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Republican Sharron Angle attacked for “race-baiting” in political ads October 28, 2010

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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Politicians in close races sometimes resort to desperate measures in the weeks leading up to Election Day.  Republican Sharron Angle, who is running against Democrat Harry Reid for Nevada’s U.S. Senate seat, has been criticized heavily for “race-baiting,” or trying to benefit from racial divisiveness. At least two of her video ads have portrayed Hispanics as a great threat to the United States. As one columnist for The Washington Post noted, Angle’s campaign has gone as far as showing Latinos as gangsters and thugs in her ads, while portraying white Americans as hard-working, law abiding people.

Angle was attacked especially by The View co-host Joy Behar, who called the candidate a “bitch” who was “going to hell” for her campaign strategy. When presented with the opportunity to defend herself, Angle has been quite evasive, which probably isn’t doing her campaign any good. When asked by a group of Hispanic students at Rancho High School about her portrayal of dark-skinned people, Angle claimed that the ads claiming a threat from illegal immigration could just as easily apply to Asians crossing through Canada.

To see Angle’s ads yourself, watch the following videos:

Discussion Questions:

1.  What is your own definition of race-baiting? Why is the strategy so effective in 2010?

2.  Why, on the flip side, may these kinds of ads also backfire?

3.  Is Angle violating campaign ethics with her advertisements? If so, how is she unethical? If not, how would you defend her strategy?

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