I have to think the residents of Virginia are exasperated by their state’s gubernatorial race and thankful, no matter who won the seat, that the election is over. The race between Democratic Candidate Ralph Northam and Republican Candidate Ed Gillespie mirrored the run between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for United States President, and then… found a new low – and who would have thought that possible?
For me, the most despicable part of the Virginia governor’s race, came in the form of an ad funded by the Democratic group Latino Victory Fund (LVF) which showed what appeared to be a white man chasing minority children as he drove a pickup truck with a Confederate flag, a “Gillespie for governor” bumper sticker and a “don’t tread on me” license plate. The children are frightened and yell, “run” to other kids. The driver is clearly chasing the kids, terrorizing them.
Is this ad race baiting? Is this ad working to create more racism? Does this ad lead minority children to become afraid of a man because of the color of his skin? What was the LVF thinking? The ad concludes with a voice asking, “Is this what Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie mean by the ‘American dream?’”
Sadly, I don’t think anyone can deny that there is a troubling level of racism in our country. Why any group would throw gasoline on the fire, is beyond comprehension. This ad instilled more than fear, it was pure terror. It worked to further racial tension, which furthers racism. It was beyond poor taste. It was evil. Why would any group contribute to creating a deeper racial divide? There is enough violence and hate in this country. We need leaders who bring out the best in people, who have what it takes to bring all people together as one humanity. And when I say leaders, I’m not just talking about political candidates, but those who pave the way for our children, our future generations, and yes, those who create and fund ads such as this despicable anti-Gillespie one.