The gubernatorial race in Virginia has gotten nasty. Republican candidate Ed Gillespie is accusing his opponent, Virginia lieutenant governor Ralph Northam, of helping the gang MS-13 spread throughout Virgnia due to his sanctuary city policies. “MS-13 is a menace,” says a voiceover in Gillespie’s ad. “Yet Ralph Northam voted in favor of sanctuary cities that let dangerous illegal immigrants back on the street increasing the threat of MS-13. Ralph Northam’s policies are dangerous.”
The Democratic Party of Virginia has distributed political flyers connecting Gillespie to President Trump and the Charlottesville “Unite The Right” rally. The latest punch thrown in Virginia’s gubernatorial race comes from the Latino Victory Fund, an organization that aims to amplify Latino voices in politics and government.
This is the Latino Victory Fund ad against Ed Gillespie that has sparked some mixed emotions.
The ad, shown above, shows a group of children of color running for their lives in Virginia as they are chased by a black pickup truck. At one point, you can see an Ed Gillespie campaign bumper sticker on the back of the truck. The only words heard during the ad are those a one child telling the rest to keep running. All we know of the person in the truck is that they are perceived to be white and on a mission to harm the four children.
The ad has received a lot of backlash from self-proclaimed Republican voters and pundits. The tweet containing the video is filled with responses from Twitter users who are outraged and offended even calling the ad racist. Yet, Latino Victory Fund is not apologizing for the message behind the video.
“Latino Victory’s ad portrays the real-life concerns of communities of color in an increasingly hostile political and social environment. For weeks, Gillespie has peddled dangerous stereotypes, slandering Latinos and immigrants and calling us ‘thugs’ and ‘criminals,'” Cristóbal J. Alex, president of Latino Victory Fund said in an email statement. “We won’t take it any longer. It’s our moral imperative to stand up for Latino and immigrant families. Our ad holds a mirror up to the Republican Party, and they don’t like what they see.”
Some appeared to be frustrated with Latino Victory Fund for running an attack ad.
As a Latino, I find this completely ridiculous and embarrassing for an organization who claims to be for Latinos to promote. #vagov
— Rick Canton ℹ️ (@TheRickCanton) October 30, 2017
While others see the ad as proof that both sides of the aisle are focusing on fear over substance.
As a Latino I’m disgusted by this. Both sides playing on fear. it’s wrong. Wld u like an ad depicting all Latinos as criminals?? Que pena
— Rick Seara (@rssports2) October 31, 2017
Others pointed out that some people just don’t understand that fear in communities of color right now.
— Vanessa Cardenas (@vcardenasDC) October 30, 2017
Latino Victory Fund has since removed their tweet containing the video.