Opinion: Wisconsin Political Advertisements Are Appallingly Racist

Walter Rhein

Photo byWalter Rhein

We’re entering another critical election here in the state of Wisconsin. For some reason, every election for the last ten years or so has been deemed critical.

Every day when they turn on the television or radio, residents of the state are subjected to disturbing political advertisements featuring sensationalized stories about child abductions. These political ads are designed to play on a person’s worst fears. They try to present the message that one political candidate wants to flood the streets with violent criminals.

This is absolutely ridiculous. I’m tired of remaining silent while these dishonest tactics brainwash the general public.

These tactics were also deployed in the Ron Johnson and Mandela Barnes race. There is now so much money in politics that politicians can afford to run ad after ad. Many of the television spots featured videos of black men committing crimes.

I believe that some political candidates deliberately use political campaigns to stoke racial tension in our state.

It’s ridiculous when an incumbent political candidate who was in office at the time, tries to suggest his opponent is to blame for crimes that were committed during his term.

I see no justification for the overemphasis on black crime in Wisconsin political ads. It’s important for the general public not to view these ads passively. When you’re watching the television you should pay attention when candidates try to fabricate an equivalency between race and crime.

Don’t take my word for it. Pay attention the next time you’re watching television.

This has been going on for a long time. You see right-leaning propaganda channels present a violent, destructive, and lethal attack on the Capitol as “patriotic.” I think the reason so many channels are inclined to interpret the insurrection this way is that when you look at the video, the majority of the participants are white.

When people talk about institutionalized racism, this is what they mean. It’s disgraceful that so many people in the state of Wisconsin harbor such a bias that they can watch racially charged political advertisements with no objection.

The safety of our streets is not determined by who is elected into office. All you have to do is look at crime statistics going back decades and you’ll see there is no appreciable change. In fact, there is some evidence that crime has been reduced in some areas under Democratic leadership.

Unfortunately, it seems to be a recipe for success in the United States for authoritarian candidates to win office by making absurd claims about their opponents. The selective interpretation of events is also alarming.

We have video of men beating police officers with clubs and flag poles. However, when it’s white people doing it, the residents of Wisconsin have no objection.

The obvious conclusion for anyone with even a shred of education is that when a candidate has nothing to offer, he will descend to the most loathsome tactics. Unfortunately, American politics is funded by so much dark money that voters are subjected to a constant bombardment of deceitful propaganda.

Anyone who sits around passively listening to the radio or watching television is likely to be programmed to make the wrong choice. It’s easy to believe the more dramatic political ads that make the most terrible accusations.

Voters need to be smart enough to understand that the streets aren’t going to be instantly flooded with violent criminals if they select the wrong candidate. When has that ever happened in our history? The only time I can think of it is when conservative rioters attacked the Capitol.

Remember, it’s not liberals that go around bragging about how many guns they own. It’s not liberals who plaster profanities all over their vehicles in the form of political slogans. If you need evidence as to who is violent, you need to look no further than the armed, the disrespectful, and the profane.

The next time you see a political advertisement, watch it with a discerning eye. If the advertisement is trying to fabricate a connection between race and crime, you’re being manipulated. It’s time for Wisconsin to make a stand against racism.

If you want to protect your kids, vote for candidates that stand for funding education and unrestricted access to reproductive health care. Don’t fall for the fabricated narrative of candidates that only care about themselves.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI

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