San Francisco Giants owner denounces racist political ad after partially funding it
The San Francisco Giants and the team’s principal owner Charles B. Johnson couldn’t have backed away faster after a report revealed Johnson’s contributions to a super PAC that funded one of the most shockingly racist and misogynistic political ads you will ever hear.
The ad in question was created by the group Black Americans for the President’s Agenda and aired across Arkansas radio waves with a message of support for Republican incumbent Congressman French Hill, who is running for re-election in Arkansas’ 2nd Congressional district. The ad went viral Thursday on Twitter when an account tweeted out the outrageous audio with a picture of Hill, who is white.
A report from ThinkProgress on Friday revealed that Johnson was one of the many wealthy white conservatives bankrolling Black Americans for the President’s Agenda. Johnson reportedly contributed $1,000.
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Just how bad was this ad?
The ad features two black women discussing the turbulent confirmation process of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed despite multiple sexual assault allegations against him dating back to his high school years.
The speakers use the topic to argue that the Democratic party’s effort to block Kavanuagh would mean that black men could be prosecuted even worse by white Democrats in the event they are accused of rape by a white woman, something the speakers treat as inevitable.
Among the ad’s “highlights” are:
“If the Democrats can do that to a white justice of the Supreme Court … what will happen to our husbands, our fathers or our sons when a white girl lies up on them?”
“Girl, white Democrats will be lynching black folk again.”
“If you get caught, she will cry rape.”
The ad, which has been viewed on Twitter more than 2.5 million times as of Friday afternoon, is so ludicrously awful that Hill, who the ad supports, even went out of his way to condemn it on Twitter “in the strongest terms.”
Per ThinkProgress, a similar ad is playing in Missouri in support of the Senate campaign of Republican Missouri attorney general Josh Hawley. According to the Associated Press, the super PAC’s co-founder Vernon Robinson said that the creation of the ad cost $50,000 and will continue to be played despite bipartisan outrage. Robinson himself is known for past congressional campaigns that used extremely xenophobic rhetoric.
Giants, Johnson release statements condemning ad
Hours after ThinkProgress released its report tying Johnson financially to Black Americans for the President’s Agenda, the San Francisco Giants released statements from the team and Johnson. The statements claimed the team was unaware of Johnson’s contributions to the super PAC and that Johnson was unaware his contributions would be used by the super PAC in a way that would trigger so much blowback.
All parties also condemned the ad’s racist content.
Charles B. Johnson’s political contributions
While Johnson distanced himself from the ad created by Black Americans for the President’s Agenda, he didn’t donate to a conservative super PAC by accident.
Via OpenSecrets.org, Johnson has contributed millions to conservative organizations in recent years.
Johnson is the primary shareholder of mutual fund Franklin Templeton Investments with a net worth pegged at around $5 billion according to Forbes. Johnson used that wealth to acquire a small stake in the team that eventually expanded to 25 percent ownership, giving him the largest stake in the team’s ownership group and an interesting position as a conservative owner of a major institution in one of America’s most liberal cities.
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