Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Who do we fear at 3 a.m.?

Hillary Clinton's "3 a.m phone" ad reportedly won her some votes in Texas, but it was also cited as one of the ways she went negative during the primary campaign, exploiting fears of an inexperienced leader in the White House. But Harvard's Orlando Patterson, writing in Tuesday's New York Times, has even harsher words about the ad than that. He says:

"Repeated watching of the ad on YouTube increased my unease. I realized that I had only too often in my study of America’s racial history seen images much like these, and the sentiments to which they allude. . . . The danger implicit in the phone ad — as I see it — is that the person answering the phone might be a black man, someone who could not be trusted to protect us from this threat."
He goes on to compare the ad to other divisive campaign spots in recent history, such as the Willie Horton ad from George H. W. Bush's run against Michael Dukakis. He could have also mentioned the classic North Carolina contribution, Jesse Helms' "Hands" ad used against Harvey Gantt.

What do you think? Is Professor Patterson on to something? Or has he called a wrong number? Click the "Comments" link below to continue the conversation.

8 comments:

Jon said...

If you have to ask if there's any real racism in the ad, then it's certainly not the new "Birth of a Nation," no matter how Patterson sees it.

I think Patterson sees racism solely because that is, by his own admission, what he does. It reminds me of the Monty Python skit in which Karl Marx is asked a question about the World Cup final, and he answers in his field, "The workers' control of the means of production? The struggle of the urban proletariat?"

Anonymous said...

This is the SNL spoof on the 3 am phone call, it is political satire but...

http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/index.shtml#mea=227156

Anonymous said...

Mother Russia is going to make an attempt to socialize us ; Notice all the RUSSIANS sneaking in with Duct tape and look alike POLICE CARS ; They will get one of our identities and try to BOARD A Jet airliner or become a policeman or worse an airline pilot ; Connect the dots People IRANians are part RUSSIAN also ;

Anonymous said...

The Deptartment of Defense has had HACKERS get into their computers and spy around ; Those signals were from Russia but the trail falls off they say; But the Government cant tell you everything because of your safety.

Anonymous said...

Heres a test: If a Person comes up to you and identifies themselves as an agent would you gat into a plane, plain white van or boat?
This is the kind of thing that may start and could be a reality now;
Is the identification badge they have authentic; This scenerio could happen to anyone from this point on. We are going into cold war again but this happenes from time to time.

Anonymous said...

In Charlotte there are tons of private investigations here ; You are being watched if not by camera but by a living breathing soul; Even the Observer sends reporters and investigators to watch events unravel and bring back bits and pieces; Once they were on my Apartment complex staged out in the lot 'observing'. Every Newspaper does do this with a private contract or in house group; I have freinds that have worked on projects for other Papers.

Anonymous said...
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Smelly CAT said...

I like GREEN cookies. I just fear that there won't be any available at 3 a.m. if HILLARY is elected.