Sexist, Racist Video Gives Presidential Candidates
Opportunity to Take Action Against Bigoted Campaign Tactics
June 16, 2011
By Lisa Bennett, Communications Director
As if right on cue, the "Give us your cash, B--ch!" video popped up this week to prove that sexism and racism are alive and kicking this election season. Turn Right USA, a conservative political action committee, is responsible for this online "advertisement" that attacks Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, a NOW/PAC-endorsed Democrat who is running for an open seat in Congress representing California's 36th district.
The video depicts a woman pole dancer who shakes her rear end while two African-American men (who are actually rappers) portray gun-crazy gang members helping themselves to money stuffed in the woman's booty shorts so they can "shoot up the street." Hahn's face is superimposed on the woman's face and butt at different points, and toward the end, one of the men begins the action of shoving his rifle into the woman's backside.
Talking Points Memo has already dubbed it the "most offensive ad ever," and the campaign manager for Hahn's opponent has denounced the video but claims no authority to remove it from the Internet. The "filmmaker" who created the video is enthusiastically defending it and says he will post it elsewhere if it is taken down from YouTube. Both the California Republican Party and the National Republican Congressional Committee have deemed the ad "inappropriate" and maintain that they had no involvement in its creation.
But NOW says that's not enough. "This video is outrageous. Sexist ads like this are one of the reasons more women don't run for political office," said NOW President Terry O'Neill. "Every candidate must make clear to their funders and their supporters (and not with a wink-wink) that sexism and racism are not acceptable campaign tactics. These types of abusive attacks aren't just harmful to candidates like Janice Hahn, but to all women."
In addition, O'Neill demands that the Republican hierarchy come clean and disclose the direct and indirect funding sources behind Turn Right USA, which reportedly just filed with the Federal Elections Committee and admits an association with a former volunteer for Hahn's opponent.
O'Neill concludes: "The GOP can't simply shrug its shoulders and claim ignorance about this ad. The party now has a woman running for president and another high-profile woman who may also jump into the race. In the past couple years, conservatives have received a crash course in what it's like to have gender stereotypes and sexist slurs directed at women on their side of the aisle. NOW encourages all of the 2012 presidential candidates to take this opportunity to draw the line and not only condemn this type of bigoted campaigning, but also insist their party withhold all support for any candidate who stands to benefit from it -- in this case, Janice Hahn's Republican opponent."
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