Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President of the NAACP of Detroit, called on former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) to apologize for airing a xenophobic Super Bowl ad in Michigan.
“It plays on the base feelings of those who view minorities and in particular persons of color as the major economic problem,” Anthony said. “This is ill-conceived and does very little to motivate the citizenry to get involved with the political process.”
The ad used an Asian woman speaking in broken English to accuse his rival, Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, of helping the Chinese economy.
The liberal-leaning Asian American Action Fund said the ad was “reminiscent of Asian prostitutes saying ‘Me love you long time’ in Hollywood films.” But Hoekstra told Politico that the ad was satirical and did not have any racial overtones.
“Quite frankly the individuals who are doing business with the United States and providing loans to our nation are not riding bicycles in a rice paddy,” Anthony said. “They are sitting in the halls of government in Beijing, as well as in the suites of the rapidly growing corporate entities of China and America.”
“We have no problem with Mr. Hoekstra or anyone being critical of the policies of political leaders,” he added. “This is not a Republican or a Democratic issue. Policies and programs are fair game. Yet when one reduces that to racial stereotypes and belittling the ethnicity of a particular group, it goes beyond the level of political correctness.
“Even some in the Republican Party agree that Mr. Hoekstra has crossed the line. We believe there is a much better way to draw attention to your political campaign other than the use of racial stereotypes.”