Update (10/31/12) While speaking at a Romney rally in Florida, the state's Commissioner of Agriculture referenced the race-baiting "Obama phone" myth, marking the first time the topic was raised at an official GOP event.
Conservative media outlets have been up in arms since the release of a video, in late September, that features a Black woman in Ohio enthusiastically declaring her support for President Obama. The woman is supportive of the President because of an FCC program that helps to provide phones to low-income individuals. After being featured on the right-wing site, The Drudge Report, the hashtag #ObamaPhone became very popular and filled with hateful tweets. Going one step further, the far-right group Tea Party Victory Fund has released this ad, using the same clip to exploit racial fears.
The ad is a clear example of race-baiting. Nevermind that this bipartisan policy was enacted during Reagan's presidency in 1984. The Tea Party Victory Fund is trying to convince voters in predominantly white counties of Ohio (Lucas, Summit and Mahoning) that President Obama's agenda is about serving the needs of Black communities at everyone else's expense. It's repulsive, divisive and shouldn't be on the air.
The most effective way to defeat the influence of race-baiting is to do it together. ColorOfChange.org is dedicated to empowering the over 800,000 members of our organization, as well as our friends and family members to do exactly that. With platforms like Watch the Race 2012, we are coming together to call out bigotry when we see it. Together, we are standing up against this rhetoric and ensuring that the media covers these stories and their impact on our communities.
If you see a racially-offensive ad, website, bumper sticker, t-shirt or anything that should get noticed, please use our Report on the Race page to let us know.