Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, Congressman John Lewis, and former UN Ambassador Andrew Young are involved in what most egregious examples of race baiting in a political campaign. This ad is a radio ad for the Democratic candidate for Fulton County (county were most of the city of Atlanta is located) commission chair.
The basic premise of the ad is that African-Americans should turn out and vote Democrat because the Republicans, if elected, will turn back the gains of the civil rights movement. Even the premise of the ad is disgraceful. John Lewis begins the ad by saying "if you thought fighting off dogs and water hoses in the 60s was bad, just imagine if we let the right wing Republicans take control of the Fulton County commission." Shirley Franklin then lists some former civil rights leaders and asks if anyone wants the gains made by the likes of Martin Luther King, etc., to be overturned. Then, Andrew Young follows that with something like that's why you should vote for John Eaves. At the very end of the ad, John Lewis adds an even more ridiculous statement. He says, "your very life may depend on it."
The Democrats should be ashamed of such a blatant use of the race card. But they won't be.
Update: 6:30 p.m.
Even some Democrats disagree with this ad. A Democratic blogger commented on his displeasure with the ad in an e-mail:
I actually didn't care for the ad. Although I don't think most Republicans are racist although I do criticize some elected republicans and their tactics such as the Voter ID bill and the extension of the Voting Rights Act. I think some people have failed to realize that the era of the Civil Rights Movement politics are over and we need to move on and articulate our message better
The ad is no longer up on Eaves' website. Here is a transcript via AJC Political Insider:
(Sound of kettle drums, followed by pulsing strings)
LEWIS: This is Congressman John Lewis.
FRANKLIN: And I' m Mayor Shirley Franklin.
YOUNG: And I am Andy Young.
LEWIS: On Nov. 7, we face the most dangerous situation we ever have. You think fighting off dogs and water hoses in the '60s was bad. [Now we] sit idly by, and let the right-wing Republicans take control of the Fulton County County Commission.
FRANKLIN: The efforts of Martin and Coretta King, Hosea Williams, Maynard Jackson and many others will be lost. That' s why we must stand up, and we must turn out the vote for the Democrats on Election Day.
YOUNG: And especially for John Eaves for Fulton County Commission chairman. Unless you want them to turn back the clock on equal rights, and human rights and economic opportunity for all of us, vote for John Eaves as Fulton County chairman.
LEWIS: Your very life may depend on it.
Others blogging on this topic:
Knowledge Is Power
The No Kool Aid Zone
Right Wing News