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An Arkansas congressman tweeted on Thursday to criticize a radio campaign ad encouraging Black voters in his state to support his re-election. But commenters are pointing out that the ad—which relies on racist stereotypes and fear-mongering—ran for a week before Hill spoke out against it.
Twitter user Ben Tribbett drew attention to the the ad supporting Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) on Thursday, writing “I don’t even have words to describe it.”
This is a real radio ad currently running in Arkansas in support of Republican Congressman French Hill on radio stations targeted to the African American community. I don't even have words to describe it. pic.twitter.com/vpzt1nGPlc— (((Ben Tribbett))) (@notlarrysabato) October 18, 2018
In the ad, a woman says, “Our congressman, French Hill, and the Republicans know that it’s dangerous to change the presumption of innocence to the presumption of guilt, especially for Black men.”
The ad then references the allegations of sexual assault that Christine Blasey Ford leveled against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh before and during his confirmation hearing. The woman’s voice says:
If the Democrats can do that to a white justice of the Supreme Court with no evidence, no corroboration, and all of her witnesses including her best friend say it didn’t happen, what will happen to our husbands, our fathers, or our sons when a white girl lies on them?
Another woman’s voice responds: “Girl, white Democrats will be lynching Black folk again” and later adds, “We can’t afford to let white Democrats take us back to race verdicts, life sentences, and lynchings when a white girl screams rape.”
The ad ends with the disclaimer that it was paid for by PAC Black Americans for the President’s Agenda and not endorsed by any candidate.
As the ad circulated on Twitter, Hill tweeted to denounce it.
“Some may have heard an appalling ad on the radio,” Hill wrote. “I condemn this outrageous ad in the strongest terms. I do not support that message, and there is no place in Arkansas for this nonsense.”
Some may have heard an appalling ad on the radio. I condemn this outrageous ad in the strongest terms. I do not support that message, and there is no place in Arkansas for this nonsense.— French Hill (@ElectFrench) October 18, 2018
Adam Parkhomenko, a Democratic political strategist, tweeted that the ad has been “public for at least one week” and criticized Hill for waiting to respond to it.
Republican pundit Robert Blizzard suggested the ad was one the “unfortunate side effects” of super PACs and that the group was intentionally trying to hurt Hill’s campaign.
Well, this would be one of the more unfortunate side effects of running in the Super PAC political world - having some group you have no affiliation with try and torpedo your campaign. https://t.co/BRVUG0nhKS— Robert Blizzard (@robertblizzard) October 18, 2018
Black Americans for the President’s Agenda did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.
Kris Seavers is the IRL editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.