Charles B. Johnson, the principle owner of the San Francisco Giants professional baseball team, finds himself embroiled in controversy after contributing to a super PAC behind a blatantly racist ad running in support of Rep. French Hill, R-Ark.
A radio ad is so bad, it’s hilarious. You’d swear the opposition ran it to harm Hill’s reelection chances.
This is a real radio ad currently running in Arkansas in support of Republican Congressman French Hill on radio stations targeted to the African American community. I don't even have words to describe it. pic.twitter.com/vpzt1nGPlc
— Ben Tribbett (@notlarrysabato) October 18, 2018
The ad features two women, presumably black, talking about alleged sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and how Democrats are “changing the presumption of innocence to a presumption of guilt.”
“Girl, white Democrats will be lynching black folk again,” one of the women says in the ad.
“We can’t afford to let white Democrats take us back to bad old days of race verdicts, life sentences, and lynching’s when a white girl screams rape,” she says later.
Congressman Hill has condemned the “outrageous ad.”
“Some may have heard an appalling ad on the radio. 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 tweeted.
Some may have heard an appalling ad on the radio. 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.
— French Hill (@ElectFrench) October 18, 2018
The super PAC behind the ad, Black Americans for the President’s Agenda, is based in South Carolina. Vernon Robinson, a black conservative who has run for Congress, is a co-founder of the group, according to Slate.
The ad calls to mind a remark from then-Vice President telling an African-American heavy crowd that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney would “put you all back in chains.”
Joe Biden** wonders why people are demanding the Giants' majority owner should sell his share of the team.
**"They're gonna put y'all back in chains." https://t.co/KZSEuz2Tdu
— El Duderino (@The_Real_Sparky) October 20, 2018
Johnson reportedly donated $1,000 to the political action committee.
The baseball team couldn’t walk away from the controversy fast enough, releasing a statement on Twitter.
The statement read: “The Giants’ reputation as one of the most inclusive and socially engaged professional sports teams in the nation speaks for itself. We are unaware of Mr. Johnson’s political donations
….because they are entirely separate from his stake in the Giants ownership group. In no way do the Giants condone this disturbing and divisive political activity.”
….because they are entirely separate from his stake in the Giants ownership group. In no way do the Giants condone this disturbing and divisive political activity.” #SFGiants
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) October 19, 2018
Johnson also issued a statement: “I had absolutely no knowledge that this donation would be used in this manner and I, like the Giants organization, strongly condemn any form of racism and in no way condone the advertisement that was created by this entity.”
Mr. Johnson issued the following statement:
“I had absolutely no knowledge that this donation would be used in this manner and I, like the Giants organization, strongly condemn any form of racism and in no way condone the advertisement that was created by this entity.”
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) October 19, 2018
Nonetheless, social media users were skeptical — here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:
Me Johnson should immediately sell his interest in the @SFGiants , how can a clear racist own this team? He knew exactly what his money would fund… Racism #BlackTwitter @MLB @sfchronicle #NLCS @SFWeekly @nytimes
— Stimp (@Stimp44) October 20, 2018
Disgusting. I am hurt that our SF Giants have been tainted nation wide.
— Lorraine Nelson-Miller (@rn_lola) October 20, 2018
— Matthew (@Matthew972) October 20, 2018
— Mike Cruz (@MikeCruz1386) October 21, 2018
What do you mean separate? The racist part of him paid for the ad but the non-racist part owns the Team? What the hell?
— Rick Giolito (@RickGiolito) October 19, 2018
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