For two weeks, a radio ad in Michigan has encouraged listeners to cast their ballots for Republican Senate candidate John James over Democratic incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Stabenow, the commercials claim, is participating in “black genocide” due to her support for a woman’s right to choose their own reproductive health.
The ad, purchased by the Virginia based far-right Stars and Stripes Forever PAC, has been playing on the Detroit-area WMXD R&B station for the last several weeks, Bridge Magazine reported on Monday. In it, abortion is described as “black genocide” and listeners are asked: “How can Debbie Stabenow ask for our votes when she doesn’t even want our babies?”
At the end of the nearly minute-long spot, listeners are presented with a choice: “Debbie Stabenow and half of all black babies aborted, or John James and more opportunity?”
According to the station’s list of advertisers, the contract for the ad was purchased on Oct. 8, and is slated to last through Nov. 6.
The James campaign, which recently began phasing out a campaign ad that featured an actual swastika, quickly distanced itself from the radio spot. Bizarrely, however, James’ campaign seemingly attempted to blame Stabenow for the ad’s existence in the first place.
“It’s desperate and hypocritical for Debbie Stabenow and her allies to complain about the results of her failed leadership in Washington that have created an environment where ads can be run without consent or approval of a candidate (we didn’t consent or approve this ad),” campaign manager Tori Sachs told Bridge Magazine in a statement on Monday.
Among those criticizing the ad is NAACP Detroit branch president Rev. Wendell Anthony, who called the commercial “offensive” and told Bridge that he was “very surprised candidate John James would allow himself to be tagged with this kind of deceitful, disrespectful and disingenuous, absurd notion.”
I have reached out to Sen. Stabenow’s office for their reaction to the ad, and will update this story if they respond.
This anti-choice ad is the among latest in outrageous right-wing PAC-sponsored radio spots targeting the African American community ahead of the midterm elections.
Last week, virtually identical ads which aired in both Missouri and Arkansas and sponsored by the Black Americans for the President’s Agenda PAC suggested that “White Democrats will be lynching black folk again” as a result of the fight over now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual assault allegations. Arkansas Republican Congressman French Hill called the ad targeting his Democratic opponent “appalling,” while Missouri attorney general and Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley’s spokesperson told the St. Louis Post Dispatch, “Of course we do not support this.”