The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Lifestyles

October 5, 2012

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

Each election cycle usually produces one ad that voters, pundits and political watchers know will be remembered long after the losing candidate has become a trivia question. In 2008 that ad was the "3 a.m." commercial, which invited viewers to wonder who, in a dangerous world, they'd rather have answering the proverbial "red phone" in the White House. Hillary Clinton may have ended up losing the primary, but she won the ad contest hands down with one of the most effective political ads in recent memory.

This election has produced its own share of memorable ads, among them one that is being touted as potentially effective by some, but racially charged by others. The controversial Romney campaign ad attempts to depict President Obama as the welfare president.

Whether or not the ad is appealing to racism in the electorate may be up for debate, but there's no doubt that is a timeworn strategy in American politics. Plenty of campaign ads over the years have been undeniably racist.

"Hands," 1990

It's not exactly a surprise that a man infamous for whistling and singing the Confederate pride anthem "Dixie" to black Sen. Carol Moseley Braun as an insult would also be responsible for one of the most racially inflammatory ads in American political history. What is somewhat surprising is that the ad in question, which shows the hands of a white man crumpling up a job-rejection letter, was created by a member of a racial minority. During his surprisingly competitive 1990 race for re-election in North Carolina against African-American Democratic candidate Harvey Gantt, the campaign of Sen. Jesse Helms released the ad "Hands." Created by Cuban-American political consultant-turned-CNN-contributor Alex Castellanos, "Hands" engaged in some of the most racially divisive political rhetoric in recent memory, vilifying Gantt as a racial-quota king and, by extension, the great big black bogeyman of working-class white America.

Text Only
Lifestyles
  • Revolver goes for $400 at auction CLINTON — Selling in two locations on June 21 proved to be a winner. I was selling in the first location with my son Jon and we had a strong bidding crowd. The second location had Jeff Lohr and Bill McWilliams holding firm with a nice crowd of bidder

    July 19, 2014

  • The Clinton Herald Jim Miller Low-cost, free cellphone options for seniors DEAR SAVVY SENIOR: What are the cheapest cell phone options available today to seniors living on a shoestring budget? I only need it for occasional calls. — Seldom Calling SeniorDEAR SELDOM: For financially challenged seniors who only want a cell pho

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sawmill New event cruises into Clinton CLINTON — Three Gateway-area locations are joining together in August for a river heritage event.The event will be held Aug. 3 and will feature a Blue Heron river cruise, a Sawmill Museum tour and a de Immigrant Windmill tour in Fulton, Illinois. The

    July 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Minnick Ashford director appointed to commission CLINTON —The Ashford University campus director has been appointed to a volunteer commission.Charlie Minnick, vice president/campus director of Ashford University, has been appointed by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Ser

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Summer lunch menus (July 21 to 25)

    Summer lunch menus at Jefferson and Bluff Elementary Schools, and Generations Area Agency on Aging

    July 17, 2014

  • Ax throw, log climb at Adirondack lumberjack class PAUL SMITHS, N.Y. — Ax throwing is encouraged in lumberjack class. It’s also OK to dump your classmate in the lake — as long as you’re both frantically trying to stay upright on a floating log.The annual Adirondack Woodsmen’s School is being held thi

    July 17, 2014

  • Locally-grown foods look to bigger business

    Once a niche business, locally grown foods aren't just for farmers markets anymore.

    July 16, 2014

  • What happens to your online accounts when you die?

    You've probably decided who gets the house or that family heirloom up in the attic when you die. But what about your email account and all those photos stored online?

    July 16, 2014

  • Plenty of collectibles available at auction CLINTON — A nice walnut table hit a high mark of $95 at a recent auction. A small chest freeze sold for $82.50 and the electric stove heated up for $85. A window air conditioner kept everyone cool with a bid of $45, lawn chairs sold for $20, the Plan

    July 12, 2014

  • Talent show Fair to display talent show DEWITT — Children and adults next weekend in DeWitt will compete for an opportunity to participate in the Iowa State Fair.The Bill Riley Talent Search will be held at 2 p.m. July 20 at the Clinton County Fair in DeWitt. The show is open to the public

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

Front page
Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Poll

Should the city of Clinton appeal the open records violation ruling that will cost taxpayers $40,600?

Yes
No
     View Results
AP Video
Olympics 2014
Featured Comment
Featured Ads
Blue Zones Project
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.