MANSFIELD: The New “Willie Horton” Ad


According to Wikipedia, “William R. Horton (born August 12, 1951) is an American convicted felon who, while serving a life sentence for murder (without the possibility of parole), was the beneficiary of a Massachusetts weekend furlough program. He did not return from his furlough, and ultimately committed assault, armed robbery, and rape before being captured and sentenced in Maryland where he remains incarcerated. The ensuing controversy over Horton’s furlough became a major issue in the 1988 presidential campaign, as George H.W. Bush brought him up frequently during his campaign against Michael Dukakis, the governor of Massachusetts.  A prominent PAC ad for Bush about Horton has been widely characterized as a case of dog-whistle politics.”

But the fact is, there was no “Willie Horton” since “William Horton” was never known by the name “Willie.” But since “William” didn’t sound black enough, the Bush campaign changed his name to the scarier “Willie” — and as we all know, it worked.

Now the incumbent’s reelection team has created their own version of the “Willie Horton” ad. But this time it features an older white female, obviously living alone, and calling 911 because she hears a burglar. But in “Joe Biden’s America” the phone just rings and rings; no law enforcement is available to ride to her rescue. The simple fact is, such ads that prey on elderly citizen’s sense of safety are extremely effective, even for whites that live in gated communities that never have had a burglary.

And now, all of a sudden, tRump is interested in the well-being of citizens in the inner-city neighborhoods of cities like Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland. He has dispatched federal officers to Chicago to supposedly deal with the gun violence there. But my question is, why now?

Republicans have, for decades, blocked any sort of legislation that would attack the root causes of gun violence and crime: poverty and lack of quality educational opportunities. From programs like “The Great Society” to “The War on Poverty” to “Model Cities,” every time Democrats initiate potential solutions, those on the right gut such efforts as soon as they can — and then have the nerve to ask blacks, “What have the Democrats done for you?”

So, in spite of the fact gun violence has been a persistent problem in many of America’s inner cities for years, why, after ignoring the murder and mayhem for his first three years in office, is tRump focusing on the problem now?

If you don’t know the answer — or are too politically entrenched to admit it — then please quit reading my postings, OK?

From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsIn

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