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Friday, March 12, 2004

Muhammad Horton. That is what one of the new Bushco campaign commercials will be dubbed. In 1988, Poppy Bush ran a commercial accusing Dukakis of being soft on crime, and the commercial featured a mugshot of Willie Horton, an African-American man who had been convicted of murder and was released from prison on a weekend furlough program and ended up assaulting a couple of people. The ad was race-baiting at its worst, an attempt to scare white American into fearing the evil black man. You can see that commercial here, just be sure to select a video format.
Take a look at a screenshot from the new Bushco commercial here

Now, you tell me---what ethnicity does the man at the bottom look like? I suppose that the Bushies think that what worked for Poppy in 88 will work for Dubya in 2004. "John Kerry is gonna let all them a-rab evil-doers into your backyard! John Kerry wants to eat your babies! And then he'll raise your taxes!" Fairly disgusting. Now, the rightwing response to criticism of this commercial will likely be that the 9/11 hijackers were all from the Middle East. Well, yeah, but not every person from the M.E. is a terrorist, in fact the vast majority can't stand the way that al Qaeda distorts their religion. And then there's Tim McVeigh. He's whitebread all the way. And all the bombings of abortion clinics? White people. Churches and synagogues being set ablaze? You guessed it--white people. Does this mean that every white person is a terrorist? Of course not. And if you really think about which race has brought a great deal of death and violence to the world over the course of history, white folks rank right up there at the top.

Another piece of distortion included in the ad is a line about how John Kerry wanted to wait for UN approval before the U.S. defended itself. First of all, Kerry believed that we should use the U.N. to form a real coalition, not a coalition with heavy-hitters like Barbados and Poland. And secondly, exactly what threat to the U.S. are they talking about? There are no WMD, and the Bushies have been forced to accept that there were no ties between Saddam and al Qaeda. So what was there for us to defend ourselves from? Thoughtcrime? The possibility that someone somewhere might be thinking of something naughty?


By the way, that website with the Willie Horton commercial also has archived just about every other television political commercial since they began in 1952.

And I'm not as up to date on my South Korean politics as I'd like to be, but I can't imagine that the impeachment of their president can be a great thing for regional stability.

But no matter what, I've really got to get the latest Outkast album.

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