them are black?" I wrote: "No one here has denied the existence of Al Sharpton." That is, I provided an example of a northern, black racist. It is neither true that all Republicans are nonblack nor all northerners are non-Republicans, so your comment is makes no sense. Furthermore, the person you're quoting talked about voters who vote Republican; not all voters who vote Republican are registered Republican. He simply noted there's a correlation between those who vote Republican and those who are turned off by racial integration. That group could include Democrats and northerners and blacks. I don't necessarily agree with his comment, but your spin of it is anything but minor.

Mortimer Brezny said...

The racism accusations are silly, too -- if they'd gone with a slutty black girl instead of a slutty white girl people would have said THAT was racist, too.

No they wouldn't. There was a black girl in the ad concerned only with Ford's looks, and no one has complained about her. Instead of speculative hypos, stick to reality.

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

Ok Mort I'll go on record as saying I actually like Ford. He comes off as a smart, moderate guy who is an asset to the Democratic Party and I wouldn't mind terribly if he beat Corker. As a Republican I can imagine far worse.

What I find ridiculous is the idea that this ad soured bigots who actually thought about voting for him.

It’s ridiculous because what kind of man attempts to play to voters that hate him on a personal level.

It’s ridiculous because racists don't compromise their hate for a good fiscal policy.

The idea that racists were suppressing their disgust with a black man because of his policies, only to have those feelings re-emerge through a comedic campaign ad is the stupidest thing I've ever heard, WaPo article or not.

I like most everybody knows/has known racists and this would not be their behavior.

Good try though.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I actually wasn't talking about racists, I was talking about bigots, and the term wasn't introduced by me, it was introduced by Freeman. Perhaps I should have put the terminology in quotation marks.

The point is there are conservative white rural voters who don't like racial integration very much but do like Ford's stance on the issues. Corker is trying to gross those voters out so they value his whiteness over Ford's substantive appeal. That's what the phrase "Corker is more senatorial" really means.

These people exist. The fiction in your head, however, the single-issue racist voter, does not exist -- people concerned only with the status of the "white race" generally, uh, don't vote.

Kirk Parker said...

Mortimer Brezny,

Some commenter here may have been confused and used "Playboy Mansion", but the commercial makes no mention of this. The exact quote is, "I met Harold at the Playboy Party!!!" (Ok, maybe not quite the exact quote, I was just guessing on how many exclamation marks to use...)

P. T. Fogger said...

What I think is really funny about this controversy, is that if not for it, I wouldn't have had the slightest idea that Mr. Ford is "black". I'm not from Tennessee & haven't been following the race closely, so I didn't know his history. You've got to look closely to tell!!

Reminds me of when I moved to Atlanta some years ago, and saw a B&W picture of Mayor Campbell in the paper. I was surprised to find that Atlanta had a white mayor!!

If Mr. Ford takes a dip in the white gene pool (and why shouldn't he?!!) the offspring's going to have a really hard time passing for black.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Kirk Parker,

As many political efforts do, ad trades on the ambiguity inherent in that compression of the facts and the public's unwillingness to do fact-finding in their free time. Mention Iraq and 9/11 in the same sentence a lot and people will think there's a deeper, operational connection. Mention Playboy and party in the same phrase and people will think it took place at the world-famous Playboy Mansion. It would have been fine to say "Harold Ford attended a Superbowl Party sponsored by Playboy. There were women in lingerie serving drinks at this party. Does that sound like a church-going lover of Jesus to you?" -- or whatever. You seem to think that the Ford and the Corker people do not know that "Playboy Mansion" plays worse than "Superbowl Party sponsored by Playboy". You're like one of those people who thinks Bush says "nucular" instead of "nuclear" by accident.

Mortimer Brezny said...

the offspring's going to have a really hard time passing for black.

Not really. According to commenters here, all it takes is saying "axe".

Word verification: gophwrf

The vomitous sound of independent voters' reactions to tactics like the Corker ad.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Oh, and pettifogger brings up an important point: Corker has been linking Ford to his family not only to highligh corruption (there's no proof Ford is corrupt), but to point out to people who can't tell by looking at him that he's black. Because if they thought Ford was white, Corker wouldn't have a shot in hell.

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

I saw film of Ford Sr. last night on the news. Is he black? He sure didn't look it to me. How bout his mom?

Jeremy said...

Wow Mort, I didn't realize that these comments were so carefully parsed that they distinguish between A) voters who vote republican and B)republicans (who presumably do or do not vote respublican? Or do not vote at all?!). What to do with people "who already vote republican anyway"? Maybe that's another category!

For further clarification perhaps you could indicate when refering to "northerners" those that a)were born and raised in the north b)moved to the north from another region c)moved to the north later on d)consider themelves northerners but are actually from Flagstaff e)are southerners that exude stereotypically northern attitudes. It's all so confusing.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I saw film of Ford Sr. last night on the news. Is he black? He sure didn't look it to me. How bout his mom?

You're missing the point. People know of his family members independently of him and know that they are black. The point was not that his family members are significantly darker-skinned. Which is a scary interpretation that you had, frankly.

George said...

If I were Ford, I'd rush to put together my own man-on-the-street TV ad mocking Corker.

If Ford can't fight back against the ridicule that's being fairly or unfairly heaved at him, he's a goner.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Wow Mort, I didn't realize that these comments were so carefully parsed that they distinguish between A) voters who vote republican and B)republicans (who presumably do or do not vote respublican? Or do not vote at all?!).

Well, if you're going to claim to make logical deductions, you should define your categories so we know you aren't switching up your middle terms. Plenty of Democrats in Florida vote solidly Republican. Plenty of Democrats in states where Democrats control local politics are registered Democrats that really vote like Independents on the state and federal level. And so forth. There just isn't a necessary connection between the South and Republicans in the way you suggest. And if one were to take your view of things, there's no way to explain why New York's Governor is Republican and New York City's mayor is Republican even though there are more registered Democrats in the state and certainly more Democrats in New York City.

P. T. Fogger said...

Well, actually, the only real point I was trying to make was that I didn't know, by looking, that he was considered black, and by way of that, I suppose, a point about how ridiculous identity politics can be.

Mortimer Brezny said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mortimer Brezny said...

Well, actually, the only real point I was trying to make

I didn't say you were trying to make it. I noted that the point had been brought up by your comment, i.e., it's closely related and relevant. I wasn't attempting to put words in your mouth. Anyone can confirm that Corker has been playing the race card by looking at the denunciation his campaign received by a conservative Tennessean church. Corker's campaign was denounced for darkening Ford's picture in a flyer it was distributing to conservative churchgoers. Google it.

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

I didn't make myself clear with my last post.

I saw Ford Sr. On the tele last night. He looked white to me, but researching him on Wiki does indeed confirm that he was a prominent Black politician in the 70's-90's. So I wondered aloud whether his wife, Ford Jr's mother was white.

Nothing else was implied.

Christy said...

Along the lines of playing on the racist black man/ white woman fears, I give you the latest gossip about Michael Steele. People are talking about how Steele is flirting with us in his ads. I heard a very liberal friend talking about it over dinner recently. "And after I heard that I noticed that he leans forward and displays all the classic flirting signs." I have to wonder if this gossip isn't trying to play into the supposedly racial fears of Republicans who might then choose to stay home.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Well, this only proves the point.

Ford looks white to people who don't pay attention and don't know he's the son of a politician known to be black. Corker's ad is but one way of putting the race issue in the campaign. The sad part is, most of Corker's campaign comes down to race-baiting. Corker can't articulate a conservative vision because he isn't a conservative.

Let me put it this way: do you really think Van Hilleary or Ed Bryant would need ads like this?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Bob Corker is a tax-raisin', abortion-lovin', illegal immigrant employer.

Bob Corker is a liberal.

Bob Corker is a liberal.

Bob Corker is a dirty, closet liberal.

Come on out of the closet, Bob!

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

"Come on out of the closet, Bob!"

Now you're playing on my inate homophobe fears to suppress my republican vote.

That's not fair!!!

Mortimer Brezny said...

Of course I am! And I admit it.

Revenant said...

No they wouldn't. There was a black girl in the ad concerned only with Ford's looks, and no one has complained about her.

Mortimer, I'm not sure what rock you crawled out from under, but I'd suggest you crawl back under it. You're making no sense and doing Ford no good.

Yes, there was a woman in the ad who said Ford was good-looking, and yes, she was black. But she wasn't portrayed as a cheap slut like the white girl was. Had she been black, you'd be whining about how the ad portrayed black women as whores.

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

Ok then,

Corker's ugly and Ford's black. Do we want racist constituents or shallow constituents?

Daryl Herbert said...

I don't think Sharpton is racist. [Other people] are the top flame throwers.

Sharpton's race baiting has led to race riots and deaths.

There's the Crown Heights pogrom, spanning multiple days, with one Jew murdered.

There's the Tawana Brawley case--in which police officers were falsely accused of raping a girl, writing hateful things on her, and smearing feces on her. There was no evidence whatsoever against them. Sharpton called a Jewish official "Hitler" and accused him of masterminding a coverup after masturbating to evidence photos. Again, with no evidence whatsoever. To this day, Sharpton refuses to apologize or pay the libel judgment awarded against him. He claims he has no assets.

And speaking of flames, who could forget Freddy's Fashion Mart?

Sharpton has a long history of stirring up fatal hate against Jews and other whites. That's what racism looks like. I realize Sharpton never made a TV commercial needling a political candidate for hanging out with playboy bunnies in their undies and then denying it and then admitting it. That would be very wrong and we should all condemn Sharpton should he ever choose to do that.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Molon,
So black = ugly? I never called Bob Corker ugly. Bob Corker said Ford was better-looking. Now that I think about it, though, Corker looks like Scrooge. That may explain why he employs illegal immigrants. Which is neither shallow nor racist, just unpopular and immoral.

Revenant,
Thanks for lying. But the truth is I would never complain about the media portraying black women as sluts. I like my women slutty no matter the color. Instead of lying about what I would do or say in some make-believe fantasy-world, focus on the facts: The ad would never use a black actress, because the ad was targeted at conservative rural Tennesseans who might not vote for Ford if they knew he was raiding the henhouse. The independent expenditure arm of the RNC targeted rural white conservative voters with this message to turn their stomachs. And they did it because tax-raisin', abortion-lovin', illegal immigrant employin' Corker can't win otherwise. Because he's a goddamned liberal with an R behind his name. The only reason the ad was pulled -- and it was just pulled -- is it was vile and the RNC is scared of backlash.

Daryl Herbert said...

namely, the naked white woman sexually impliciating herself with the black political candidate.

I can't walk ten steps down the street without getting a hard-on, every time some whore with naked shoulders walks by. Someone get this whore a niqab.

TW: bulwm -- is that some sort of burqa?

Mortimer Brezny said...

I can't walk ten steps down the street without getting a hard-on, every time some whore with naked shoulders walks by.

LOL.

Elizabeth said...

Rogera, after reading your post I left this unedifying debate and googled some Boudreaux jokes. Much more entertaining, cher!

Daniel DiRito said...

See a tongue-in-cheek visual that gives Mr. Mehlman a dose of his own "Innuendo" medicine...here:

www.thoughttheater.com

RogerA said...

Elizabeth--you are a comparative lit person, no? If you have looked at Boudreau and Thibodeaux jokes, by all means check out their Northern Minnesota counterparts--Sven and Ole Jokes--they are interchangable (save, of course the dialects).

Mr. Forward said...

I bet Ford loses more votes to the brand bigotry of Chevrolet truck owners than he does to actual white racists.

George said...

NPR covered this brouhaha this morning with the host describing the, uh, party-girl as "only wearing a necklace."

It seemed that he had not seen the commercial--because the scene was shot on a street corner.

Then NPR followed with an interview with an extremely elderly sounding political reporter from Nashville's newspaper, The Tennessean. She said that some people liked the ad, some didn't. That was it.

I expect better from NPR....

class-factotum said...

RE: Ford's color. There is dispute among Ford's family as to whether his grandmother is white or black. Ford himself (whom I have seen in person several times) is very light skinned with (I think) greenish eyes. He is quite handsome. His aunt Ophelia, who had to step down from the state senate seat she supposedly won when Harold's uncle John had to resign after the Tennessee Waltz sting (his three baby mamas' shenanigans didn't help) because of voter fraud, is so white that you really can't tell what color she is.

RE: Corker and illegal aliens. What I heard from a reliable source (the Andrew Clark Sr show on WREC-AM) is that Corker discovered one of his subcontractors had hired illegal aliens. Corker either then called the INS himself or cooperated fully with them.

class-factotum said...

Oops. Wrong about the eyes. I just saw Ford on the news. They are brown. I could have sworn they were greenish, but maybe I am losing my mind. Or maybe he was wearing contacts. I vote for option 1.