Ed Gillespie, the Republican candidate for Virginia governor, is running a racist campaign — but he’s very upset that anyone would stoop so low as to call him out for his racism. The candidate, who built much of his campaign around racial stereotyping against Latinos, is now outraged that his opponents would invoke racial stereotypes about white Republicans.
A central theme of Gillespie’s campaign is that, if you vote for Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, Gillespie’s Democratic opponent, scary brown people with tattoos may kill you. He’s run a number of ads on this theme. They aren’t subtle.
I’ll ensure that sanctuary cities-safe havens for violent criminals here illegally-are never allowed & work to eradicate gangs like MS-13. pic.twitter.com/gIhzUB64UK
— Ed Gillespie (@EdWGillespie) September 20, 2017
To the extent that these ads have any substantive content whatsoever, they claim that Northam increased “the threat of MS-13,” a Salvadoran street gang, by blocking a ban on so-called “sanctuary cities” in Virginia. Though the state has some sanctuary protections, there are no official sanctuary cities in Virginia, so a ban would have done nothing to increase or decrease the threat of MS-13.
Gillespie appeared on Fox & Friends Tuesday morning to condemn a rival ad run by a group called the Latino Victory Project.
Like Gillespie’s MS-13 ads — which play off of exaggerated stereotypes of a tattooed, violent Latino gang member — Latino Victory Project’s ad also plays off an exaggerated stereotype. It depicts a white, Confederate flag-waving, pickup truck-driving, Tea Party license plate-displaying Gillespie supporter menacing children of color in a scene that could have been lifted from the horror film Get Out.
The ad closes with an image of torch-wielding white supremacists rallying in defense of a Confederate monument. Ed Gillespie also supports preserving Confederate monuments, a viewpoint he reiterated during his Fox News appearance.
Gillespie spent the bulk of his Tuesday morning appearance expressing outrage that Latino Victory Project could be so vulgar as to bring stereotyping or racial fears into a political ad. “This ad is not just an attack on my supporters,” said the man who believes that his supporters are so easily influenced by racist imagery that he’s made those images a centerpiece of his campaign. “It’s an attack on all Virginians.”
“In Virginia, we respect civil discourse,” added the Republican gubernatorial candidate, who juxtaposed his opponent’s face with a warning that Latino men want to “Kill. Rape. Control.”