Election 2020

Super PAC’s ‘Lynching’ Ad in Arkansas Congressional Race Claims #MeToo Is Dangerous to Black Men

Democratic state Rep. Clarke Tucker talks to Malik Kelly about his bid for the 2nd Congressional District in Little Rock, Ark., on Aug. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo)

Clarke Tucker, a Democrat running for Arkansas’ 2nd District congressional seat, didn’t mention a super PAC’s ad airing on black radio stations that warned Democrats, if they take over the House, will start “lynching” African-Americans.

But Tucker ran a TV ad in October that criticized an ad that attempted to connect him with gang violence in El Salvador.

“We’ve now sadly watched French Hill say anything to cling to power,” Tucker says in the ad, claiming Hill was wrong to try to link him to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). But that, Tucker says, dims in comparison to Hill’s most recent claims.

“He’s gone too far, claiming I support no border security and violent drug gangs,” Tucker says. “Where is the decency?”

Well, both Hill and Tucker drew the decency line regarding a radio ad from Black Americans for the President’s Agenda that was intended to support Hill’s re-election campaign.

“French Hill and the Republicans in Congress know it’s dangerous to change the presumption of innocence to a presumption of guilt,” a woman says.

Then pointing to the Brett Kavanaugh congressional hearings, she asks, “If they can do that to a white justice of the Supreme Court, with no evidence, no corroboration, and all of her witnesses, including her best friend, saying it didn’t happen, what will happen to our husbands, our fathers, or our sons, when a white girl lies on them?”

“Girl,” another woman responds, “white Democrats will be lynching black folk again.”

The first woman says she warned her son, “Don’t be messin’ around with that… if you get caught, she will cry rape.”

The narrator concludes, “We can’t afford to let white Democrats take us back to the bad old days of race verdicts, life sentences, and lynchings when a white girl screams rape.”

Hill told his Twitter followers the ad was “appalling.”

“I condemn this outrageous ad in the strongest terms,” Hill said.

Tucker may not have mentioned the Black Americans for the President’s Agenda radio ad in his latest TV spot, but he blasted it, and Hill, the Republican’s campaign staff, and the GOP in general on Twitter.

“Rep. Hill & his allies will have to live with the kind of campaign they’re running. This radio ad is disgraceful & has no place in our society,” Tucker tweeted. “We won’t let these shameful tactics distract us from our fight to stand up for the people in #AR02 on the critical issues in our lives.”

Arkansas GOPers doesn’t want anything to do with the BAPA ad or the super PAC. The state Republican Party tweeted that it had filed an ethics complaint against the “outsider group who is running political ads in violation of the Arkansas Ethics rules.” The tweet also said the Arkansas GOP had demanded BAPA pull the ad immediately.

Vernon Robinson, an African-American who led the 2016 National Draft Ben Carson movement, is the co-founder and treasurer of Black Americans for the President’s Agenda. He told Vice News his group stands by the ad. BAPA also put out a version of the ad that attacks Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill (D).

“My mouth dropped,” said Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (Mo.). “Anybody who thinks it’s OK is sick.”

“This is not healthy for the United States at a time when the nation is so badly polarized,” Cleaver said. “It’s got to be rejected, and it’s got to be rejected strongly by all the people of good will.”

However, Robinson refuses to pull the ad off of Arkansas or Missouri radio airwaves because he believes black men should be warned of the dangers posed by the #MeToo movement.

“All it is is hard-hitting. I believe the #MeToo movement deserves every hit they take. Shifting the presumption of innocence to the presumption of guilt is very dangerous for black men,” Robison told Vice News. “Black men are going to catch hell if they’re accused.”

“If you get caught [with a white woman], she’s going to cry rape, and you will be toast,” Robinson said. “Every black man was told that. Every black woman told that to their sons.” Robinson said that included his mother.

Robinson said BAPA spent less than $50,000 to run the ad in the St. Louis, Kansas City, and Little Rock radio markets.

It wasn’t the first time BAPA has taken to the radio to spread its message, and it won’t be the last time radio listeners hear from the super PAC.

The first ad Robinson’s group ran involved a woman warning African-Americans that even though Democrats paint Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger as a “hero,” her agenda included a plan to “exterminate black folks.”

“The next time a Democrat asks for our vote, ask them why they don’t want our children,” another woman says in the ad.

The third commercial in the series, still to come before the November election, will focus on the economy. The trio of super PAC ads is part of Robinson’s effort to counteract what he sees as the GOP’s “political malpractice” of ceding the black vote to Democrats.

“Black voters are the voters,” Robinson said, “that there is no Democrat wave without.”