A fundraising email sent by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) appears to show a darkened image of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but the NRCC swears they didn’t darken the image.
Maybe the image is like a protest photo of Dorian Gray. Maybe the NRCC has gotten hold of a photo of Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who fights for black rights and somehow is without an NFL home because of said protest (liars will say he’s not in the NFL because he’s lost a step, but they are liars), that gets darker with each of his protests.
Or, maybe, as one Democratic operative told Yahoo News, the attack ad is just racist and “disgusting”.
“House Republicans are running on racism, plain and simple. It’s disgusting, it’s offensive and it should be fireable, but there’s no accountability in the Republican Party,” the operative said.
From Yahoo News:
The NRCC is one of the main Hill committees run by the two major political parties. It is dedicated to electing Republicans to the House of Representatives. The message the group sent to supporters advertised a “Betsy Ross mug” and referenced Kaepernick’s opposition to the slavery-era flag.
“WHO DO YOU STAND WITH? DONALD TRUMP AND THE BETSY ROSS FLAG OR ANTI-AMERICAN FLAG COLIN KAEPERNICK?” the message asked.
Pictures of President Trump and Kaepernick appear side-by-side in the message. The photo of Kaepernick appears to have been altered to make his skin several shades darker than it is in original copies of the image. In an email to Yahoo News, NRCC communications director Chris Pack insisted, “The photo was not darkened.”
Apparently white people really love the 1770s flag and the NRCC wants to profit off that by giving their supporters a mug with this flag on it for a $25 donation. Clearly, the point of this push is to profit off Kaepernick’s protest against the slavery flag and Nike’s decision to pull a shoe that would’ve featured the flag on the back.
Also from Yahoo News:
Political ad makers have previously been accused of darkening African-Americans’ skin in photographs to appeal to racist sentiment. In 2015, a study of negative ads that aired against Barack Obama in the 2008 election showed that the campaign of Republican candidate John McCain consistently darkened Obama’s skin in commercials. That study also showed McCain’s skin was lightened in some ads and found those images appealed to “stereotypes” and negatively affected some voters’ impressions of Obama. During that same race, the campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton was also accused of darkening Obama’s skin in ads, and liberal critics described it as “using racism” and “race-baiting.” There is a wide body of evidence indicating racial prejudice is stronger against African-Americans with darker skin, and multiple other studies have echoed the finding that some voters respond negatively to candidates with darker skin.
This isn’t the first time that the NRCC has been called out for pushing hatred under the guise of political action.
In June, The Hill reported that GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney informed the NRCC’s chairman, Rep. Tom Emmer, (R-Minn.), that “Republicans raised questions about the NRCC’s strategy during a closed-door meeting,” Yahoo News reports.
NRCC used nicknames to attack Democratic rivals, much like, ummmm, I don’t know….THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. Yahoo News notes that “On June 4, former Republican congressman Tom Rooney tweeted a simple message at Emmer in response to the juvenile jabs.”
“This isn’t you,” Rooney wrote.
But the NRCC considers this to be a bloodsport and doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process as long as they win.
Emmer defended the organization’s tactics earlier this month telling the Minnesota Star Tribune: “Our job is to define the other side of the aisle,” Emmer said. “Our guys are being as aggressive as they can to get these stories placed.”
But they didn’t darken Kaepernick’s skin color. Got it?