What happened: An Iowa newspaper implied a Republican congresswoman was racist for using the phrase "Before it's too late" in a campaign ad.
Are you kidding me? No. This really happened.
Prove it: Sure thing.
Rep. Ashley Hinson (R., Iowa) released a new ad this week called "Change Direction." Hinson speaks directly to the camera about how President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) have "failed Iowa," citing rampant inflation, "drugs pouring over the border," and "woke liberals destroying everything that makes America great." She points out that her Democratic opponent, state lawmaker Liz Mathis, supports Biden and Pelosi's policies.
Hinson concludes: "It's time to change direction and save America before it's too late."
Why is that racist? It's not.
I still don't get it: You're not alone. A reporter for The Gazette, a daily newspaper in Cedar Rapids, reached out to Hinson's campaign to inform them that the ad was racist for using the phrase "Before it's too late." Here's the relevant portion of the email:
The new ad ends with the words "Before it's too late," which was the same tagline used in the Chicago mayoral campaign of Bernard Epton 40 years ago that was widely viewed as racist.
My question for the campaign is: Before it's too late for/about what?
And was the campaign aware of the history behind the tagline and its connection to the racially divisive 1983 Chicago mayoral campaign? If so, why the choice to use the tagline in the ad?
Were Epton's ads racist? You can watch them here. They all end with the tagline "Before it's too late."
Epton, who was white, was trying to make history as Chicago's first Jewish mayor. His opponent Harold Washington, who was black, would go on to become the city's eighth consecutive Democratic mayor since 1931. The ads include some man-on-the-street interviews with voters talking about why they're supporting Epton, who was running on a platform of lower taxes, more jobs, and a stronger police force. Some of them mentioned Washington's legal problems, including his conviction for failing to file tax returns and allegations that his law practice cheated clients out of money.
Bottom line: If you're the type of person who is perpetually aggrieved about politics and thinks it's racist to criticize Chicago Democrats for being notoriously corrupt, you probably think Epton's ads are racist. If you're an average voter, you probably think this is all a bunch of nonsense that is completely irrelevant to out-of-control inflation affecting your daily life.
"Before it's too late" is a pretty common phrase, right? Yes!
Democrats probably use it all the time, don't they? They do! President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have on numerous occasions. Alas, our noble class of professional journalists neglected to call them out for being racist.
Has Hinson's opponent ever used that phrase? She has! Liz Mathis wrote the supposedly racist phrase in a 2012 Facebook post.
Has Ashley Hinson ever held an innocent black jogger at gunpoint after hearing some fireworks go off in her neighborhood? No.
But John Fetterman has, right? Yes, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania committed a very racist act in 2013, but continues to receive glowing coverage in the mainstream media.
Do journalists treat Republicans and Democrats differently? That might have something to do with it.