Pharos-Tribune

Online only

October 5, 2012

The Root:: 7 of history's most racist political ads

(Continued)

"Debbie Spend It Now," 2012

Somehow former Rep. Pete Hoekstra missed the memo that engaging in gross racial stereotypes can occasionally be perceived as ... well, racist to the group of people being stereotyped. This ad -- which some genius on his campaign staff thought was such a winner that it needed to be aired on Super Bowl Sunday -- engages in some of the most juvenile stereotypes out there about Asians. The ad did end up garnering Hoekstra attention -- but not the kind he was seeking. It was virtually universally denounced -- except by racists.

"Willie Horton," 1988

Though Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis already had an uphill climb in his race for president against then-Vice President George Bush, this notorious ad certainly didn't help matters. While the concept of the ad itself is not necessarily racist (it uses the story of convicted murderer Willie Horton to contrast the two candidates' differing positions on crime policy), the imagery used in the ad is akin to the kind a Klan recruiter might use. Horton doesn't just come across as a criminal, but the ultimate scary black man, and thus the embodiment of every negative stereotype some white Americans held about all black men and all black people.

"The Wave," 2010

Sharron Angle, the colorful Republican candidate who sought to oust Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid from the Senate, may not have won her race but she did win one distinction. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow declared Angle's campaign the most "overtly racist" of the 2010 election cycle. Angle owes this dubious honor in part to her campaign ad titled "The Wave," which left Latino groups outraged for its depiction of Hispanics crossing the border in "waves" to join "violent gangs." Think this ad couldn't be as offensive as it sounds? Just watch.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Online only
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.