An Arkansas congressman is condemning a political ad made on his behalf that says “white Democrats will be lynching black folk again.”
The radio ad in support of Republican Rep. French Hill’s re-election cites the contentious Supreme Court confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the sexual assault allegations levied against him during the process.
“Our congressman, French Hill, and the Republicans know that it’s dangerous to change the presumption of innocence to a presumption of guilt especially for black men,” one woman said.
“If the Democrats can do that to a white justice of the Supreme Court with no evidence, no corroboration and all of her witnesses including her best friend say it didn’t happen, what will happen to our husbands, our fathers or our sons when a white girl lies on them?” another woman asked.
“Girl, white Democrats will be lynching black folk again,” the other woman said in the ad from the super PAC Black Americans for the President’s Agenda.
“Honey, I’ve always told my son, don’t be messing around with that. If you get caught, she will cry rape,” the woman added.
The women in the ad continued to say they will vote for Hill to “protect our men and boys.”
“We can’t afford to let white Democrats take us back to bad old days of race verdicts, life sentences and lynchings when a white girl screams rape,” a woman said.
In a statement, Hill called the ad “appalling.”
“I condemn this outrageous ad in the strongest terms. I do not support that message, and there is no place in Arkansas for this nonsense,” he said.
Hill also criticized his Democratic opponent, Clarke Tucker, for “spread[ing] this race-baiting ad” in a tweet.
On Twitter, Tucker fired back: “Rep. Hill [and] his allies will have to live with the kind of campaign they’re running. This radio ad is disgraceful [and] has no place in our society.”
Vernon Robinson, the PAC's co-founder and treasurer, told The Associated Press the ad has been running in Little Rock. He said the ad is part of a $50,000 buy that includes a similar spot running on stations in Missouri, where Republican Josh Hawley is trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. The group had not coordinated the ad with Hill or spoken to his campaign about it, Robinson said.
The North Carolina-based PAC was formed earlier this year and this week reported having about $52,507 cash on hand and $62,769 in debt. The group has spent about $30,000 in recent weeks on ad buys in Arkansas and Missouri races, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Arkansas hasn't sent a Democrat to the U.S. House since 2010, but Tucker is mounting a surprisingly competitive bid to unseat the two-term Hill in Arkansas’ 2nd congressional district. Democrats are relying on a heavy turnout in Little Rock and its surrounding county, which is about 37 percent black and 6 percent Hispanic.
Fox News has ranked the race as leaning Republican.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.