Bush's Muhammad Horton

By Geraldine Sealey
Published March 12, 2004 7:46PM (EST)

Another Bush re-election ad, another call to retract offensive material. The new controversy is a-brewing over President Bush's "100 Days" ad, which uses the image of a young, dark-skinned man to represent the threat of terrorism. "It undercuts the very thing the president committed himself to after 9/11," said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, which called on BC'04 to change the ad. "It tries to create an identity between terrorists and that face. It can only be called a negative stereotype, it can only be called regrettable."

Coincidentally, an Arab-American Institute poll shows "deep dissatisfaction" with Bush and low support for the president's re-election among Arab-Americans, according to Reuters.

But, like the ads that exploited 9/11, the Bush-Cheney campaign clearly isn't appealing to the offended parties for votes here. The targeted demographic is that swath of Americans who will respond to fear-mongering and won't mind if Arab-Americans are insulted along the way.

Ryan Lizza at Campaign Journal has a comprehensive look at the ongoing debate.

Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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