Tag Archives: Michael Dukakis

Sharron Angle’s ‘Willie Horton’ ad

Now their “true colors” start to appear.  (No pun intended.)

The Washington Post – Plum Line

Between her thinly veiled endorsements of violence, her railing against government spending while receiving government health care, and her recently revealed attempts to force third-party candidate Scott Ashjian out of the race, Sharron Angle’s extremism has turned her race against Harry Reid from an easy romp for Republicans to a winnable race for Democrats. Her campaign’s latest ad, attacking Reid for his support of the DREAM Act, which Greg mentioned earlier in his roundup, is as despicable as it is desperate. In its naked appeal to racial animus against Latinos, it rivals the infamous 1988 “Willie Horton” ad deployed against Michael Dukakis.

The ad features a trio of “illegal immigrants” looking for a way to cross a chain link fence, as the word “illegal” flashes across the screen in bright red letters. After making previously debunked claims accusing Reid of pushing for “tax breaks” for “illegals,” it goes after Reid’s support of the DREAM Act, which would offer a path to citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States before the age of 16 and who go to college or serve in the military. The ad says Reid wants to give “preferred college tuition rates to none other than illegal aliens,” presumably referring to the fact that it would allow undocumented residents in a given state to qualify for in-state tuition. 

Note that, despite the fact that the DREAM Act would specifically apply to undocumented immigrants who had no choice in being here and are diligent, patriotic and Americanized enough to attend college or commit to sacrificing their lives for their adopted country, Angle’s campaign makes them out as smug, intimidating Latino migrants who came here deliberately in order to take advantage.

As Andrea Nill points out, this image is exactly the same one used in a similar ad from Louisiana Senator David Vitter. 

Contrast that picture with the happy, smiling, college students in the ad, who, as Eric Kleefield noted, all appear to be white:

The ad’s message is pretty straightforward: Reid wants to take the opportunity for a college education away from white Nevadans, who deserve it, and give it to a bunch of Latino illegal immigrant criminals. Given the current political climate, with most Americans supporting restrictive immigration laws targeted at Latinos like Arizona’s SB 1070, it’s probably to Reid’s advantage to keep focusing on Angle’s extremism rather than attacking her for flagrant race-baiting. But that doesn’t make it any less reprehensible.

The Migration Policy Institute estimates that around 825,000 people would be eligible for the DREAM Act’s provisions. It seems rather obvious that however one feels about amnesty, children should not be held responsible for their parents’ mistakes.

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Filed under Racism, Sharron Angle, Tea Party Hypocrisy, Tea Party Nuts, Tea Party Racists