Hoekstra Ad Raising Questions Of Racism, Xenophobia

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A coalition of black ministers in Detroit is calling on U.S. Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra to apologize for his Super Bowl ad portraying a young Asian woman speaking in broken English.  The request came a day after an Asian-American group called the ad “very disturbing.”

Hoekstra, a former Republican congressman who’s vying for Debbie Stabenow’s senate seat, ran a campaign ad depicting a woman with a straw hat bicycling through the Chinese countryside. The woman makes statements suggesting Stabenow supports overspending on policies that help China gobble up U.S. debt and jobs.

The Michigan Republican began taking heat after the Super Bowl ad ran statewide Sunday.

GOP consultant, Nick De Leeuw, flat-out scolded the Holland Republican. “Stabenow has got to go. But shame on Pete Hoekstra for that appalling new advertisement,” De Leeuw wrote on his Facebook page Sunday morning. “Racism and xenophobia aren’t any way to get things done.”

Some detractors said it was racially insensitive, while national GOP consultant Mike Murphy tweeted that it was “really, really dumb.”

The Michigan Democratic Party says the ad is hypocritical because the former congressman voted for higher federal debt limits and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) that bailed out failing banks.

Rev. Charles Williams II of Detroit’s King Solomon Baptist church where Malcolm X once spoke said in a Monday release that the woman’s broken English in the ad is no different than “having a black person speaking in slave dialect.”

A Hoekstra spokesman said the ad was meant to be “satirical.”

Hoekstra, speaking with reporters Monday morning, argued that the ad certainly “jump started” the debate on spending. (Read more here).

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Frank Burns

    Just because the Chinese are doing well, this hypothetical girl says, “we are taking your (US) jobs” — so I suppose when our economy is doing good, we are stealing jobs from Chinese workers? This is demagoguery at its lowest.
    But it is bound to play very well for Sarah Palin lovers and Tea Party types.

  • Wrong Long

    The ad is tasteless, bigoted and fear mongering. So Republican……

    • Sterling Headset

      Will the Godless, Sexless, Raceless non-existent spiritual entity of nothingness please save the rest of us from the Hipsters… .PLEASE!

  • citizen2000

    I am tired of people claiming racism every time someone criticizes China. If they wanted to be out friend they would not hit us with cyber attacks, manipulate their currency, steal our technology to modernize their military and take our jobs, or mistreat their own people so badly. We need to get serious about competing with China and stop our universities from selling us out. Read more at http://www.china-threat.com

  • John Watson

    The sad truth is that beyond the overt racial sterotyping in this ad, it is also so far from the reality of what is happening in Asia. Rice fields and and bicycles? Try Harvard educated financial analysts, who drive BMW’s and shop at Apple and Gucci. There are millions of brokers and business owners from Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Mumbai who rely on this kind of arrogant ignorance to move the wealth of our economy to theirs. And this from a candidate for US Senate…

  • roneida

    The left wing politically correct fascist police, have browbeaten Americans into accepting their policy of labelling all disagreement as racist.

    We have become a nation of scared sheep and afraid to voice our opinions for fear of being called dirty names.

    Well, scr** the libs. We still have our first ammendment although the current regime is working on destroying that.

    Don’t forget to vote.

    • Whatsa Xeonophobe

      If you want to be taken seriously, you might learn how to spell and try not to make everything into a liberal vs. conservative screed. You might also try visiting other countries to see things for yourself rather than believing everything you hear on talk radio. But I guess the world is a scary place, full of socialists, communists and foreigners who are out to destroy our way of life and take away our rights, so you better just stay at home and let Rush and Palin whip you into a fear-induced frenzy.

      • Sterling Headset

        Spoken like a true One Percenter….

        Scolding people for not adhering to your personal Social and Political perspectives, using stereotypes and examples of your own privileged (try visiting other countries) lifestyle to belittle your fellow man.

        Enough with you children of wealthy pigs… enough with your elitism.

        Hipster trash.

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  • Matt

    Of course the ad is racist. That’s Hokestra’s base audience.

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