No matter how far marketing and advertising tries erasing racial and class stereotypes, there is always good old politics to remind us that Latino immigrants are a scary bunch -- crossing the border armed with knifes and torches, ready to strip you of your benefits and jobs and scare the hell out of your white family.
Take the latest spot from Sharron Angle, Nevada's GOP Senate candidate who has made it a point to disparage Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the issue of immigration. Angle's spots go way beyond blatantly stereotyping Latino immigrants as a bandana-wearing crowd ready to corner you in some dark alley. More gravely, they send a message of "us" against "them." It's Brown vs. White. Watch closely: While the ad mentions immigrants going to college and collecting social security, every shot of the "illegal aliens" shows particularly swarthy Latino youth all dressed up for gang initiation. The family that is shown living in fear of them is white.
Angle's immigration spots have -- of course -- enraged the Latino community in Nevada. But actually they might backfire. The reason? Nevada is almost 30% Hispanic and Hispanics constitute about 14% of the State's electorate. So I can only hope these "dangerous fellows" will take some time off their criminal activities to go to the polls this November.
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