I’ve been watching Vernon Robinson’s congressional campaign in North Carolina for several months now. One of my former students, now a North Carolinian, sent me a link to one of his political ads several months ago, and it was one of the most distasteful things I’ve ever witnesseed.
Basicallly, Mr. Robinson uses a number of nefarious strategies: he attempts to pit African Americans against Latinos (“you needed that job, but they gave it to an illegal alien”), to stir up nativistic fears among Anglos (with a Bilingual Only Help Wanted sign), and to intimate that Latinos come to the U.S. to burn the flag and molest children.
I considered doing a blog on some of the worst anti-immigrant ads used this election season, but in the end decided against it because I did not want to give these candidates any additional exposure. I am blogging this morning, after Mr. Robinson and many of his nativist fellows have found themselves shut-out (Robinson lost his election to Brad Miller by a landslide). Of course, this gives me hope. Hope that we can begin a substantial immigration debate in the country that is not motivated by a GOP that wishes only to manipulate the electorate. It also gives me hope that in this new era of immigration, more Americans have warmed to the idea of immigration, and more importantly, their immigrant neighbors.