A progressive group has pulled an ad featuring a Confederate-loving, rampaging truck driver running down a group of minority children. The face-saving way of doing this seems to involve invoking the fatal terrorist attack in New York City on Tuesday, in which eight people were killed by a homicidal motorist.
It shouldn’t have taken an act of terror for the Latino Victory Fund to realize its ad was in extremely poor taste, and that it did nothing to lift our political discourse, but we’ll take the small victories where we can find them.
LVF president, Cristóbal J. Alex, explained this week that the aim of the now-cancelled ad was to "ruffle feathers.” However, he added, the recent “events" in New York City, in which a terrorist mowed down several people with a rented truck, prompted them to remove the TV spot from circulation in the Virginia gubernatorial race.
"We knew our ad would ruffle feathers. We held a mirror up to the Republican Party, and they don't like what they see," Alex said. "We have decided to pull our ad at this time."
Alex added, "Given recent events, we will be placing other powerful ads into rotation that highlight the reasons we need to elect progressive leaders in Virginia.”
The cancelled ad, which showed a pickup truck bearing a Confederate flag and a bumper sticker for GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie running down small children, comes shortly after the Republican contender in the race released an ad promising to defend the Old Dominion’s monuments to secessionist heroes.
“[Democratic candidate] Ralph Northam will take our statues down,” the ad’s narrator said. “Ed Gillespie will preserve them.”
Gillespie himself then said in the ad, “I’m for keeping them up, and he’s for taking them down. And that’s a big difference in November.”
You don’t have to strain to hear the dog whistle in that ad. It’s pretty clear, especially considering Gillespie’s monuments ad comes not long after white supremacists descended twice on Charlottesville to protest proposals to remove Civil War monuments. And even if you want to give the GOP gubernatorial the benefit of the doubt here – then it’s at the very least an extraordinarily ignorant and tone-deaf move by Gillespie’s people.
Putting this ad out after an anti-Nazi demonstrator was killed this summer as she protested white supremacists who had come out to protect the secessionist monuments sends all sorts of messages, and none of them are good.
As for Gillespie’s reaction to the truck ad, they characterized it as a "new low" in American political discourse.
Hard to disagree with the GOP candidate on that. It’s good that the Latino Victory Fund pulled the ad, as we only benefit from that sort of garbage being removed from public discourse. Now if only team Gillespie felt similarly about its bad, bad monuments commercial.