In 2000, the City of Los Angeles launched a program to train reformed gang members and other members of high-crime communities to prevent gang violence. L.A. city council member and Democratic congressional candidate Janice Hahn supported this program, and is now the subject of an impossibly vulgar web ad by conservative SuperPAC Turn Right USA. The majority of the 90 second ad consists of stylized African-American gang members waiving guns around while a woman shakes her butt at the camera and the following refrain repeats:
Give me your cash, bitch, so we can shoot up the street. Give me your cash, bitch, so we can buy some more heat. Give me your cash, ho, so we can get out the bin. Give me your cash, ho, because we’re back in again.
Turn Right USA’s ad is not simply offensive, it is also horribly misguided. The “gang intervention specialist” program that Hahn supported is part of a wildly successful decade-long effort to reduce crime in Los Angeles. Indeed, L.A.’s violent crime rate was nearly cut in half after its most recent peak in 2000. And the city’s crime rate is currently at a 50 year low, despite the pressures of a massive economic downturn.
Hahn’s Republican opponent, to his credit, denounced the ad as “inappropriate” and “highly offensive.”