An advertisement that has been running to get the vote out for Rep. French Hill in Arkansas has sparked outrage over its suggestion that citizens vote Republican to prevent “white Democrats” from dragging America back to a time when black men were lynched over accusations of sexual harassment made by white women.
The Arkansas Times reports that Vernon Robinson, a conservative activist and former congressional candidate out of North Carolina, is behind a radio spot that pushes for the election of GOP candidates by using the voices of a couple of self-identified black women who fear for the future of black men in the hands of Democratic leadership. The women in the ad point to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s pre-confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee as an example of how they foresee innocent men being taken down in the future, and they espouse dread over the potential for African-American men to be most easily impacted by such a scenario.
“Our congressman French Hill, and the Republicans, know that it’s dangerous to change the presumption of innocence to a presumption of guilt, especially for Black men,” one of the women in the advertisement says. Without mentioning his name, she then goes on to espouse her determination that Kavanaugh was persecuted without any evidence — per allegations made against him by Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford. Finally, the pro-Republican voice asks what the future might hold should false accusations be made against their husbands or sons, to which her friend responds: “Girl, white Democrats will be lynching white folk again!”
“We can’t afford to let white Democrats take us back to the bad old days of race verdicts, life sentences and lynchings when a white girl screams ‘rape,'” the latter voice eventually says in conclusion.
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
While an organization called Black Americans for the President’s Agenda takes credit for running the ad, it is suspected that they were tapped and motivated by Vernon Robinson to have it delivered. Robinson is known for having run homophobic and racist advertisements in the past. This time, he is reportedly spreading his influence to help push a red wave in the midterm elections, at which time Rep. Hill will go up against candidate Clarke Tucker for the state’s 2nd district seat.
Meanwhile, it appears that Rep. Hill has beaten Democrats to the punch, as they were expected to come forth with demands that he denounce the ad, but were preceded by a statement that he put out to clear his name of any involvement.
“I condemn this outrageous ad in the strongest terms. There’s no place in Arkansas for this nonsense,” CBS News White House reporter, Kathryn Watson, quotes Hill as stating.