Black Americans for the President’s Agenda, a pro-Trump super PAC, created an ad to support Arkansas Representative French Hill in his reelection campaign against Democrat Clarke Tucker, which claims Democrats could bring back lynchings against black men. Hill represents the state's 2nd District, which includes parts of Little Rock and is 23 percent black.
The ad features a conversation between two black women about the sexual misconduct accusations leveled against recently-confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, claiming that the accusations are a sign of a shift toward the presumption of guilt before innocence in the United States.
This is a real radio ad currently running in Arkansas in support of Republican Congressman French Hill on radio sta… https://t.co/MN3D8QuBgc— Ben Tribbett (@Ben Tribbett) 1539895424.0
“If the Democrats can do that to a white justice of the Supreme Court,” one of the women says, “what will happen to our husbands, our fathers, or our sons, when a white girl lies on them?”
"White Democrats will be lynching black folk again," the second woman responds, adding: “We can’t afford to let white Democrats take us back to bad old days of race verdicts, life sentences, and lynchings when a white girl screams rape.”
The ad was immediately condemned.
black conservatives really think black people talk like this *facepalm* https://t.co/sRZwCShB54— Oliver Willis (@Oliver Willis) 1539883245.0
That French Hill radio ad by some group is racist as hell.— 🦃Brandon Music🦃 (@🦃Brandon Music🦃) 1539899909.0
The gaul!! @notlarrysabato: This is a real radio ad currently running in Arkansas in support of Republican Congres… https://t.co/Lbcp5BfyEX— Jennifer Blemur (@Jennifer Blemur) 1539899656.0
@RepFrenchHill All your ad did was to enraged MORE black people than you could ever imagine. I wish that I lived… https://t.co/maZ8czZZ8V— sweetd62 (@sweetd62) 1539954936.0
Next up to endorse Rep French Hill (R-Arkansas), Amos ‘n Andy https://t.co/3wJ2UQrUgB— csdickey (@csdickey) 1539953979.0
Hill soon responded, distancing himself from the ad.
Some may have heard an appalling ad on the radio. I condemn this outrageous ad in the strongest terms. I do not su… https://t.co/6RlukxKSpP— French Hill (@French Hill) 1539899875.0
Tucker, his opponent, had earlier condemned the ad, writing: "Rep. Hill & his allies will have to live with the kind of campaign they're running."
Rep. Hill & his allies will have to live with the kind of campaign they're running. This radio ad is disgraceful &… https://t.co/Z15gLcdpBq— Clarke Tucker (@Clarke Tucker) 1539902100.0
Hill later claimed his opponent had "decided to spread this race baiting ad rather than join in bipartisan condemnation of this message."
My opponent decided to spread this race baiting ad rather than join in bipartisan condemnation of this message. I… https://t.co/DDyZHmznZ1— French Hill (@French Hill) 1539905510.0
According to Vernon Robinson, who co-founded the pro-Trump super PAC and once led the effort to elevate Ben Carson to the presidency, the ad, which cost nearly $50,000, has been running in radio slots for about a week and a half. He called the ad “payback” for the Kavanaugh hearings. Speaking to The Washington Post, he said the ad was necessary because black voters, "a constituency that Democrats have to win,” could be convinced to fear false rape allegations.
Just got off the phone with Vernon Robinson, who runs the PAC airing this ad—he's spending a little less than $50K… https://t.co/sPXar5vuwR— Alexandra Jaffe (@Alexandra Jaffe) 1539903137.0
The #MeToo movement overreached,” he said. “If Claire McCaskill gets less than 90 percent [of the black vote], she loses.”
Robinson has run inflammatory ads before. He ran for Congress and lost in 2006, after running a political ad set to mariachi music that claimed his Democratic opponent wanted to turn the United States into a “fiesta for illegal aliens and homosexuals.”
"A man from North Carolina named Vernon Robinson is behind this PAC," wrote the Arkansas Times of the debacle. "He's a former Congressional candidate and long-time crackpot. He's black. Anti-gay and xenophobic messaging is his stock in trade."