A new add by Republican Mayoral candidate Joe Lhota uses some… curious? familiar? racist?… imagery.
Did you see it?
While attempting to portray his Democratic opponent as soft on crime, Lhota features video from a recent beating at the hands of a group of motorcyclists and images from the New York of the 70’s and 80’s. But the final still image stands out. It initially shows several people riding a graffiti covered train. Then it quickly zooms in on two individuals, an elderly white woman clutching a pole and a younger black man looking in her direction. The graffiti, presumably the part of the image we’re supposed to be dismayed about, is largely cropped out. What we are left with is a young black men looking at an old white woman. This is the only image given this treatment… this quick zoom. You can see it at approximately the 24-second mark.
Perhaps it was unintentional. But… I’m skeptical. It feels like Lhota has pulled a page out of the old, “Play off racial fears,” playbook. Will it work?