Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The notorious 'hands' ad is back

Like the 17-year locust, a version of North Carolina’s notorious “hands” ad is back on television. It was last seen here in the 1990 U.S. Senate campaign between Republican incumbent Jesse Helms and former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt, who was bidding to become the first black U.S. senator from this state.
Shortly before the election, the Helms campaign aired the “hands” ad, showing a pair of white hands crumpling a rejection letter while the announcer intoned, “You needed that job. And you were the best qualified. But they had to give it to a minority because of a racial quota.”
That ad (click here for a look and more analysis)played to the worst racial fears of white voters and was one of a number of reasons why Helms won his fourth term that election. Helms’ staff later said it ran only a few times, but it was heavily reported in the news media and no doubt was a factor.
Since the 1990 election, versions of the hands ad have appeared in other states, including Oklahoma’s 2004 Senate race when an ad showed Hispanic workers and a set of black hands counting money while an announcer criticized a Democratic congressman’s immigration record.
Now the ad is back in this state. Republican congressional nominee Vernon Robinson of Winston-Salem is using a version of the ad to attack the immigration record of incumbent Democrat Brad Miller of Raleigh in the 13th District. Mr. Robinson, an African American running on his conservative credentials, ran for the Republican nomination for Congress in the 5th District in 2004, boasting that “Jesse Helms is back – and this time he is black.”
In the newest reincarnation of the ad, the hands crumpling the rejection letter are black – suggesting that illegal immigrants take jobs away from black citizens.
“You needed that job,” the ad says. “And you were the best qualified. But they gave it to an illegal alien so they could pay him under the table.”
Mr. Robinson says he’s only trying to campaign on the hot button issue of immigration. But those who remember the notorious race-baiting campaigns in North Carolina history know exactly was he’s doing. He’s making the same sort of racial appeal that has tainted N.C. politics since Reconstruction days.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Robinson has been off of the liberal plantation for years, and you libs can't stand it.

The Helms ad would have been more acurate if it had read " You applied for that TV station license, you were the most financially qualified, but the FCC gave it to a minority gropu who then sold out their black brothers when they sold the station to a white group, upon recieveing the valuable TV station

How are the Helms ad or Robinson ads race baiting?

Anonymous said...

"You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!"

Why? Because the truth is just too uncomfortable for our delicate "don't offend anyone or they won't like us" sensibilities.

Funny how that same mind-set doesn't extend to foreign policy....

We need people to cut out all this politically correct crap and start admitting that, yes, this is a problem, and yes, we have to resolve it.

Anonymous said...

The ad is no worse than the class warfare rhetoric the depised tax and spend democrats, A K A Commies, frequent mantra "TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH," meaning in their WARPED minds someone earning
$100,000 and already paying more taxes than any worker should!
GATES, BUFFETT, THE OVERPAID SPORTS AND ENTERTINMENT GUYS ARE RICH, YOU IDIOTIC DEMOCRATS!

D. W. Aldridge said...

Truth be told, the "white hands" commercial was fair comment. Should we be surprised that whites also don't like being discriminated against? We should not let a sense of guilt about the Jim Crow past prevent us from facing the issues we can see in front of us squarely.

B. Norman said...

It's unfortunate that people feel free to make comments about any and every thing yet are too coward to leave their name. Now to the issue at hand.

I thought the commercial that Jesse Helms run was uncalled for. In my later years I realized that Jesse understood he was in the fight for his political life, resulting in a desperate, last plea to his conservative and slightly bigoted base. Mr. Robinson is trying to use what worked over 15 years ago to his advantage, thinking that Blacks will feel empowered at the opportunity to cast someone else as the boogie man.

Robinson, an obvious embarassment,

Anonymous said...

Liberal plantation? How about plantation period? It seems like some of you on this board would like to take North carolina back to the plantation atmosphere where white males ruled the area and repressed anything otherwise.

The 'hands' ad was an embarrasment in 1990 as it is now. It's 2006 guys, not 1956. This type of behavoir in a campaign would not be tolerated in other parts of the country. It shouldn't be tolerated here either!

Danimal

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