No, I mean seriously? At no point during the planning, filming, or editing of this commercial did someone take a step back and say, “you know, this is kinda…well…racist?”1 How does that happen?
Granted, this is the Chamber of Commerce; it is not Blanche Lincoln’s campaign directly. One would hope that the Lincoln campaign would denounce the ad tomorrow if not sooner (though, at this point, I won’t hold my breath). After all, given that Lincoln repeated the falsehood about Halter sending jobs to Bangalore as recently as Thursday on NPR, until she does denounce the commercial, she has to share some of the blame for its existence.
(h/t reader Eric)
Update: Thankfully, Lincoln denounced the ad today (as did Halter, of course).
Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, her chief rival for the Democratic nomination, are condemning an advertisement that uses Indian actors and images to raise claims that Halter outsourced jobs.
Lincoln and Halter both criticized the ad, reportedly made by a Virginia-based group called Americans for Job Security. A telephone message left at the group’s office was not immediately returned Saturday.
The ad began appearing online on Friday, and has been condemned as featuring stereotypes of Indians. Halter’s campaign said the group has purchased more than $780,000 worth of airtime in the state starting Monday.
Lincoln called the ad offensive, and Halter’s campaign said it should never air.
$780,000? Jeez. I guess if you are going to be a bear, you might as well be a grizzly, huh?
This part deserved it’s own blockquote, however:
Lincoln has raised the outsourcing claims against Halter over a company where he once served on the board of directors. Although the company said it saved costs by opening a Bangalore office, there is no evidence that it cut American jobs to do so. (emphasis added)
If there is an upside to this absurd ad, it might just be that this little nugget of truth will get appropriate airtime as well.
1 Perfect example of why the hard-and-fast American rule of punctuation inside the quotation marks is silly. As with the Oxford comma, the possessive form of “Arkansas” as “Arkansas’s,” and the idea of groups like “team” being plural, British English makes much more sense. (They are still off their collective rockers with the whole “no period after ‘Mr'” and “the short form of ‘mathematics’ is ‘maths.'”) But I digress.